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Coronavirus: Get complete details about the university's response to COVID-19.

Environmental Health and Safety

Research & Laboratory Safety

We work to provide a safe research environment for all laboratory personnel, and to facilitate compliance with research safety regulations, standards and guidelines.

COVID-19 Research Safety Updates and Guidance

The health, safety and well-being of our community is a high priority. There are critical on-campus research activities that may continue to be performed during the UofSC closure due to COVID-19. Research labs should expect the following minor changes to our research safety services during this time:

  • Research Safety staff, while primarily working from home, will continue to monitor their email and provide guidance on lab safety and compliance issues. On-campus consultations will be provided upon request to promote safety and support critical on-campus research activities.
  • EH&S staff will respond to reported lab incidents, such as hazardous spills or exposures.  Report all lab incidents to UofSCPD (803) 777-4215.
  • Hazardous waste pickups for chemical, infectious and radioactive waste will continue. Schedules may be modified based on the amount of waste generated or a potential interruption of services from our waste vendors.
  • Research Safety training delivered online will continue as normal. Our classroom training will be suspended through the end of the spring semester. Some classroom training may be transitioned to online delivery and you can check our research safety training webpages for updates.
  • Lab safety inspections are suspended for labs that are not conducting on-campus research. We may conduct safety inspections in labs conducting critical on-campus research activities during the UofSC closure. Decisions to conduct lab safety inspections will be based on a risk assessment.
  • For labs that are shutting down non-essential operations based on their contingency plans, please review the Guidance for Suspending Lab Operations [doc], which includes a helpful shut-down checklist.
  • Please check each research safety program’s website for any other hazard-specific updates

Each laboratory has been advised to create continuity of operations plan for their research that meets their unique needs. The following recommendations can be used to facilitate development of this plan:

  • Limit on-campus research to essential activities according to university guidance
  • Review Guidance for Suspending Lab Operations [doc], which includes a helpful shut-down checklist
  • Review guidelines for essential personnel working in the lab during the closure
  • A significant percentage of your lab workforce may be out sick or unable to work
  • DLAR has issued guidance to all animal users, and this guidance must be followed
  • Orders for laboratory supplies may be delayed and you should plan for deliveries
  • Core facilities and fee-for-service resources may not be available
  • Repairs performed by Facilities or services provided by external vendors may be delayed
  • Laboratory and/or building access may be restricted more than during normal operations. Know contact number for access (i.e., building manager, USCPD, etc.)
  • Identify procedures and processes that require regular attention
  • Define personnel to safely perform essential activities
  • Ensure you have contact information for your critical lab personnel
  • Cross-train research staff to cover responsibilities of others that may be unable to work
  • Review contingency plans and emergency procedures with essential lab staff
  • Maintain an adequate inventory of critical supplies that may be impacted by shipping delays
  • Implement measures to prevent the spread of illness among your lab group
  • Stay home and do not come to work if you are sick or have symptoms of acute respiratory illness
  • Ensure adequate training for individuals performing critical tasks and contacts for questions
  • Avoid performing any high-risk procedures alone in the lab
  • Ensure high risk materials are properly secured (chemicals, biohazards, radioactive)
  • Post signage on outside door of your lab for any critical information regarding the current operations of your lab as described in your continuity of operations
  • Review Guidelines for Reopening Labs and Resuming Research Operations [doc]

All COVID-19 research projects using biohazardous materials must be approved by the Institutional Biosafety Committee prior to performing any experiments. Please notify the Biosafety Office (Sherika Smith or Mark Robbins) if you are planning to conduct any COVID-19 research using biological materials.

Biosafety Resources for COVID-19 Research:

UofSC Guidance

General Guidance

Disinfection/Decontamination Guidance


Note: To ship any COVID-19 research samples, you must have current shipping training. For questions regarding shipping training, email Sherika Smith.



Contact Research & Laboratory Safety

Contact Position/Role Email Office Phone  
Bryan Bagg Radiation Safety Officer  803-777-7530
Beth Bair Assistant Chemical Hygiene Officer  803-777-6457
Allen Boyd Health Physicist - Electronic Products 803-777-2841
Jeff Brannon Chemical Waste Manager 803-777-1935
David Estey Infectious Waste Management 803-422-2122
Jocelyn Locke Chemical Hygiene Officer   803-777-7650
Mark Robbins Research Safety Bureau Chief 803-777-4042
Jennifer Roose Assistant RSO - Radioactive Materials  803-576-6818
Sherika Smith Biological Safety Officer  803-777-1625

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.