From: Margaret Rakas <mrakas@**At_Symbol_Here**SMITH.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Student Access to labs Policy
Date: February 3, 2012 1:23:31 PM EST
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <4F2BDFD3020000BA0003BB6A**At_Symbol_Here**>

Hello Robin,

I am sure it would be much appreciated by many of us if you could let DCHAS readers know when this policy has been finalized.  (Yes, I can write myself a note to check your website monthly, but...)

Many thanks,


Margaret A. Rakas, Ph.D.
Manager, Inventory & Regulatory Affairs
Clark Science Center
Smith College
Northampton, MA. 01063
p:  413-585-3877
f:   413-585-3786

>>> "Robin M. Izzo" <rmizzo@PRINCETON.EDU> 2/3/2012 9:59 AM >>>



Here are some answers from Princeton University:


Hours of Access:  Students may access laboratories just about any time, following the supervision policy below.  For machine shops, there is no access from midnight to 7 AM.  The reasoning is that the library is closed from midnight to 7 AM because the University believes that students should sleep and not be in the library all night, so why should machine shops be different?


Working alone:  We are in the midst of creating a policy on this.  Please see the latest draft below.


Theoretical work only:  Can work alone and have access to the lab at the discretion of the PI.


PRINCETON UNIVERSITY DRAFT Policy on Undergraduates in Labs:


I.          Policy Statement

Princeton University undergraduate student may be employed in research laboratories or may conduct research in these laboratories as a part of their educational experience.  To support the health and safety of undergraduate students working or conducting research in Princeton University research laboratories, Principal Investigators ensure that students receive adequate training and supervision, particularly when the student is working with hazardous materials and equipment.


This policy applies to undergraduate students while conducting research or providing support activities in research laboratories and to the principal investigators responsible for their training and supervision.   This policy does not apply to teaching laboratories.

III.       Definitions

Hazardous Materials

Hazardous materials include hazardous chemicals, biological materials or radioactive materials.  A hazardous chemical is any chemical for which there is statistically significant evidence showing that acute or chronic health effects may occur in the event of exposure or showing that it exhibits physical hazards.  This includes carcinogens, toxic agents, irritants, corrosives, combustible liquids, compressed gases, explosives, flammables, organic peroxides, oxidizers, pyrophorics and reactive chemicals.


Hazardous Equipment

Hazardous equipment refers to any equipment that may pose a health or physical risk, including radiation-producing equipment (e.g., x-ray crystallography, x-ray cabinet systems), Class 3 and 4 lasers, ultraviolet-producing equipment such as transilluminators, microtomes, equipment that develops significant pressure and/or heat (e.g., autoclaves, high temperature ovens), equipment with high voltage, etc.


Experienced Researcher

An experienced researcher is a laboratory employee, graduate student or post-doc who has received Laboratory Safety Training provided by Environmental Health and Safety and any other training deemed necessary by the Principal Investigator for the work being conducted, per Environmental Health and Safety protocols. 



IV.       Policy

Training and Work Practices

The Principal Investigator approves undergraduate research in his or her laboratory.  Principal Investigators are responsible for ensuring that undergraduate students conducting research in their laboratory:

·         have attended Laboratory Safety Training provided by Princeton University Environmental Health and Safety.  In addition, in labs authorized to use radioactive materials, students must have attended Radiation Safety Training (and annual refresher training).  For work with radiation-producing equipment, students must complete X-Ray Safety Training.  For work with biosafety level 2 agents, live pathogenic viruses, animals, etc., students must have attended the appropriate required training;

·         are conducting work that is commensurate with their education and training;

·         are provided with and instructed how to use engineering controls and personal protective equipment to work safely in the laboratory and are supervised to ensure that they use them properly and consistently;

·         have been instructed by laboratory personnel on how to safely conduct the experimentation or laboratory work;

·         have been instructed by laboratory personnel on emergency procedures, including, but not limited to, the location and how to use emergency equipment such as safety showers, eyewashes, fire extinguishers, fire alarm pull stations, etc.;

·         have been instructed how to dispose of unwanted materials, including chemical waste, biological waste, etc.; and,

·         are supervised when using hazardous materials or equipment as defined above.


Undergraduate students must be supervised by an experienced researcher designated by the Principal Investigator while they are conducting any work with hazardous materials or equipment, as defined above.  This does not mean constant oversight, but does mean that the designated individual is within sight or shouting distance. 


VI.       Procedures

Principal Investigators provide instruction as described above or delegate that responsibility to a laboratory employee or graduate student.

Principal Investigators appoint experienced researchers, as described above.

VII.      Forms


VIII.     Contact Roles and Responsibilities

a)      Department Chair

·         Ensure principal investigators are aware of and are adhering to this policy.

·         Consider compliance with this policy in performance appraisals..

b)      Principal Investigators

·         Ensure all undergraduate students working or conducting research in the laboratory have received training, as outlined in this policy.

·         Appoint experienced researchers to supervise undergraduate work.

·         Ensure compliance with this policy within the laboratory.

c)       Experienced Researchers

·         Remain available to undergraduate students when they are working with hazardous materials or hazardous equipment.

ix.        Update log
















Robin M. Izzo, M.S.

Associate Director, EHS

Princeton University

609-258-6259 (office)


How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg?  Four.  Calling it a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg.

~ Abraham Lincoln


From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l@MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Teresa Arnold
Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2012 4:27 PM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Student Access to labs Policy


Hello all,
I am trying to get a policy in print for our Department about lab use by undergraduate research students after usual business hours.  I would like to hear what your policies are!  Please address:

Thanks so much for your help!  I know my thoughts, but I need to answer the  "what is everybody else doing?" question for my Dept. Chair.  We want to make a "Good Practices" Policy.

Teresa Arnold

George Fox University

Biology-Chemistry Lab Coordinator
Fax: 503-554-3884

414 N. Meridian St.  #6144
Newberg, OR  97132

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