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Minors in the Lab

safety logoSupervision: never leave 'em alone.
Training: Basic Training, plus in what you do in your lab.
Stick to standard procedures which have been well worked out.

Protection of Minors Involved in Stanford Programs and Activities - this one is important!


TO: Stanford Principal Investigators, University Safety Partners, and Summer Programs for Minors
FROM: Lawrence Gibbs, Associate Vice Provost for Environmental Health and Safety
SUBJECT: Health and Safety Requirements for Minors in Stanford Laboratories

With numerous Stanford programs for minors being planned for the summer, this letter is a reminder to principal investigators, University Safety Partners, and summer program coordinators about the health and safety requirements for minors participating in research or working in Stanford University laboratories. Minors are defined as persons under 18 years of age.


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 elements:

1. Supervision: Minors 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 to ensure 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.


Please review online or the enclosed Health & Safety Requirements for Minors in Laboratories at Stanford University, a guidance document which describes: - Health and safety requirements for minors in laboratories - Restricted activities - Incident reporting procedures - Medical treatment procedures


Visit the faculty resources on the Office of Science 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 on this matter. Please feel free to contact Larry Gibbs, Associate Vice Provost for EH&S (, 650.723.7403) or Ling Sue Teng, Assistant Director of EH&S for Occupational Health & Safety Programs (, 650.725.3209)

Direct Links to Information Referenced Above:

Stanford University Programs for Minors
STARS: Chemical Safety for Laboratories : EHS-1900
Creating SOPs 
Health & Safety Requirements for Minors in Laboratories at Stanford University
Office of Science Outreach Faculty Resources