Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

General Guideline

Volunteers/Observers in Research Laboratories

Office of Environmental Health & Safety Revised
Effective May 1, 2013

Any person who is not an employee of TJU/TJUH and spends any time in a research lab must be registered and cleared through this process. Even if they are only here for a brief visit.

For more detailed information on TJU’s Policy on Volunteers in research laboratories, please refer to University Counsel and Policy #110.16 pertaining to volunteer/observers/external employee participants in research laboratories.

  1. Volunteers/observers must be at least 16 years old to be in a research laboratory.  This is TJU Policy.  Exceptions are not made for children of employees.

    For under 18 year olds parental permission must be secured via a parent signature on the Description of Work letter described in this document and a Consent to Treat form must be submitted.  The Consent to Treat form may be obtained through EHS or Occupational Health Network.
  2. If the volunteer/observer is a foreign national, s/he must first register with the Office of International Affairs (Room M-70, JAH);  please call (215) 503-4335 for more information.  This is lengthy process, so please start well in advance of your volunteer/observer’s arrival.
  3. ALL volunteers/observers to TJU/TJUH are subject to criminal record check.  This form can be obtained from HR or EH&S.
  4. ALL research lab volunteers/observers must register in the Office of Environmental Health & Safety.  Please call Theresa Wilson at 215-503-1296 to arrange an appointment (required).  Prior to having an appointment, a Description of Work letter must be submitted and reviewed; email is fine for this step.  A template/sample letter is attached.  Without an appointment, registration of the volunteer will not proceed.
  5. ALL research lab volunteers/observers are required to receive Lab Safety Training; when a volunteer is here long enough to attend a class, they will be registered automatically by EH&S.  The Volunteer and the Principle Investigator must also submit a signed copy of the Research Training for Volunteers documentation.  The volunteer must bring the signed copy to his/her appointment at EHS.  Without the signed copy, registration will not proceed.
  6. ALL research lab volunteers/observers must register at University Health Services after visiting EH&S.  Please call (5-6835) to arrange an appointment for your volunteer.  An immunization history form (obtained here:  Occupational Health Network, and choosing “volunteer services” on the right hand side) must be completed before this visit.  Incomplete or old forms will not be accepted at all and your volunteer will not be seen at OHN.  Immunization information must be in English!

    OHN does not administer any immunizations other than those that might be required in order to work in the lab (i.e., rabies, Hepatitis B, vaccinia, etc.).  They will not perform titers for missing immunizations.  They will however provide a list of locations where your volunteer can have titers performed.

    The Interferon-Gamma Release Assay test is required; OHN will no longer accept the old PPD placement tests.

Only after being cleared by ALL required Departments will your volunteer be issued an ID badge ($15) and be permitted to enter your laboratory.

If you have any questions regarding the information in this letter, please contact Theresa Wilson (3-1296) or