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Reference | Reference | Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne Campus Policies

A brief summary of Argonne policies that are most relevant to visitors

Below is a brief summary of Argonne policies that are most relevant to visitors.

Drug-Free Work Place

Argonne is committed to a drug-free workplace in order to provide a safe and productive environment for those individuals employed by the laboratory and those communities affected by the laboratory's operations. Argonne prohibits its employees from possessing, using, consuming, selling, manufacturing, or distributing illicit controlled substances or alcoholic beverages under any of the following conditions: while operating Laboratory vehicles, during working hours, or on Laboratory premises. Illicit controlled substances include drugs that are not legally obtainable, drugs that are legally obtainable but have been illegally obtained, and prescription drugs that are being used for other than prescribed purposes.

Recent change in Illinois state law around marijuana use: As a national laboratory operated under a federal contract, Argonne is subject to federal laws regarding drug use. Marijuana is an illicit controlled substance under federal law. This is true even if marijuana is used for medicinal purposes or recreationally in a legal manner under state law. Argonne performs drug testing for controlled substances (including marijuana) and a positive test for any controlled substance used illicitly will disqualify a candidate for employment at Argonne.

Security and Laboratory Protection

The Argonne site is not open to the public. Only persons with business at the laboratory or officially sponsored visitors are allowed, except during public events such as Argonne Outloud events. You will receive an identification badge on your first day at Argonne, and you will need to use your badge as a means of identification to gain admittance to the site. Your vehicle may be searched as you enter or exit the laboratory. Any remarks about bombs or other threats will be taken seriously.


All materials and services on the Argonne site, unless properly identified with another organization, are the property of the U.S. government. The theft, misuse, or personal use of government property is unlawful and is grounds for immediate discharge. No property or material, except for personally owned goods, may be removed from the laboratory site without an authorized Property Pass or Loan Agreement. Property passes can be obtained from your supervisor. Argonne reserves the right to inspect and search vehicles entering or leaving the site.


The possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages on the Argonne site is limited and subject to Argonne requirements. Possession of alcoholic beverages is allowed, but is restricted to unopened containers except when possession is in accordance with policy. Private storage of alcoholic beverages on site in Argonne buildings and spaces is prohibited.

Traffic Enforcement

The security department, in coordination with the Argonne Protective Force contractor, will implement the traffic enforcement policy described here. Issues that arise as a result of this enforcement should be conveyed to the security department manager. All persons driving on the Argonne site must obey posted signage, wear a seat belt, and have an appropriate and valid driver's license.


Firearms are prohibited on the Argonne site unless special authorization is provided by the chief operations officer after review by Argonne's security and safety divisions.

No Smoking

It is the policy of Argonne to establish a smoke-free environment for its workers and visitors. The smoking of tobacco products including electronic cigarettes is thus prohibited in all interior space at the Argonne site, except for those rooms or areas of the Guest House and lodging facilities specifically designated for smoking. In addition, smoking is prohibited in any outdoor areas in front of air intake ducts or immediately in front of the main entrance to a building.

Medical Emergencies

Dial 911 in cases of injury, illness or medical emergency of a non-Argonne employee. The Argonne Fire Department will respond and provide transportation to an off-site medical facility. If non-Argonne employees enter the Argonne Medical Department with an injury, illness or medical emergency, they will be given minimal treatment, and the medical staff will call the Fire Department for transportation to an off-site medical facility. Users are expected to carry their own health insurance for treatment at off-site medical facilities.

Mobile Communication Devices

Individuals operating motor vehicles on the Argonne site are prohibited from using handheld cellphones, texting, or using other electronic communications while operating a motor vehicle. Hands-free devices or Bluetooth® technology is allowed for persons age 19 or older. The use of a single-side headset or earpiece with a wireless/cellphone device is permitted while driving.

Using a cellphone while holding the device and using the speaker is not considered hands-free and is a violation of Illinois law.

A driver is allowed to use a cellphone that is not hands free while reporting an emergency; while parked on the shoulder of a roadway; or while stopped in traffic that is obstructed and the vehicle is in neutral or park.