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Minors in Laboratories

Principal Investigator responsibilities

The principal investigator (PI) has primary responsibility for the health and safety of all personnel, including minors, working in his/her laboratory and must ensure compliance with the following:

  1. Supervision:  Minors (anyone under 18 years of age) are required to be supervised at all times and are not permitted to be alone in the lab. The PI may delegate daily supervision of the minor to trained and knowledgeable lab personnel. However, the PI retains primary responsibility of ensuring such supervision is provided. Additionally, the PI is required to provide and enforce the correct use of appropriate laboratory engineering controls, work practices, and personal protective equipment.
  2. Training: Minors are required to complete general laboratory safety training and other lab-specific training as appropriate before beginning any lab work.
  3. Standard Operating Procedures: All lab work conducted by minors is required to be in compliance with SU Chemical Hygiene Plan requirements for standard operating procedures. Information on SOP prioritization and development is available through the Chemical Safety Toolkit.

Additional guidance

Please review the "Health & Safety Requirements for Minors in Laboratories at Stanford University" (see link below), a guidance document which describes:

  • Health and safety requirements for minors in laboratories
  • Restricted activities
  • Incident reporting procedure
  • Medical treatment procedures

Required documentation

Visit the faculty resources on the Education and STEM Outreach website for information on the administrative and documentation requirements for laboratory internships for minors. All documentation must be kept on file by the PI or in the PI's home department.

EH&S staff are available to respond to questions. Please feel free to contact  Russell Furr, Associate Vice Provost of EH&S (rfurr [at] (rfurr[at]stanford[dot]edu), (650) 721-2582) or Susan Vleck, Assistant Director of the Laboratory Safety Program (sevleck [at] (sevleck[at]stanford[dot]edu), (650) 724-7818).

Direct links to information referenced above