Safety Documentation

UVM Lab Safety Notebook 

Every UVM laboratory is required to create a Laboratory Safety Notebook with, at a minimum, the sections itemized below. Keep information in the lab notebook current. 

Store the notebook on the back of (or near) the main lab entrance in a binder rack so it can be easily found by the following:  

  • by lab staff,
  • by emergency personnel during an incident, or
  • during a lab audit.   


If the lab is unable to store the Lab Safety Notebook behind the door or visibly near the lab entrance, please place a note on the outside of the lab door indicating where the lab safety notebook can be found in case of an emergency and for lab audit purposes.

To create a new lab safety notebook, get started by downloading this general Table of Contents.


Lab Safety Notebook Sections

At a minimum, Lab Safety Notebooks should contain all sections and completed forms in the green section below. Use these documents as tools to assist with training of new students and lab personnel each semester or each year.


The following items are required to be located in ALL lab safety notebooks.
Document Description Record Retention
Monthly Lab Self-Inspection Form

UVM labs are required to complete a monthly inspection. The form also includes a few annual reminders.

Checklists are distributed to labs or departments in December or January.

Email if you need the current year's Laboratory Self-inspection Checklist.

Retain three months worth of inspections for auditing in accordance with UVM Oversight Process. Recycle old checklists.

Chemical Use Planning Form (CUPF)*

*The download includes the Hazardous Chemicals of Concern (HCOC)

Describes the lab's actual USE and required CONTROLS for hazardous chemicals and is required for all chemicals being used. Common chemicals can be grouped together on one form if used and stored in the same manner. High hazard chemicals require their own CUPF or SOP (see below). Retain current CUPF for all chemicals in use in the lab.

Lab Specific Training Documentation

(sample documentation)

Document any lab-specific training you provide. Examples of Lab-specific training include the following:

  • Hazardous materials used in the lab
  • Lab-specific procedures or protocols
  • Safe operation of lab-specific equipment
Retain through the life of the lab.
Orientation/Training Checklist for New Laboratory Workers

Recommended as a tool to orient new lab workers. One orientation checklist should be completed for each new lab worker. 

Online and classroom lab safety training requirements.

Retain through the tenure of the researcher in the lab. May be archived in department personnel records.

Safety Data Sheet (SDS) locations

General chemical SDS catalog

Pathogen Safety Data Sheets

Manufacturer's safety data sheet is best. Manufacturers are required to provide SDSs to you. If you cannot find an SDS on the manufacturer's website, call them and demand an SDS. The label on the container has the manufacturer's contact information. 

All lab workers should be trained how to find, read and understand SDS information. A digital file may be stored on a lab computer if the computer stays in the lab and the file is accessible to all lab workers at all times.

Printed copies of SDSs may also be kept in the lab safety notebook.

Retain information for the materials currently in use. Archive SDSs for 30 years past use in the lab.
Guidelines for Working Alone in the Lab

Lab Supervisor is required to decide and document what materials or equipment may NOT be used by an individual working alone in the lab.

Some Lab Supervisors develop their own policy for this. Document individual lab worker restrictions, if any, in the lab safety notebook.  

Retain through the life of the lab.

High hazard guidelines must be retained for the materials/ processes/ equipment currently in use.

Unattended Operations Policy and Signage

Print and complete this form when leaving a process or procedure running while you are not present in the lab.  Complete the form and hang on the lab door facing the hallway.

A re-usable form may be used if the process occurs routinely.

Must be posted on the lab door when a process is left unattended.


The following items are required in your lab safety notebook (or departmental records where indicated) when they are APPLICABLE to your lab.
Document Description When Required Record Retention

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)


Toxin Tracking Forms

SOPs ensure safe and consistent research operations. Some agents and processes present extreme hazards and may necessitate the creation of a written SOP.



Toxin Tracking Forms are a tool to ensure that toxins are properly managed and quantities of Select Agent toxins are within regulatory limits.

SOPs may be required for chemicals, procedures/ processes, or equipment that pose an extreme or unique hazard. Otherwise SOPs are a best practice in the lab.


Required for all biological toxins.

Retain through the use of the material, process or equipment.

Sink Disposal Request Form


Materials that are forbidden to pour down a sink drain

Sink disposal of hazardous lab chemicals and active biological materials is forbidden by EPA and VT DEC.

