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Policies & Procedures

Policies & Procedures of the Health Assessment Laboratory

This document must be reviewed and signed by all members who will be using the lab.

Lab Overview

The Health Assessment Laboratory (HAL) is housed in Riverview Suites. The facility covers one floor and consists of a large workspace, three large laboratory spaces, a small conference room, four examination r ng a Hologic Discovery DXA), a biosafety level-2 lab and two changing rooms. This laboratory is part of the Roy J. Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences. 

Lab Membership

The HAL is open to faculty and staff from any UMass Lowell department or college for any type of research and/or academic activity that does not violate policies outlined below. Lab membership is a privilege, not a right. Right to use the lab can be revoked at any time if any member of your group is not following protocol. 

Lab Fees

Fees may be charged for equipment use, a HAL facility fee, supplies and staff time. 

Lab Resources


The lab is available for use 24-hours/day, seven days/week. HAL management is available generally during working hours only (Monday through Friday, approximately 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.)  

Lab Management

At this time, all space, personnel and equipment is managed manually. Please complete a HAL PI Registration Form to request rooms and equipment and to register all faculty, staff and student who will be using the HAL. Access to all facilities (space, resources, equipment, etc.) is determined by the HAL management committee. All proposals for space will be granted per semester or annually depending on request. Priority will be given to individuals with secured internal or external funding.  please note that the HAL operates on a Aug. 15- May 31 year and a May 15- Aug. 15 summer. 
• Summer requests must be submitted by May 1
• Fall semester and annual semester requests must be submitted by Aug. 15
• Spring semester requests must be submitted by Dec. 15

Storage of Personal Belongings

You are responsible for all personal belongings you bring into the lab. The space is used by many people and will have study participant traffic. It is recommended that you do not bring anything valuable into the HAL. 


You are responsible for establishing a regular cleaning schedule with HAL management. If you have equipment that cannot be moved or touched you must be present when professionals are cleaning your space.  


Use of HAL rooms will be managed using HAL Outlook Shared Calendar. Once your application has been approved, you will be granted viewing access to the HAL calendar to help determine availability of rooms prior to requests. 


The equipment you use in the HAL, be it borrowed from the HAL, or equipment you bring in yourself for use in the HAL, is your responsibility. 

Dual X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) Policy

All investigators interested in using the DXA must apply for prior approval, by completing the HAL application form. All investigators, staff and students involved in the research project must have radiation training prior to beginning the study. A trained and certified radiologist from Lowell General Hospital is required to operate the DXA and review the data. The investigators are expected to cover the costs related to using and operating the DXA machine. However, investigators may apply for limited support in covering the costs of operating the DXA, if they meet the following criteria:
  • Pre-tenured faculty member of the Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences
  • Principal investigator
  • Does not have external research funding to support DXA measures
  • Provide a detailed research plan for consideration. The research plan will be reviewed by a committee to make recommendations to the Dean’s office. Additional support will not exceed 1 year.
  • Research plans will be evaluated on the following criteria:
  • Significance of the research question
  • Rigor of the research design and methodology
  • Feasibility of the research project
  • Potential to lead to future external funding

Teaching Activities

The College of Health Sciences welcomes the use of the HAL for teaching activities. Room and equipment requests for teaching must be made with HAL management following the timeline below: 
  • Summer requests must be submitted by May 1
  • Fall semester and annual semester requests must be submitted by Aug. 15
  • Spring semester requests must be submitted by December 15
However, HAL may not be used for office hours or for the advising of students. Riverview Suites Room 150 is a faculty lounge and that room should be utilized for office hours or advising.


