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Engineering | Safe Engineering

Setting Up A New Lab?


On behalf of the Engineering Dean’s Office of Infrastructure and Safety, Welcome to Arizona State University and the Fulton Schools of Engineering.

The mission of the Infrastructure and Safety Team (IaST) is to facilitate research and education while ensuring consistent focus on health, safety, and the environment for faculty, researchers, staff, and students.

FSE is a recognized leader in engineering research and education. The IaST is here to support the growth and expansion of the many engineering disciplines and facets of interdisciplinary research while meeting overall safety requirements.  In short, we are here to support you in your research endeavors and are a resource for how to do it safely.


Safety Procedures for Establishing your New Lab

Below is a list describing different safety procedures that are essential in supporting our safety culture within Engineering.

Steps 1-6 must be completed prior to handling chemicals in your lab.

  1. Register the Lab. A completed Responsible Party Information (RPI) and chemical inventory must be submitted to EHS for your lab to be registered. The Principal Investigator (PI) or designee submits an RPI Form with a Chemical Inventory Form (on-line).   Chemical inventories need to include quantities and some basic hazard rating information.  The forms are located on the ASU EHS website:  ASU EHS Laboratory Registration .  Email both of the forms to and copy your FSE School Lab Manager.  Please use your Name and Bldg/Rm # – Lab Registration in the subject line.  EHS will process the Lab registration.  (This process takes ~1-2 weeks to complete.
  2. Determine training needs for your Lab Personnel. Everyone working in a laboratory must complete required training. To determine the necessary training please use the EHS training determination tool. If you plan on using hydrofluoric acid, cryogenic materials, sodium azide, or piranha, Please ensure this specialized training is included in your Lab Documentation Training Requirements and that you have the appropriate Standard-Operating-Procedures (SOPs) in place.  SOPs for specialized hazardous chemicals must be reviewed and approved by ASU EHS or the FSE EDO IaST members.  Each Lab must retain training records for all Lab Personnel.                                                                                                                                                Sign up for training. >> Canvas – Students;  Career EDGE – Employees.                     Here is the link to the ASU EHS Training website:   (Select Employee or Student training tabs.)

3. Fill out a Prior Approval new Hazard Assessment Form.

Before obtaining a new hazardous chemical, a new hazardous chemical prior approval form must be filed with ASU EHS or an IaST member.

4. Create a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).

The SOP is a set of written instructions that document a routine or repetitive activity.  The Lab may have SOPs for specialized equipment or handling of substances during an experiment.  There are requirements for customized SOPs if you are dealing with particularly hazardous chemicals or hazardous tasks.  An SOP can be as simple as a step-by-step guide to operating the equipment or handling of the substance.  It may also describe the personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary to complete the task.  SOPs are common for standard protocols during the use of glove-boxes, bio hoods, chemical fume hoods, and/or furnaces.

SOP templates are available for general purpose use, as well as for specific hazardous chemicals or chemical processes.  Please reach out to your FSE Lab Manager or Amanda/Rita via email to request an SOP Template.

5. Get a Spill Kit.

ASU EHS provides spill kits for your safety.  It is required that you have one spill kit easily accessible in your lab near the area most commonly used for chemical handling.  Contact ASU EHS Hazardous Waste Team to request a spill kit for your lab.  Email your request to .

6. Get a “Emergency Response Guide” (ERG).                                                                          Request an Emergency Response Guide (ERG) from EHS.  The ERG will need to be hung in the Lab and made readily available for all Lab Personnel.  You should review the ERG with your Team to ensure they know how to respond in the event of an Emergency, prior to an Emergency.     Emergency Response Guide (ERG)

Next Steps will be completed as the lab becomes functional.

  1. Review Self Inspection Sheet for initial inspection preparation. Download the Lab Self-inspection Checklist.  Please review the checklist items for your lab.  ASU EHS will perform a startup inspection prior to any Lab activity.  This is to ensure that you can begin work in your lab quickly and safely.
  2. Hazardous waste pick up. Hazardous Waste Tags through ASU EHS.  To complete disposal of a hazardous chemical you must visit the EHSA Web Portal .  A step-by-step PowerPoint guide is available upon request:
  3. Review the Working Alone Policy. Review the policy at the above link.  The policy is meant to address specifically “working alone” in a lab.  For working with highly hazardous materials, hazardous processes, or hazardous equipment, a buddy system is preferred.  This ensures a second person is available in the lab or nearby should an accident or incident occur.  These policies are in use to provide a safer and healthier work environment for members of the ASU community.  The policy also details activities that require levels of safety oversight (buddy system).  It also details required training prerequisites for the safe performance of complex duties or more advanced research activities.

Additional Resources

Please read the Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) for information regarding ASU’s policies about handling, transferring, transporting, or storing chemicals.

Please contact us if  you have questions:  Contact an FSE DO IaST member

We understand that starting a Research Lab can be overwhelming and we welcome your questions or concerns on any aspects of the Lab Startup process.