Who Does What

Questions often arise about which department can provide assistance for various safety-related topics. The table below should help determine whom to contact when you need assistance. Click on the contact link for additional information.

Topic Who Contacts Details
General Information Provides the Essential Guide? A glossy, hard copy of the Essential Guide is available for PIs and Safety Designates inside the lab.  All other University faculty, staff, and students may download the document from the Research Safety website.
Emergencies Handles natural gas leaks? According to University Police you should: evacuate the room or area leaving doors open as you leave; assist with the evacuation of others from the area and extinguish all sources of open flames if you can do so without endangering your safety or impeding your escape; move to a safe location and call 911 from a University phone to report the location of the natural gas leak; remain nearby to assist responders;  only reenter the area after UP announce it is safe to do so.  Please contact UP and Facilities for additional assistance.
Laboratory Equipment Disposal Disposes of lab equipment?
AS/Research Safety
After properly cleaning the equipment, submit a Laboratory Equipment Disposal Request (see Hazardous Waste Pick Up Request).  Please be aware that disposal of capital equipment must follow Accounting Services guidelines
Laboratory Equipment Disposal Disposes of laboratory refrigerators or freezers? After properly cleaning the refrigerator or freezer and defacing all hazard signs, submit a Laboratory Equipment Disposal Request (see Hazardous Waste Pickup Request). 
Animals Helps with animal purchasing? All animals used under ACUC-approved protocols must be ordered through the CCM procurement office.
Biological Safety Cabinets Tests and certifies biological safety cabinets? All biological safety cabinets are tested annually by Salus, a contractor hired by Research Safety.   If your BSC is new, has been moved, recently repaired, reconfigured, or is due for an annual inspection, contact Research Safety. Cabinets used at Biosafety Level 2 or above must be certified.
Chemical Fume Hoods Tests chemical fume hoods? All chemical fume hoods are tested annually by Salus, a contractor hired by Research Safety. If your hood is new, has been moved, recently repaired, reconfigured, or is due for an annual inspection, contact Research Safety.
Emergency Showers/Emergency Eyewashes Installs faucet or deck-mounted emergency eyewashes? All code-required plumbing purchases and installations are performed by Facilities.
Repairs Can paint walls? Facilities All painting of University space is done by Facilities.
Safety and Security Receives complaints about safety or environmental issues? Always seek resolution by discussing these concerns with your supervisor and/or department head. If the issues are not addressed, you may file a complaint through EthicsPoint. 
Animals Provides training for animal users? An individual must complete online and facility animal training, be enrolled in the NU Occupational Health Program, and have been added to the protocol as approved personnel. Contact the CCM Quality and Training Office (3-2758) to schedule training for individuals who will work with animals.
Safety and Security Handles communication for campus wide incidents? Announcements and instructions concerning a campus wide event will be provided by public address systems, reverse calling, webpage notices, texts, or combinations of all of these methods.  Please ensure that your contact information is up-to-date inside FASIS or CAESAR.
Renovations Installs shelves inside a lab? Contact Facilities Management for the installation of shelving that will be affixed to University property.  Any modifications made to University infrastructure must be performed by Facilities.
Waste Disposal Provides biohazard bags? Contact Fisher for pricing information.
Biological Safety Cabinets Installs the gas line to biological safety cabinets? Contact Facilities for any modification to utility lines.
Air Quality Assists with indoor air quality issues? Facilities Contact Facilities for assistance with concerns about air quality inside University offices and labs.
Emergency Showers/Emergency Eyewashes Fixes faucet or deck-mounted emergency eyewashes? Contact Facilities for repairs of permanently-installed inoperable or leaking eyewashes.
Fire Extinguishers Assists with determining the type of fire extinguisher required inside the lab? Contact the fire safety experts at Risk Management to determine the type of fire extinguishers appropriate for your laboratory. Laboratories typically require a Class ABC or Class BC extinguisher. Labs that use flammable metals require a Class D extinguisher. Be prepared to notify RM of the types of hazards present within your lab.
Laboratory Services Provides liquid nitrogen, alcohol, and dry ice? Contact University Services for ordering lab gases, alcohol, and dry ice on both campuses. Visit the Laboratory Services website for more information. 
Emergency Showers/Emergency Eyewashes Tests emergency showers? Emergency shower testing involves turning on the shower. This requires special equipment to contain the water. Facilities Management tests emergency showers annually. Showers inside of laboratories may not be on Facilities' inventory. Verify that your shower has a tag with a test date. If it does not, or if the test date is older than one year, contact Facilities.
Compressed Gases Disposes of non-University gas cylinders? First contact the manufacturer or supplier where you obtained the cylinder to see if it may be returned. If not, contact Research Safety prior to submitting a Hazardous Waste Pickup Request in Lumen.
Controlled Substances Disposes of controlled substances not purchased through CCM?
Vendor/ Reverse Distributor
First contact the vendor where the substance was purchased. If they are unable to take the substance back, contact a Reverse Distributor company.  Pharma Logistics is one of the country's leading reverse distributors. Please visit their link for additional information:  http://www.pharmalogistics.com/
Waste Disposal Provides broken glass containers? Fisher stockroom supplies these boxes as part of the Research Safety-provided products.
