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Use the tabs below to access every day resources from the Office of Research Safety (ORS).

Have a Biosafety Cabinet (BSC) Certified

If your lab has purchased a new biosafety cabinet (BSC) or acquired one that has never been certified:

Ross Hall: Contact the Office of Resource Management at 202-994-4281 to schedule the certification. Please have the BSC information (vendor, serial number, etc.) handy. Everywhere else on campus: Contact our office at 202-994-8258 or [email protected]. Please have the BSC information (vendor, serial number, etc.) handy.


ORS uses ENV Services for the BSC's here at GW.

If your BSC has previously been certified and its certification has expired or will soon expire, please contact our office at 202-994-8258 or [email protected] to schedule a testing and re-certification.


Schedule a Biosafety Inspection

Annual Biosafety Inspections

The Office of Research Safety (ORS) performs *mandatory* inspections in all research laboratories during the summer. These inspections are used to evaluate the implementation of appropriate laboratory safety principles and practices, identify any deficiencies, and provide guidance to assist lab personnel to create a safer laboratory environment. Lab inspections also facilitate compliance with applicable research and laboratory safety regulations, standards and guidelines.

NOTE: The Biosafety inspection is different from the lab inspection conducted by EHS.

Resources for Inspections

The Biosafety inspection checklist is aligned with requirements described in Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL), the NIH recombinant DNA Guidelines and GW Biosafety Manual and policies. The inspection team will provide recommendations detailed information regarding containment requirements, GW policies, disinfectants, waste disposal procedures, training, etc.

Biosafety Inspection Checklist

Please use this checklist to ensure that your laboratory will be in compliance prior to your inspection: Inspection Checklist

Inspection Process

The inspection team utilizes document review, observation, and interactive dialog with the principal investigator and lab personnel present. All team members are encouraged to participate with questions or comments. ORS personnel will usually guide the inspection process utilizing the inspection checklist as a road map. The inspection begins with a review of the Lab Biosafety Manual Binder (containing lab-specific training, documentation of training, a copy of GW’s Biosafety Manual, approved IBC protocol paperwork, emergency contact details, spill cleaning procedures) and concludes with a review of any observed deficiencies.

Schedule Your Inspection

You may schedule your biosafety inspection by visiting the booking site here.

Inspection Follow Up

The ORS will send the principal investigator (PI) and lab contact person an email listing the deficiencies found and resources to aid in correction. Upon completion of the corrections, the principal investigator and/or lab contact person emails ORS. Personnel from ORS may revisit the lab to ensure compliance and answer any additional questions. Upon successful completion of all outstanding items, the PI will receive an email confirming the inspection is complete.

Dispose of Lab Equipment

In order to properly dispose of laboratory equipment that has been used to house and/or work with biohazardous or potentially-biohazardous materials, there are a few things you will need to do:

Laboratory and Equipment Decontamination 

All equipment used to handle or store biological agents or located in a biological laboratory (ex. freezers, incubators, centrifuges, etc.) that needs to be relocated, sent out for repair/service or to be discarded must be decontaminated with bleach or another EPA-registered disinfectant, followed by 70% ethanol (v/v, diluted in water) according to the following guidelines.

Decontamination Guidelines

Put on appropriate personal protective equipment. At a minimum, gloves and safety glasses should be worn. Spray an EPA-registered disinfectant on the equipment. In most cases, a freshly prepared 1:10 bleach solution should be used to disinfect biological agents. Allow disinfectant to remain on the equipment for the appropriate contact time (30 minutes). Completely remove (by wiping with a towel) the disinfectant from the equipment.


If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at 202-994-8258 or [email protected].

Important Notes

The Radiation Safety Office must clear any equipment in laboratories using radioactive materials and prior to decontamination by laboratory personnel. Radiation Safety can be reached at 202-994-2630. Biological Safety Cabinets – Laboratory personnel are NOT permitted to perform or certify the decontamination of a biological safety cabinet that is being moved. A certified vendor must be contacted to conduct the decontamination process and certify the unit prior to moving. Equipment that is NOT in a laboratory setting does not require decontamination. Once decontaminated by laboratory personnel and a signed certification form is affixed, the laboratory equipment may NOT be used. The Office of Research Safety should be contacted concerning equipment that requires moving from laboratories or research spaces.
  • Spray the equipment with 70% ethanol or 70% isopropanol (v/v, diluted in water).
  • Print out a “Decontamination Certification” form. Sign, date, and affix the form to the equipment.
  • It is the responsibility of the principal investigator or designated contact to sign the form and affix one form to each piece of equipment and contact facilities to remove the equipment.
  • The Office of Research Safety is required to tag equipment that has been used or stored in a laboratory after laboratory personnel have performed the above stated decontamination and certification steps. Once this is done, please contact facilities for disposal.


Close Out My Lab

The principal investigator (PI) is responsible for leaving laboratories in proper condition for re-occupancy or renovation. The PI is also responsible for ensuring the disinfection of equipmennt and counters, movement of equipment from the lab for surplus, repair, or relocation, and disposal of chemical, biological, and radioactive waste materials prior to vacting the space. Departments are responsible for ensuring all principal investigators follow these guidelines. Items left behind by vacating Investigators will become the responsibility of the Department. Laboratory space cannot be re-occupied nor renovation work started until the space has been inspected and cleared by the Office of Research Safety (ORS). It is recommended that research activities cease one to two weeks prior to transition in order to provide adequate time for preparation and execution of lab close out.