By: Mendy Foster

Mendy Foster has a B.S. in Biochemistry from Indiana University and has over 15 years experience as a protein biochemist.


Mendy has served as a Laboratory Safety Specialist for the Office of Environmental Health and Safety since 2015.


E-mail Mendy at: mendfost@iupui.edu


Handling Hazardous Materials during a Laboratory Move On Campus

Construction activities in multiple lab areas on campus will be completed by the end of summer. If you will be moving your lab to a new space on campus, please review the procedures for safely transporting materials to your new location (see the IU Hazardous Materials Move Guide) and notify IUEHS through the Hazardous Material Move Notification Form at least 30 days prior to your move. Also consult section 3.25 of the chemical hygiene plan to close out your old laboratory space. If your lab works with radioactive materials, contact IU Radiation Safety for additional instructions.

For an Intra-building move:

Hazardous materials may be transported by cart following the guidelines below.

For an Inter-building move:

A cart may be used to transport hazardous materials only if the buildings are near each other and accessible by gently-sloped, paved surfaces with low pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

If a cart move is allowed, follow the guidelines below and keep cart transport on paved surfaces such as sidewalks with low vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Do not push carts through grass, gravel, mulch, or other unstable surfaces. Do not push carts up or down steep slopes.

A University vehicle must be used for all other Inter-building moves. Personal Vehicles may not be used to transport hazardous materials. Contact IUEHS for assistance with this type of move.

For all Hazardous Material moves by cart:

  1. Check your inventory:
    • Ensure that all containers for relocation are in sound condition, with tight fitting lids and legible labels.
    • Identify old, outdated and unwanted materials for disposal.
    • Contact IUEHS about any potentially explosive or unstable materials.
  2. Segregate materials according to hazard class (i.e. flammable, oxidizer, corrosives) and ensure incompatible items are packed separately. (see Attachment A of the IU Hazardous Materials Move Guide).
  3. Pack chemicals in secondary containment that provides cushioning and stability (ie dividers) to prevent items from tipping or breaking. Label appropriately.
  4. Pack biohazardous materials according to section 3.18.6 of the Biosafety Manual and contact the biosafety office.
  5. Use a cart with a containment lip.
  6. Use a freight elevator where available for moving hazardous materials between floors. Avoid the use of stairs to transport hazardous materials whenever possible.
  7. Wear appropriate PPE.
  8. Review University emergency and spill procedures. Ensure you are familiar with the locations of emergency equipment (showers, eyewashes, fire extinguishers) in both lab areas and along the route.
  9. Never transport hazardous materials alone.

To simplify your move, plan ahead.

  • Assign a qualified individual familiar with lab inventory and hazards to coordinate the move.
  • Contact EHS early for assistance and waste disposal.
  • Identify interim cold storage while refrigerators and equipment are being moved.
  • Make sure you have adequate packing material and supplies.
  • Reduce the risk of an accident- move lab equipment and furniture at a different time than hazardous materials. (Review exceptions for freezer units, -40 and -80).
  • If your lab has an IBC protocol, please remember to contact the IBC office ibcbhc@iupui.edu in order to submit an amendment to add/remove rooms. The amendment must be approved prior to beginning any work with biological material inside of a new room.
  • Prior to moving out of a room, ensure that all biological material and waste is removed and decontaminate all areas where work with biological materials was performed.

Please contact our office at ehs@iupui.edu or 274-2005 if you have any questions about transporting hazardous materials during a lab move.

Lab Notes is a quarterly publication by IUPUI Environmental Health and Safety. Lab Notes is designed, edited and published by K. Lee Stone.

"Don't Learn Laboratory Safety by Accident!"