Unattended Experiment Form

December 2020

Some experiments need to take place over an extended period of time. During this time, the experiment may need to be left running while unattended. In this case, an “Unattended Experiment Form” should be completed and posted near the experiment.

The Unattended Experiment Form serves two purposes. First, it prompts the researcher to think about what can go wrong and take appropriate actions in preventing issues such as fires, over pressurization, over temperature, flooding, chemical leaks, odors, and fumes. Second, the form gives important information that can be used by emergency responders in the event that there is an emergency.

Use of equipment such as hot plates, tube furnaces, box furnaces, Schlenk Lines, Rotovaps, and condenser coils are examples. It is not necessary to use this form for low hazard activities such as coin cell testing, glassware oven drying, or electronic monitoring.


1.     Place a copy of signed form on hood sash or visible location near experiment.

2.     Obtain Principal Investigator (PI) approval PRIOR to performing unattended work.

3.     “Unattended Work” is performed after regular business hours (7:00 am to 6:00 pm), during weekends, and holidays when no research personnel are present in the lab area.

4.     Only experiments that are considered completely safe may be left unattended:

    1. a.     All heating apparatus must be equipped with a temperature controller.
    2. b.     All water tubing must be checked and secured with clamps. Ensure drains are free of obstructions and will not overflow.
    3. c.     Vacuum and compressed gases must be properly set-up.
    4. d.     Flow rates must be controlled to prevent overflow.
    5. 5.     Once the experiment is complete, remove the form from the experiment.
    6. 6.     Report any issues encountered to the PI for follow-up. 
    7. 7.     This form does not need to be retained after the work is completed.

Copies of the form are available on the safety label supply bulletin boards in Buildings 62 and 70. It can also be accessed on the ETA Safety website: https://eta-safety.lbl.gov/forms