Fire Extinguishers Tests laboratory fire extinguishers? Facilities arranges for annual testing of all fire extinguishers. This testing is indicated by an inspection tag placed on the extinguisher. Submit a work order request if your extinguisher certification date is older than one year, if the pressure gauge is low, or the extinguisher has been discharged.
Repairs Changes the filters in ceiling registers? Facilities can change these filters in the lab.
Repairs Changes HEPA filters? Facilities Facilities can change these filters in the lab.
Odors Responds to vehicle exhaust entering the lab? Facilities may be able to determine the source of the exhaust entering the lab. This may be a temporary inconvenience because of construction work being done in the area or from work vehicles idling at the loading dock near intakes that enter the laboratory.
Repairs Repairs faucets, sinks, lights, floors, fume hoods, cabinets, electrical, ceiling tiles, and windows? Facilities must be contacted for repairs of these items.
Fire Extinguishers Provides fire extinguishers required inside the lab? Facilities purchases and mounts required fire extinguishers. Additional or extra fire extinguishers not permanently installed or recommended by RM are provided at the expense of the laboratory or department.
Fire Extinguishers Mounts laboratory fire extinguishers? Facilities will mount your laboratory fire extinguisher under a work order.
Waste Disposal Disposes of mercury bulbs? Research Safety For mercury bulbs, submit a Hazardous Waste Pickup Request in Lumen. See also the Research Safety Purple Guide.
Waste Disposal Disposes of light bulbs? For UV light bulbs from lab equipment, submit a Hazardous Waste Pickup Request in Lumen. For fluorescent ceiling bulbs, contact Facilities. Lab workers should never remove or replace University fixtures.
Glove Box Installs a glove box inside a lab? Glove boxes are used when the toxicity, radioactivity level, or oxygen reactivity of the substances under study pose hazards that are too great for use within a fume hood. The major advantage of the glove box is protection for the worker and the product. Please contact Facilities regarding installation that will require connections to University property.
Medical Assistance Provides occupational medical assistance when OMEGA is closed?
Go to the Northshore University Health Systems Emergency Room. Contact the Claims Manager at 1-5582 to report all work-related medical visits.
Visitors and Volunteers Is responsible for lab visitor and volunteer safety training?
If lab visitors or volunteers work directly with hazardous materials, hazardous processes, or in hazardous environments without a University attendant or direct physical supervision they must complete safety training. Research Safety provides general laboratory safety training.  In addition, supervisors must conduct lab-specific safety training.  Please see the Laboratory Visitor and Volunteer information on the Research Safety website.
Controlled Substances Disposes of empty vials that contained controlled substances?
If the empty vials were ordered from CCM, return them to CCM along with a log showing the usage. For empty vials ordered from an outside vendor, contact the vendor or a reverse distributor for disposal options.
Noise Evaluates workplace noise? If you find it hard to concentrate on assignments or daily tasks because of noise in your work environment, please contact Risk Management who will help locate a contractor who is qualified to conduct appropriate sound sampling and abatement.
Fire Extinguishers Recharges laboratory fire extinguishers? If your fire extinguisher has been used, contact Facilities to get it recharged.
Fire Extinguishers Trains on fire extinguisher use? In the Spring and Summer, Risk Management offers hour-long, interactive fire extinguisher training. Trainings are conducted upon request from your department and are held at the Evanston campus lakefill firepit.
Emergencies Cleans blood spills?
Individuals who have successfully completed Bloodborne Pathogens training can clean up blood spills.
Internal Moves Moves laboratory equipment and furniture? Internal moves and general setup services on the Evanston campus must be coordinated through Facilities Management at 847-491-5201. Internal moves and general setup services on the Chicago campus are coordinated through Support Services at 312-503-8129. View the following website for more information: http://www.northwestern.edu/uservices/mail/moving/index.html
Repairs Cleans up water leaks? Lab workers are able to clean up and attempt to contain small water leaks until Facilities can be contacted to repair the source of the leak.
Decontamination Cleans a moldy refrigerator? Lab workers are qualified to clean the refrigerator using a mild solution of bleach and water, soap and water, or vinegar and baking soda for small-scale cleaning. Labs should contact Research Safety for assistance in finding a contractor for large-scale jobs.
Chemical Spills Cleans up chemical spills? Lab workers are qualified to clean up spills that are incidental. Contact 911 from a University phone for major spills that involve fire, explosions, or medical emergencies. Contact 456 from a University phone to request assistance from Research Safety in cleaning all other chemical spills.  A Research Safety Incident Report form must be completed within 5 business days for each emergency incident involving laboratories.  Please ensure that all workers who work with chemicals have completed all required safety training.
Repairs, Renovations, and Custodial Services Responds to mold problems? Lab workers are trained to handle cleanup of lab appliances. For mold in cold rooms, contact Research Safety who will contact a qualified vendor. The lab should be prepared to compensate the vendor for cleanup.
Incidents Is notified about laboratory accidents? Lab workers should contact their supervisors before contacting Research Safety concerning accidents. For work- related injuries inside or outside of the lab, contact your supervisor who will notify RM.
