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Environmental Health and Safety
The University of Mississippi

Custodians in Hazardous Locations

Custodial Services are responsible for the cleanliness of the University facilities, including Offices, Classrooms, Meeting Rooms, Hallways and Restrooms. Other areas of the University usually require advanced technical training before personnel can fully understand and adequately protect themselves from the hazards within these areas. Since custodial staff are neither trained nor assigned to work in these areas, they will not provide unsupervised services in these areas. Laboratory personnel will be required to take care of their own housekeeping.

Specifically, custodians will provide no routine cleaning services within :

  • Laboratories,
  • Shops, Storage Rooms,
  • Areas designated by the Animal Care and Use Committee,
  • Other areas designated by the Superintendent of Custodial Services, the Fire Inspector, or the Research and Environmental Compliance Officer.

The following policy will protect the custodial staff while allowing for limited services to hazardous locations :

  1. No trash of any kind will be removed from inside any hazardous areas, including research laboratories, by custodial staff. If you wish to have your trash taken away, you must collect it from inside your lab and place it in a designated waste container just inside your lab door, or in an designated area outside your lab. Custodial Staff will specify collection areas for each lab or hazardous location.
  2. The waste cans to be used will be supplied. Waste cans containing trash from research labs will use trash liners of a distinguishing color to be supplied by the custodial staff.
  3. No glass bottles, i.e., solvent or empty chemical bottles, or sharps are to be placed in this trash. Broken glass must be placed in standard box containers. When these boxes are full, they must be sealed with tape and placed in the dumpster behind the building by the lab staff. See Disposal of Laboratory Glassware for specific instructions. Unbroken empty bottles are to be placed in the dumpster by lab staff. The custodians will not handle empty bottles.
  4. Sharps are to be collected in special containers designed for this purpose. Contact Shane Kesler for specifications and guidelines. Full containers will be collected by Laboratory Services.
  5. When custodial staff need access to a hazardous area for non-emergency cleaning (end of the semester, etc.) the Area Supervisor will :
    • provide continuous, Authorized Supervision while custodial personnel are in the area.
    • assure that all hazardous materials are capped, sealed and stored,
    • have all hazardous equipment powered down, and,
    • cease all hazardous operations.
  6. Established procedures for the disposal of Hazardous Materials (including waste solvents, solid chemicals, biohazards, radioactive materials, etc.) are not affected by this policy.