Facilities, Equipment and Laboratory Apparatus

Laboratory work can vary widely including the types of materials, processes, and equipment involved. This page helps faculty members, laboratory managers, supervisors, and laboratory directors understand how to manage and ensure the facilities, equipment, and apparatus required are used and maintained in a manner that minimizes risks to those who use them. Select a topic below for more information.

Definitions and Responsibilities



Machinery or devices that require infrastructure change to accommodate its use. Examples of infrastructure change include:

  • Secured to flooring by bolting or welding to building roofs, walls, floors, or suspended from ceilings
  • Cutting holes through roofs, walls, floors, or ceilings
  • Requires the extension of electrical or mechanical services for its operation
  • A power supply in excess of 5 kW 120/208 V single phase or 20 kW at 600 V three phase
  • Door frames, ceilings, floors or walls, must be modified to bring the equipment in

Items with the following characteristics also require infrastructure change and are considered equipment:

  • Has a gross weight of over 100 lbs per square foot when floor or roof mounted
  • Has a gross weight of over 200 lbs when wall mounted
  • Has a gross weight of over 10 lbs per square foot when suspended from the ceiling
  • Will create vibration or nuisance noise during its use

Laboratory apparatus:

Specialized devices or instruments that do not require infrastructure change to accommodate its use. Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Autoclaves
  • Centrifuges
  • Heating baths
  • Rotary evaporators
  • Solvent stills
  • Thermometers

Laboratory facility:

Building infrastructure and items that are fixed in place. Examples include:

  • Eyewash and emergency showers

  • Fume hoods

  • HVAC systems
  • Water and electrical services
  • Fire extinguishers