Safety is a priority for all who enter the HAL. This pertains to all faculty, staff, students and study participants
For safety reasons, no lab member can work alone in the lab at any time. Since the lab runs 24/7, there may be occasions (e.g. evenings, weekends) when there are no other people working in the lab. If you plan to work during a time when the lab may be empty, please plan ahead and coordinate your work schedule with another lab member. 
Additionally, no undergraduate student is to be in the lab at any time unless under the supervision of his or her PI, another faculty member, a documented staff member, or documented graduate student. Enforcement of this policy is the responsibility of the PI. 
Lab members must behave in a safe, conscientious, and professional manner in all lab activities. Each individual is responsible for his/her own safety and security—AND the safety and security of his/her fellow lab members. Anyone found behaving irresponsibly with regard to safety will be disciplined. It is also the responsibility of each lab member to address any safety concerns you may have with fellow lab and staff members. The best response is to address the issue directly with the person concerned. If this is not practical, please contact the HAL manager at To report any potentially unsafe conditions or practices, or to offer suggestions for improving safety, contact HAL management at
A list if all HAL Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) can be found at the end of this document. Please be sure you are familiar with any training that may be required. 


For safety reasons, visitors/observers are not allowed in the lab.  


  • In a shared lab, everything each individual does can and will affect others, thus, it is everyone’s responsibility to minimize the impact of activities that can adversely affect others and contribute positively toward the good of the community. Remember, this is YOUR lab. 
  • Lab members are responsible for ensuring their work does not result in the contamination of equipment or lab ware which can harm the work of others. 
  • Effective communication is essential to success in the lab. Report equipment and process to When differences arise, make every attempt to communicate your needs early and respect those of others.
  • Clean up after yourself. 
  • With respect to lab members, HAL management reserves the right to address violations on a case-by-case basis and administer corrective or disciplinary actions as appropriate for the specific offense. Lab membership is a privilege which can be limited or revoked at any time. Circumstances such as the experience level or demonstrated repeated behaviors may be taken into account.


Standard Operating Procedures
Standard Operating Procedures that can be found in the Environmental and Emergency Management Environmental Health and Safety Biosafety Guide Located in the HAL manager office:
SOP BIO-001 Lab Glassware Use and Disposal
SOP BIO-002 Sharps Usage and Disposal
SOP BIO-003 Disposal of Solid Biohazardous Waste
SOP BIO-004 Decontamination of Liquid Biohazardous Waste
SOP BIO-005 Decontamination of Reusable Lab ware, Work Surfaces and Equipment
SOP BIO-006 Use of Autoclave for Sterilization of Materials and Biological Waste
SOP BIO-007 Cleaning Biological Spill inside the Centrifuge
SOP BIO-008 Cleaning and Decontamination of Small Spills in the Lab or BSC
SOP BIO-009 Cleaning Instruments and Materials Used for Handling Potentially Prion Infected Neural Tissue
SOP BIO-010 Use and Cleaning of the Biosafety Cabinet
SOP BIO-011 For Cleaning Blood and Spills
SOP BIO-012 Biosafety Level 2 Practices
HAL-Specific Standard Operating Procedures that can be found in the Environmental and Emergency Management
Environmental Health and Safety Biosafety Guide Located in the HAL manager office
SOP_HAL-1 Blood Collection
SOP_HAL-2 Blood Centrifugation & Separation
SOP_HAL-3 Sample Transport

Social Media Policy

The Roy J. Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences recognizes that all involved in health care have a moral, ethical and legal responsibility to maintain individual’s rights to privacy. HIPAA protects patient privacy by law and includes individually identifiable patient information in oral or recorded form where the information could identify an individual by name, medical condition, demographic data or other means. Students in the College of Health Sciences are expected to act with honesty, integrity and respect the privacy rights of others. All students in the College of Health Sciences are expected to meet their professional responsibilities when using social media and other electronic networks including but not limited to blogs, instant messaging, social networking sites, email, public media sites and photographs. This policy prohibits posting written material or photographs that identify patients, health care agencies, educational institutions or other students in clinical sites or patient related activities. This policy applies whether using university devices and computers or personal equipment. In addition, all College of Health Sciences students are required to abide by clinical policies related to the use of social media and technological resources. Failure to adhere to this policy may result in probation, suspension or dismissal from the College of Health Sciences and/or legal prosecution under the requirements of HIPAA.


All lab members will adhere to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, the federal law that addresses patient rights and ethics by mandating the confidentiality and privacy of patient information.