Skip to Content

Signage and Labels

The Hazard Communication Sign (shown below) incorporates language as indicated in the publication CDC/NIH Biosafety in the Microbiology and Biomedical Laboratory, 5th edition (BMBL). The BMBL requires that a biohazard sign be posted at the laboratory entry when biohazardous materials are present.

The Hazard Communication Sign is not intended to prohibit access, but to communicate that biohazardous materials may be present in the laboratory.

University support staffs (Housekeeping, Facilities Management, Police, etc.) have been trained to understand that when laboratory personnel are present, they should enter as instructed.

Door Signs (aka Hazard Communication Signs)


All laboratories MUST have a Hazard Communication Sign posted!

As required by regulation and for the benefit of UVA personnel, outside contractors, emergency personnel, or other visitors to an area, UVA posts a Hazard Communication Sign on all laboratory doors and other select room doors where hazardous materials may be present.

The Hazard Communication Sign will display (through symbols, icons and text) which types of hazards (e.g. biological, radiological, or chemical) are potentially present beyond the door. The sign will also list PI(s) and emergency contact information.

When personnel are present in a space, enter as instructed; if uncertain about entering an unoccupied space, refer to the emergency contacts list displayed on the sign.

Flammable Liquid Storage

In order to comply with flammable liquid storage limits set by the Virginia State Fire Marshall, door signs which contain a letter (rather than a number) in the NFPA red fire diamond (shown below as  D ) will also display the "Typical quantity of flammable liquid stored in this room" in gallons (white text on a black background) on the sign. If you need to store/use quantities of flammable liquid beyond the quantity displayed, you MUST contact EHS at 434-982-4911 and discuss your needs with UVA's Chemical Safety Officer Clarissa Lynch.

Other requiremnts set by the Virginia State Fire Marshall include but are not limited to:

  • You may not purchase/store flammable liquids in 5-gallon cans.
  • Empty containers of flammable liquids must have their labels made illegible (sratch off or black marker). They can then be thrown away in the regular trash (chemical glass bottles cannot be offered for recycling at the University).

When changes occur door signs should be updated as soon as possible!

To request new or updated Hazard Communication Signs for your door (free-of-charge!), contact either:


Biohazard Labels

All equipment and materials used to manipulate, store, or transport infectious material must be labeled with the universal "Biohazard" symbol. The label must be orange or red-orange with the biohazard symbol in a contrasting color. Contact EHS Biosafety for information on labels at 434-982-4911.