Personal Protective Equipment Provides masks or respirators? LAB Labs are responsible for providing all faculty, staff, and students with the PPE required to conduct their research safely. Please consult Research Safety BEFORE purchasing any respirator. OSHAs Respiratory Protection Standard requires training, physician's approval, and fit testing BEFORE an employee may be allowed to wear a respirator for duty.
Emergency Showers/Emergency Eyewashes Tests faucet or deck-mounted emergency eyewashes?
Labs are responsible for testing their own faucet or deck- mounted emergency eyewashes on a monthly basis and maintaining a log. Monthly testing ensures eyewashes are working properly and flushes sediments out of the system. Research Safety has provided an Eyewash Inspection Record on our website for maintaining a log.
Shipping Ships hazardous materials or dangerous goods? Labs shipping biological materials must designate a shipper who must complete training through Research Safety.  Only trained personnel are allowed to ship biological materials with or without dry ice from the University.  Chemicals and radioactive materials must be shipped through Research Safety by submitting an Intent to Ship form through Lumen.
Waste Disposal Disposes of alkaline/lithium/NiCad batteries? Labs should submit a Hazardous Waste Pickup Request in Lumen and Research Safety will handle disposal. See also the Research Safety Purple Guide.
Safety and Security Handles hazardous situations involving employees? Leave the area immediately and notify University Police if you feel you are in a volatile or hazardous environment.
Waste Disposal Disposes of non-contaminated broken glass? Non-contaminated broken glass can be disposed of in a broken glass box.  Once filled and sealed they can be disposed of by Custodial Services.  Label as “Non-contaminated Glass”.
Compressed Gases Secures compressed gas cylinders inside the lab? On the Chicago campus, cylinders must be mounted to the wall.  For wall attached cylinders contact Facilities. On the Evanston campus, the PI is responsible for obtaining a stand or mounting equipment. These can be ordered from an appropriate vendor. 
Cryogenic Liquids Provides liquid helium or liquid nitrogen to labs? PP/Cryogenics Facility On the Chicago campus, University Services Laboratory Services provides liquid nitrogen. Visit the Procurement and Payment Services website: http://nugastanks.com/. On the Evanston campus, the Cryogenics Facility provides cryogenic liquids.
Exposure Montioring Conducts exposure monitoring? Research Safety Research Safety has air monitoring equipment that can help assess your exposure to hazardous chemicals used inside a lab. Research Safety will work with you to employ the proper engineering controls, safe work practices, and PPE to limit exposure levels.
Personal Protective Equipment Provides protective gloves? Research Safety provides a pair of reusable, chemical-resistant, neoprene gloves to each graduate student.  Labs are responsible for providing all faculty, staff, and students with the additional PPE required to conduct their research safely.
Personal Protective Equipment Provides safety glasses, goggles, or face shields?
Research Safety provides a pair of safety glasses to each graduate student. Labs are responsible for providing all faculty, staff, and students with the additional PPE required to conduct their research safely.
Personal Protective Equipment Provides lab coats? Research Safety provides a white cotton lab coat to each Chicago campus graduate student. Evanston campus graduate students each receive a blue fire-rated cotton lab coat.  Labs are responsible for providing all faculty, staff, and students with the additional PPE required to conduct their research safely.
Training Provides safety training? Research Safety provides general, regulatory-required safety training.  Lab Workers can review their training requirements in Lumen.  PIs and Safety Designates can manage their lab workers' training requirements in Lumen as well.  PIs and Safety Designates must also conduct lab-specific safety training.  PI's are responsible for ensuring that lab workers complete their safety training. 
Signage Provides safety and warning signs for laboratory doors? Research Safety provides safety and warning signs for laboratory doors. Signage is based on your research activities. Labs are responsible for keeping signs current and replacing signs when Facilities paints corridors, refinishes, or replaces laboratory doors. Contact Research Safety before posting additional signs to your laboratory door.
Certifications Certifies safety compliance for research grants? Research Safety provides signed safety certifications to faculty, staff, and students from labs in good standing.  
Odors Responds to chemical nuisance odors? Research Safety will come to your lab for known odors from a chemical spill. Otherwise, Facilities may attempt to locate the source of the problem. Common odor problems may be related to work being done in the immediate area or sewer gas passing through dried up sink traps.  Before contacting Research Safety please attempt to locate the source of the odor and run water in all laboratory sinks.
Controlled Substances Disposes of controlled substances purchased through CCM? Research Safety will not collect controlled substances as part of our hazardous chemical waste disposal program. Any vials found in a large collection will be returned to the laboratory. CCM will coordinate the disposal of empty and expired bottles of controlled substances from those distributed to PIs under CCM registered licenses. Please contact the CCM for additional information on disposing unused or expired controlled substances.
Safety and Security Provides emergency telephone labels? Research Safety will provide you with a purple, emergency and non-emergency contact information telephone label.
Waste Disposal Disposes of sharps? For example, plastic pipettes, tips, razor blades, needles, etc. Place chemically-contaminated sharps in a puncture-resistant, sealable container. When these containers are nearing full, submit a Hazardous Waste Pickup Request. Place biological sharps in the red, puncture-resistant, biohazard sharps containers. When nearing full, drop off at a Biological Waste Drop-Off Location.
Safety and Security Responds to a bomb threat? Please call University Police immediately if you suspect a bomb threat.
