Introduction to Laboratory Safety

Whether you are a new student just starting out at UNC Charlotte in the Laboratory setting or a seasoned Principal Investigator laboratory safety should be a key element in your daily laboratory work. The EHS team at UNC Charlotte is always available to assist and consult with you on any safety related questions or concerns. If you ever need to request our services you can call 704-687-1111 or access the quick links below:

Learn more about Introduction to Laboratory Safety programs below:

Laboratory Policies & Resources

The Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) website provides access to laboratory safety resources. PI’s have overall responsibility for laboratory safety and regulatory compliance. Laboratory personnel must adhere to all applicable safety requirements.

Laboratory Startup, Relocation, and Decommissioning

PI’s should consult with EHS and review procedures prior to laboratory startup, relocation or decommissioning.

Door Signage

Door signage should be on all laboratory doors. It serves a critical safety function, by helping identify hazards, and providing emergency contact information during an incident. EHS has recently developed a standardized door sign available to all laboratory personnel. You may receive a sign for your door by filling out a Laboratory Registration Form.

Safe Lab Operations

PI’s should report all injuries and safety incidents to EHS.

Chemical inventory is maintained on EHSA Onsite. EHS can help direct personnel on how to enter, update and maintain their chemical inventory. Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are accessible online at Personnel who receive occupational hazard exposure must receive proper health surveillance. Contact EHS if anyone will be exposed to:

  • Human blood or other potentially infectious materials
  • Radiation hazards
  • Excessively loud noises
  • Inhalation hazards


PI’s must ensure all laboratory personnel complete all applicable training programs. Laboratory personnel must also complete lab specific orientation training provided by each PI/lab manager. Laboratory Managers and PI’s should review emergency procedures with laboratory personnel. General emergencies should be reported to Campus Police at 704-687-2200 or 911 from a campus phone. PI’s and laboratory personnel should review the Chemical Hygiene Plan and all relevant standard operating procedures before working with hazardous materials.

Laboratory Equipment

PI’s must provide appropriate properly maintained laboratory equipment and ensure that equipment is only used for its designed purpose. EHS validates the performance of each chemical fume hood. Emergency equipment such as Eye Washes, Drench Showers and Fire Extinguishers should be available if a relatable hazard is present.

Additional Information

Hazardous Waste Disposal– PI/lab managers must ensure hazardous waste is identified, stored, and disposed of properly. EHS provides hazardous waste disposal quarterly. Hazardous Waste Pick-up can be requested in EHSA Onsite.

Inspections– EHS conducts announced and unannounced laboratory inspections to measure University compliance performance.

Warning Signage and Label– Laboratory personnel must ensure access is restricted and warning signage is posted for high hazard laboratory areas. Appropriate labels must be affixed to all equipment and containers. EHS will assist PI’s in developing a proper door sign with hazard identification and emergency contact information.