Lab Equipment Service Policy
All laboratory equipment which may potentially be contaminated
by hazardous, radiological, or biological materials must be
safely and properly prepared for service or repair by University
Facilities Operations, or by commercial service vendors.
The University at Buffalo will make every effort to safely and
properly prepare laboratory equipment which may be potentially
contaminated by hazardous, radiological, or geological materials,
for service or repair by University Facilities Operations or by
commercial service vendors. Adherence to these procedures is
necessary to ensure that service employees are not needlessly
exposed to potentially dangerous materials and that no materials
are inappropriately released to the environment.
This procedure applies to all potentially contaminated equipment
located within any laboratory where radiological, hazardous
chemical, or biologically hazardous materials are used, created, or
stored. This may include, but is not limited to, fume hoods,
autoclaves, centrifuges, refrigerators, freezers, and incubators
This procedure applies to equipment located within both campus
facilities and off-campus facilities.
University at Buffalo Facilities.
Any laboratory equipment used for
research or storage of research materials, including but not
limited to fume hoods, autoclaves, centrifuges, refrigerators,
freezers, incubators, etc.
Hazardous, radiological, or
Safe or Safety
Having no exposure to potentially
dangerous concentrations of materials.
Commercial service/repair vendors or
Deans, Directors, and Department Chairs
- Ensure that all faculty and principal investigators receive a
copy of this procedure, are instructed that it is necessary to
comply with the terms of this procedure, and that this procedure is
Faculty and Principal Investigators
- Ensure that all laboratory personnel have access to a copy of
this procedure, that the procedure is followed, and that any
unusual problems are referred to Environment, Health & Safety
(EHS) for discussion and resolution.
- Provide a copy of this policy to commercial service
Laboratory Staff and Students
- Follow this procedure and refer any problems or questions to
Environment, Health & Safety
- Provide consultative support and assist in managing unusual or
- Authorize any necessary deviations from this procedure.
University Facilities Operations
- Refrain from servicing or coming in contact with equipment that
has not been cleared as outlined in this procedure.
- Provide a copy of this procedure to any commercial service
- Review and update this procedure as necessary every two years,
or as changes are required.
Complete the Checklist for “OK to Service”
Certification of Equipment Containing Hazardous Chemicals and
Biological Agents and the Checklist for “OK to
Service” and Unrestricted Release of Equipment Used with
In general, before servicing, all hazardous chemical,
radiological, or bio-hazardous materials must be removed from
equipment and stored or disposed of in accordance with established
procedures. However, materials may remain within equipment if there
will be no direct contact with the materials in the course of
servicing the equipment. For example, materials may remain within a
refrigerator or freezer while it is being serviced as long as
service providers need not work inside the refrigerator, the
materials are isolated inside the refrigerator to prevent contact,
and there is no dripping or leakage from the interior. This
presumes that there is no need to tip or invert the equipment.
In general, all hazardous chemicals, radiological, or
bio-hazardous materials must be removed from equipment surfaces
(both internal and external) before the equipment is serviced.
However, as outlined in Material Removal above, it may be
appropriate to only partially decontaminate the equipment in
consideration of the nature of the service to be performed, and
which surfaces workers are expected to come in contact with.
It is strongly recommended that service workers and lab
personnel discuss the proposed service in advance to mutually
determine the required level of decontamination.
Decontamination will be performed as outlined herein.
Radioactive contamination will be removed by standard
radiological decontamination methods. The maximum level of residual
radioactivity will be determined by EHS policy or by Chapter I,
Part 16 of the State Sanitary Code, whichever is more limiting.
Surveys will be performed to demonstrate that the decontamination
limit has been achieved. These surveys will be documented, and
records will be available for inspection by EHS or by the
Department of Health. All waste generated in the course of
decontamination will be disposed of as radioactive waste. After
decontamination, radioactive labels and stickers will be removed,
defaced, or temporarily covered.
Chemical residues will be removed, neutralized, or otherwise
rendered non-hazardous using an appropriate method determined by
the chemical and physical characteristics of the contaminant(s),
and the physical nature of the equipment. Hazard labels will be
removed, defaced, or temporarily covered as appropriate. The
decontamination method will be documented, and records will be
available for inspection by EHS. Any incidental wastes will be
disposed of properly.
Bio-hazardous contaminants will be removed or rendered
non-pathological. Typically, this will be accomplished using a
bleach solution, other chemical means, and or by steam
sterilization. Hazard labels will be removed, defaced, or
temporarily covered as appropriate. The decontamination method will
be documented, and records will be available for inspection by EHS.
Any incidental wastes will be disposed of properly.
If decontamination cannot be achieved, it may be appropriate to
cover contaminated surfaces with impermeable materials, such
as polyethylene sheet. If this is done, any contamination,
which has been temporarily covered over, must be clearly labeled
and explained to service personnel. The covered material will be
disposed of as appropriate for the contaminant hazard.
Certification and Labeling
Once materials removal and decontamination have been completed,
the principal investigator (or other authorized individual as
designated in writing), will affix a copy of the Equipment
“OK to Service" Certification form to the equipment. All
sections of the form shall be completed with the relevant
information or “NA” as appropriate. A copy of the form
will be retained, and will be available for inspection by EHS.
Equipment with No Potential for Contamination
Some equipment within laboratories has essentially no potential
for contamination. This includes computers and office equipment,
audio-visual equipment, cameras, optical equipment, food storage
refrigerators, etc. No decontamination of this equipment is
required and the “No Potential for Contamination” box
will be checked on the release form. In addition to this check off,
the name and date section should be completed, however, the other
sections may be left blank.
Once the equipment release/certification form has been affixed
to the equipment it may be serviced. University Facilities
Operations will not service any equipment, which has not been
tagged. Laboratory personnel should be readily available to answer
questions, and should explain any special considerations to service
All special or unusual problems will be referred to EHS for
resolution. Any deviation from the requirements of this procedure
must be approved in writing by EHS.
Environment, Health & Safety
220 Winspear Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14215
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