This form may be filled out online and submitted for approval by UVMs Environmental Compliance Manager.

Review restrictions on this website (under "chemical waste") before disposing of ANY lab chemical or biological solutions.


The response received from UVM's Environmental Compliance Manager to a sink disposal request must be retained in the lab safety notebook. Retain through the life of the lab.
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Agreement between non-UVM affiliate and UVM to work in a UVM lab.

If a lab is hosting a group, tour, or is working with another organization to bring non-UVM personnel into a lab, a more formal contract or MOU might be required to be signed by the group, tour, or organization coming to campus.

Required to be completed and signed by any non-UVM affiliate or volunteer working in a UVM lab.

Retain in the lab through tenure of the volunteer.

Check with your Department on retention after completion of tenure.

Minors Working In Labs

Parental permission form for any minor who will be working in a UVM lab. Minors are required to be supervised at all time while working in the lab.

See UVM policy on Minors  in Laboratories and Minors; Protection on Campus.

Required for any minor that is NOT enrolled as a full-time UVM student, but is working in a UVM lab.

Retain in the lab through tenure of the volunteer.

Check with your Department on retention after completion of tenure.

Biosafety Protocols


Animal Use in Research

Institututional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

These protocols must be available for review to all lab personnel that are assigned to such protocols.

Protocols are required to be accessible to lab personnel.

These can also be located in an electronic file or lab protocols notebook.

Retain all current, in-use protocols in the lab.

UVM Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan

(Appendix H of the Exposure Control Plan)

Infectious Materials Risk Designation Form


To be completed by the lab supervisor for every at-risk employee (persons who may be at risk for exposure to human blood, human cell lines, human tissue, body fluids, or other potentially infectious material during your course of lab work).

At-risk designation for new lab workers must be made within 10 days of the lab worker's arrival OR when the lab worker commences work with the above mentioned materials. S/he must be offered the Hepatitis B vaccine within this time period.

Required for labs workers who work with human blood, human cell lines, human tissue, body fluids, or other potentially infectious materials.

One form must be completed for every at-risk lab worker.

Retain through the tenure of the lab worker.

Archived records of former lab workers must be retained for 30 years past end of tenure. Check with the department on record retention.

Hepatitis B Vaccine Consent/Refusal Form

(Appendix J of the Exposure Control Plan)

The Hepatitis B vaccine is available for any lab worker who is designated at-risk (see above). Researchers can consent to receive the vaccine (UVM would cover this cost) or refuse vaccination.

Form should be complete at the same time as the Infectious Materials Risk Designation Form (see above).

Should be complete for any lab worker who is at-risk. This form should NOT be stored in the lab safety notebook, but documentation of its completion should be retained.

This should be stored in the department confidential personnel records. Documentation of compliance with the Hepatitis B vaccination requirements should be retained in the Lab Safety Notebook.

Respirator Fit-test Records

See UVM Respiratory Protection Program.

All respirator users must be medically cleared, trained and fit-tested before wearing ANY TYPE of respirator (includes wearing an N95 disposable respirator for particulates).

Fit test document confirms that user has been fit tested and approved to wear a respirator. 

Training is documented online.


Required only for workers who have been medically cleared and trained to wear a respirator.

Retain a copy of the fit-test record in the lab safety notebook.

Fit tests should be conducted annually.

Retain through the tenure of the lab worker in the lab.

Archived records of former lab workers must be retained for 30 years past end of tenure.

Exposure Monitoring Results

Exposure monitoring may be completed whenever a researcher or Risk Management & Safety is concerned with exposures to hazardous materials. Monitoring may include testing for exposures to the following:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Benzene
  • Isoflurane
  • Dust
  • Pesticides
  • Other

Documentation of the personal or area monitoring should be retained in the lab safety notebook. Documentation should include the outcome of the sampling results.

DO NOT retain personal exposure monitoring results in the lab safety notebook; only the recommendations from that sampling.

Retain through the life of the lab.

Personal monitoring results may be retained in the department confidential personnel records.


The following documents are recommended to be kept in the lab safety notebook, but are not required.

Information and Forms for Reporting Accidents
Anonymous Reporting Using EthicPoint


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