Revised on
03/13/18 02:13pm

Transporting Hazardous Materials through Public Spaces

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This page provides guidance regarding use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when transporting hazardous materials (e.g., chemical, radiological, or biological) between labs within a building. Be mindful that others, including campus visitors, may view laboratory PPE as contaminated or soiled.
PPE must not be worn in public, non-lab areas (e.g., break rooms, lobbies, and administrative offices).

Contaminated PPE (e.g., lab coats, gloves, eye protection) must never be worn outside of the work area.


Transporting hazardous materials


Lab coats and gloves (even clean ones) are prohibited outside of the lab, except when transporting hazardous materials. Even then, PPE is solely for the purpose of dealing with a potential spill during transport.

  • Hazardous materials must be transported in a secondary container. Conduct a risk assessment to determine the appropriate type of secondary container.
  • Prior to transporting biohazardous materials, the exterior of the container must be decontaminated (i.e., safe to touch with an ungloved hand). Contact biosafety@ucdavis.edu with questions regarding decontamination.
  • If a glove is required for transport
    1. Doff gloves contaminated with hazardous materials
    2.  Wash and dry hands
    3. Place one clean glove on the hand that will carry the hazardous material (in secondary containment).
    4. Keep one hand ungloved to touch surfaces (e.g. doorknobs, elevator buttons).
  • Safety goggles should be worn when there is a splash risk.

Please Note: With few exceptions, gas cylinders shouldn’t be handled with chemically resistant gloves. Contact chem-safety@ucdavis.edu with questions.


Elevators and transporting hazardous materials


When moving between floors, use a freight elevator whenever possible. If a freight elevator is not available, do not transport materials in an elevator that is already occupied by others. If people attempt to enter the elevator, inform them that you are carrying hazardous materials and that they should take the next one available.
Please Note: Never transport more than 1 liter of cryogenic materials in an elevator. Contact chem-safety@ucdavis.edu with questions.