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Extended Closure of Research Laboratories

Extended closures of research laboratories can occur throughout the course of a year due to many instances (e.g. Christmas/Summer break, transfer of rooms, renovations, emergency/incident response, etc.).  Each time a lab is not in use for an extended period of time, the lab should be placed in "ramp down conditions" to ensure the health and safety of the Ontario Tech community.  In extraordinary circumstances the university may mandate a period of essential or critical research only on-campus.  In this case, unless the research is classified as essential or critical, the ramp-down procedures must be followed.  

Ramp Down Procedures

If decided that your research lab should go into ramp down conditions, researchers should:

  1. Stop Work: Cease all on-going active experiments so that the hazards will not present a danger.
  2. Communicate: Inform all Research Lab Personnel with access to the research lab that the ramp down procedures are being performed and not to report to the lab. 
  3. Take Action: Complete the Laboratory Ramp Down checklist.  
  4. Final Exit: Perform a final walkthrough of the lab. Ensure all personal belongings are collected before exiting your lab.  Once the door is closed, ensure it is locked and unable to open without a key/proxy card.
  5. Vacate: Leave campus immediately as safely as possible if an emergency is occurring.
  6. Follow-up: Follow-up with others to inform them of the closure status of your laboratory area(s):
    1. Other researchers of the lab off-campus at the time
    2. PBO and your Supervisor
    3. Health and Safety Officer
    4. Bio/Rad/X-Ray/Laser Permitted Labs: Biosafety and Radiation Safety Officer
    5. Animal Care/Human Ethics Approved Labs: Research Ethics Officer
  7. Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date on the current events and follow Ontario Tech recommendations through the Ontario Tech Website

Accessing Your Lab During a Mandated Ramp-Down 

Labs will not be accessible during a mandated ramp-down period unless the research is classified as essential.   “Essential” research are established consultatively between Researchers, Deans, the Vice-President of Research and Innovation.  Final approval of being classified as essential research is provided by Risk Management.  

Requesting to be Classified as Essential or Critical Research 

If your research should be exempted from a mandated request to perform the ramp-down procedures, please fill out and submit the Request to Initiate Critical Research and or Lab Activation Form.  The process for submission is as follows:

  1. Researcher to fill out form
  2. Researcher to submit form to Dean for review and signing
  3. Researcher to submit form to ORS for review and signing
  4. VPRI to submit completed and signed form to Risk Management, cc: Health and Safety, cc: ORS, cc: Principal Investigator
  5. Risk Management to give final approval conditions and coordinate required services indicated form.

Please contact if you have any questions.

Return To Normal Operations

Announcements on the return to normal operations will be emailed to the community and made on the Ontario Tech Website.  More information coming soon.  Please check back.