Each laboratory should develop a plan to protect laboratory equipment, materials, and research from loss and to prevent hazardous conditions from developing during a shutdown. The following checklist can be used for guidance. If you have questions or require additional assistance, please contact REHS.

Research Shutdown Checklist:

General Safety and Equipment

  • Update and provide lab contact list to Chair or Dean
  • Update emergency contacts on outer doors, if necessary
  • Remove all perishable food from break areas, lockers and refrigerators
  • Back up critical research data
  • Secure lab notebooks and other data
  • Secure physical hazards, such as sharps
  • Close all gas valves and water taps
  • Shut off gas to area, if possible
  • Decontaminate areas of the lab as you would do routinely at the end of the day
  • Lock all outer lab doors and secure widows
  • Cancel orders for non-essential research materials if they have not yet shipped.
  • Contact loading dock/mail services personnel to notify them of any expected incoming shipments
  • Do not place any packages potentially containing dry ice in a walk-in cold room or freezer

Chemicals, Materials and Equipment

  • Consolidate storage of valuable perishable items within storage units that have backup systems
  • Properly secure all hazardous materials. Use secondary containers for any chemicals stored on the floor
  • Ensure all flammables are stored in flammable storage cabinets, where possible
  • Ensure all items are labeled appropriately
  • Submit a waste request for all chemical waste items at https://halflife.rutgers.edu/forms/hazwaste.php
  • Ensure all hazardous chemical waste containers are securely closed, properly labeled and stored by compatibility. Use secondary containers for wastes not stored in storage cabinets
  • Ensure all baths (water, corrosive) are properly marked and closed, covered or emptied.
  • Confirm and secure inventory of controlled substances and document in log book
  • Check that all gas cylinders are secured and stored in an upright position
  • Remove regulators from gas cylinders and apply caps for storage
  • Ensure cryogenic liquids are properly vented. Ensure all hazardous operations are shutdown and secured.  Purge all chemical (liquid and gas) filled lines
  • Ensure all pressurized lines are purged, if possible.  If system is used to maintain an inert atmosphere, then ensure that you have a plan in place to maintain the system
  • Completely close the sashes on all exhaust hoods and biosafety cabinets
  • Ensure all appliances, computers, hot plates, ovens, heat blocks, lasers, and other equipment is turned off.  Unplug equipment if possible.
  • Fill dewars and cryogen containers for sample storage and critical equipment. Notify your Chair if these will need to be maintained during the shutdown.  For large cryogenic storage units or magnets, plans must be created to maintain the systems

Biological Materials and Animals

  •  Ensure all items are labeled appropriately
  • Freeze any biological stock material for long-term storage
  • Consolidate storage of valuable perishable items within storage units that have backup systems
  • Fill dewars and cryogen containers for sample storage and critical equipment.
  • Remove infectious materials from biosafety cabinets and autoclave, disinfect, or safely store them, as appropriate
  • Decontaminate and clean any reusable material that may be contaminated with biological material
  • Disinfect and empty biological waste in aspirator collection flasks
  • Schedule a medical waste pick-up if your RMW box contains items likely to become putrescent or is full, submit a waste request at https://halflife.rutgers.edu/forms/medwaste.php
  • Ensure cryogenic liquids are properly vented
  • Refrigerators and freezers must be left plugged in. Recommended to leave absorbent material around should power go off and defrost occur
  • Clean Biosafety cabinets. Type A2 cabinets should be turned off
  • Contact CMR about current animal care recommendations

Radiological Materials and Machine Sources

  • Perform a monthly wipe test (cleaning any areas > 100 dpm/100cm2)
  • Ensure all items are labeled appropriately
  • Secure/lock radioactive materials inside a refrigerator, freezer, lockbox or cabinet in accordance with normal laboratory procedure
  • Store all radioactive waste in an approved radioactive waste container with up-to-date yellow waste cards
  • Store radioactive liquid containers in secondary containment with caps secured
  • Request a waste pickup, if needed. Containers not > than 1/2 full may remain in the lab https://halflife.rutgers.edu/forms/radwaste.php
  • Cancel shipments of isotopes scheduled to arrive after 4/10
  • Lock out and power-down your X-Ray, Electron Microscope and Particle Accelerator units if possible

Initial Date:       04/02/2020
Revision:           04/02/2020