Labs: Risk Management - Northwestern University

See the Laboratory Security section of the Employee Safety Handbook for lab safety tips. Report hazardous material spills or leaks to the Office for Research Safety.

Volunteer and Visitor Lab Use

As a leading research university, Northwestern University enjoys various kinds of resources to which persons who are not members of the University community seek access. Insofar as possible, and consistent with the University's primary responsibility to its students, faculty, and staff, the University makes such resources available to qualified members of the local community (many of whom, such as students from other institutions, serve as volunteers or interns in University facilities) as well as researchers from the larger national and international academic communities.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act employers must pay employees for all work that is being performed. There is an exemption from the pay requirement for interns that involve several factors. The factors include:

If all factors are met, the individual will be considered an intern and not an employee under the Department of Labor's standards, which may change from time to time.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act employers must pay employees for all work that is being performed. There is an exemption from the pay requirement for volunteers at a nonprofit institution. The factors include:

The agreement covers situations in which persons who are not formally associated with the University visit Northwestern laboratories and/or participate in activities there. Volunteers and visitors are defined as persons who have no formal affiliation with the University such as formal faculty, staff, research, or visiting scholar appointments or who are not enrolled in a formal degree or non-degree program sponsored by the University. Non-degree programs include the National High School Institute, the Center for Talent Development and the College Preparatory Program.

The agreement form must be completed before a volunteer or visitor has access to laboratory facilities and equipment. Department should retain the original and fax one copy to the Office of Risk Management at 847-467-7475.


Lab Injury Protocol

Hang this up in your lab for a quick reference guide on what to do if someone gets injured.