Safety and Security Handles a suspicious package? Please contact University Police if you notice a suspicious package. Do not attempt to open the package or determine the contents without a qualified professional.
Waste Disposal Disposes of radioactive, chemical, and biological waste? For chemical or radioactive waste, submit a Hazardous Waste Pickup Request in Lumen. For biological waste, collect non-sharps waste in double red/orange autoclave bags. When nearing full, drop off at a Biological waste drop off locations. See also the Research Safety Purple Guide.
Renovations Handles concerns regarding asbestos? Questions and concerns regarding university building materials should be directed to Facilities.
Repairs Fixes ventilation problems inside the lab? Research laboratories are constructed to create specific pressure gradients that circulate the airflow and ensure that lab workers are in a safe environment. Please contact Facilities if you feel you have ventilation problems in your lab.
Ergonomics Consults with labs about ergonomics? Risk Management can assist in determining appropriate techniques, furniture, etc. to establish a hazard free and safe working environment. The costs of any improvements are the responsibility of the employee’s department.
Fire Safety Coordinates fire drills? Risk Management coordinates fire drills.
General Information Provides the Employee Safety Handbook? Risk Management focuses on employment safety and loss prevention. You may obtain a copy of the Employee Safety Handbook on their website.
Medical Assistance Negotiates the contracts with Corporate Health (Chicago) and OMEGA (Evanston)? Risk Management negotiates the contracts with Corporate Health and Omega.
Emergency Showers/Emergency Eyewashes Tests emergency shower/integrated eyewashes? Some emergency showers, usually the pole-mounted types, have integrated eyewash fountains that drain through a pipe beneath the bowl. The drain pipe is usually not connected to a drain and the water will run across the floor. Facilities can test the shower and integrated eyewash for you. Showers with integrated eyewashes inside of laboratories may not be on Facilities inventory. Verify that your shower/eyewash has a tag with a test date. If it does not, or if the test date is older than one year, contact Facilities. NOTE: Selected safety showers are also connected to alarms that notify Facilities when they are in use.
Waste Disposal Disposes of contaminated broken glass? Submit a Hazardous Waste Pickup Request. See also the Research Safety Purple Guide.
Controlled Substances Provides controlled substances for animal use? The Center for Comparative Medicine distributes controlled substances only to PIs that have approved protocols and are using controlled substances in animals. CCM only distributes a limited number of controlled substance drugs (i.e. common anesthetics and analgesics). PIs conducting research with controlled substances beyond the scope of CCM must register and maintain their own research licenses to order controlled substances.  State and federal licenses are required.  State: http://www.idfpr.com/profs/ContSub.asp Federal: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drugreg/index.html
Safety Data Sheets Maintains Safety Data Sheets for the lab? LAB The lab is responsible for maintaining SDSs.
Chemical Fume Hoods Fixes chemical fume hoods? The lab should contact Facilities directly by phone, email or through Facilities' website to report any malfunctions (sudden loss in air velocity, hood alarms, replacement light bulbs, or missing/broken sashes, etc.)
Chemical Inventory Maintains the chemical inventory for a lab? LAB The laboratory chemical inventory should be submitted inside of NSIS
Waste Disposal Provides supplies for hazardous waste disposal? The list of items that Research Safety provides in addition to those items available for purchase from Fisher are listed in the Safety Supplies Catalog.
Emergencies Announces the all-clear authorization following an evacuation or drill?
The local fire department or University Police are responsible for announcing the all clear authorization following an evacuation. They may consult with other University service departments on safety related matters prior to allowing occupants back into the building.
Employee Medical Testing Provides medical screening or vaccinations required for employment or regular job duties?
The PI or supervisor bears responsibility for ensuring that all personnel in the laboratory have required medical tests or vaccinations before commencing work in the laboratory.  The PI also bears responsibility for paying for such testing services.  The University has relationships with occupational health providers whose services may be contracted.  Please visit the Risk Management website for more information about these health providers.  Chicago Campus information. Evanston Campus information.
Compressed Gases Provides compressed gas cylinders filled with laboratory gases (e.g., oxygen or hydrogen) inside the University? The preferred method to order compressed gases is through Procurement and Payment Services. Visit the Procurement and Payment Services Lab Gases website: http://nugastanks.com/ 
Visitors and Volunteers Is responsible for the safety of visitors and volunteers inside of labs?
The University employee responsible for the visitor or volunteer is also responsible for their safety while at the University.  Please see the Laboratory Visitor and Volunteer information on the Research Safety website.
Noise Handles building vibration or other construction related problems? These may be common disturbances related to normal operating procedures of a construction crew. If there is a prolonged interruption to your daily activities, please contact Facilities Management for assistance.
Compressed Gases Disposes of compressed gas cylinders obtained from the University? To remove compressed gases, visit the Procurement and Payment Services website: http://nugastanks.com/
Lab Coat Cleaning Cleans lab coats? Procurement and Payment Services provides lab coat cleaning services.  A description of services and the nearest drop location is available on the Procurement and Payment Services website.


The Office for Research Safety offers free lab coat laundry services to the Evanston Campus. Bring your lab coat to the Research Safety Evanston office to exchange it for a clean lab coat.

Office Equipment Disposal Disposes of computers and peripherals? View NUIT’s policy on disposing of computer equipment.  Then, visit the University Services website for their Faculty and Staff eCycling program.
Office Equipment Disposal Disposes of electrical equipment, power supplies, etc? View NUIT’s policy on disposing of computer equipment.  Then, visit the University Services website for their Faculty and Staff eCycling program.
Safety and Security Responds to theft of personal property/University property? When on campus, from a University phone, call 911 to report an emergency, and 456 to report a non-emergency. When off campus, report a non-emergency by calling 312-503-3456 on the Chicago campus and 847-491-3456 on the Evanston campus.
Certifications Signs Material Transfer Agreements? When patented resources are transported in or out of the University, Material Transfer Agreements (MTA’s) are implemented. Signatures are mandatory from the providers and recipient institution to confirm that each participant obeys the terms of the procedure. The Office of Sponsored Research regulates these transfers.
Chemical Fume Hoods Fixes chemical fume hood with a "DO NOT USE" sign on it? When Salus, the chemical fume hood testing contractor hired by Research Safety, tags a hood with a DO NOT USE sign, they notify Research Safety. Research Safety will then submit a work order request to Facilities. You may contact Facilities or Research Safety to determine the current repair status.
Incidents Receives incident reports? Within five (5) business days of a work-related incident, submit an Incident Report to Research Safety. Download a copy of the Incident Report here Risk Management requires their own report for any work-related injury.

Center for Comparative Medicine

  • Searle Medical Research Building, Ste. 14-452, 320 E. Superior Street, Chicago, IL 60611


Fisher Stockroom

  • Evanston campus: Technological Institute 2145 Sheridan Road, Room KG-48
    • Phone: 1-8621
  • Chicago campus: Searle Medical Research Building 320 E. Superior Street, Room B-652
    • Phone: 3-7520

Information Technology

Research Safety

Office of Risk Management

Procurement and Payment Services

University Police

  • Evanston campus: 1201 Davis Street., Evanston, IL 60208-1320
    • Phone: 847-491-3456
    • Fax: 847-491-4931
  • Chicago campus: 211 E. Superior St., Chicago, IL 60611-3153
    • Phone: 847-503-3456
    • Fax: 312-503-2101
  • Website: http://www.northwestern.edu/up/