Each laboratory employee with the training, education
and resources provided by supervision, shall develop and implement work
habits consistent with Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) to minimize personal
and coworker exposure to the chemicals in the laboratory. Based on
the realization that all chemicals inherently are hazardous under certain
conditions, exposure to all chemicals shall be minimized. MSDS for chemicals
used in each laboratory space must be readily available to employees.
General precautions shall be followed for chemical
- Skin contact with all chemicals shall be avoided.
- All employees shall wash all areas of exposed
skin prior to leaving the laboratory.
- Mouth suction for pipetting or starting a siphon
- Eating, drinking, smoking, gum chewing, or
application of cosmetics in areas where laboratory chemicals are present
shall be avoided. These areas have been posted. Hands shall be thoroughly
washed prior to performing these activities.
- Storage, handling and consumption of food or
beverages shall not occur in storage areas, refrigerators, glassware or
utensils also used for laboratory operations.
- Risk determinations shall be conservative in
- Any chemical mixture shall be assumed to be
as toxic as its most toxic component.
- Substances of unknown toxicity shall be assumed
to be toxic.
- Laboratory employees shall be familiar with
the symptoms of exposure for the chemicals with which they work and the
precautions necessary to prevent exposure. It is the responsibility of
the laboratory supervisor to make this information available to employees
through MSDS and other relevant sources.
- In all cases of chemical exposure, neither
the Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) of OSHA or the Threshold Limit Values
(TLVs) of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists
(ACGIH) shall be exceeded.
- Specific precautions based on the toxicological
characteristics of individual chemicals shall be implemented as deemed
necessary by the Chemical Hygiene Officer.
- The intent and procedures of CHP shall be continuously
Laboratory Equipment and Glassware
Each employee shall keep the work area clean and
uncluttered. All chemicals and equipment shall be properly labeled
in accordance with CHP. At the completion of each work day or operation,
the work area shall be thoroughly cleaned and all equipment properly cleaned
and stored. In addition, the following procedures shall apply to the use
of laboratory equipment:
- All laboratory equipment shall be used only
for its intended purpose.
- All glassware will be handled and stored with
care to minimize breakage; all broken glassware will be immediately
disposed of in the broken glass container.
- All evacuated glass apparatus (vacuum system)
shall be shielded to contain chemicals and glass fragments should implosion
- Labels shall be attached to all chemical containers,
identifying the contents and related hazards.
- Waste receptacles shall be identified as such.
- All laboratory equipment shall be inspected
on a periodic and replaced or repaired as necessary.
Personal Protective Equipment
- Safety glasses meeting the ANSI Z87.1 standard
are required for employees and visitors to the laboratory and will be worn
at all times when in the laboratory. Contact lenses are prohibited
in the laboratory, except as approved by the Chemical Hygiene Officer and
- Chemical goggles and/or a full face shield
shall be worn during chemical transfer and handling operations as
- Sandals, perforated shoes, sneakers and bare
feet are prohibited. Safety shoes, per ANSI 47 are required where
employees routinely lift heavy objects.
- Lab coats or plastic/rubber aprons should be
worn in the laboratory when caustic, toxic or hazardous chemicals
- Appropriate chemical-resistant gloves shall
be worn at all times when there may be skin contact with chemicals.
Used gloves shall be inspected and washed prior to reuse. Damaged
or deteriorated gloves will be immediately replaced. Gloves shall
be washed prior to removal from the hands.
- Thermal-resistant gloves shall be worn for
operations involving the handling of heated materials and exothermic reaction
vessels. Thermal-resistant gloves shall be non-asbestos and shall be replaced
when damaged or deteriorated.
- Respirator usage shall comply with the OSHA
Respiratory Protection Standard, 29 CFR 1910.134, and Polytechnic
University’s Respiratory Training Program.
Personal Work Practices
- The Laboratory supervisor must ensure
that each employee knows and follows the rules and procedures established
in this plan.
- All employees shall remain vigilant to unsafe
practices and conditions in the laboratory and shall immediately report
such practices and/or conditions to the laboratory supervisor. The
laboratory supervisor must correct unsafe practices and or conditions promptly.
- Long hair and loose-fitting clothing shall
be confined close to the body to avoid being caught in moving machine/equipment
- Use only those chemicals appropriate for the
ventilation system as determined by the laboratory supervisor.
- Avoid unnecessary exposure to all chemicals
by any route (inhalation, ingestion or skin contact.)
- Do not smell or taste any chemicals.
- Encourage safe work practices in coworkers
by setting the proper example. Horseplay is strictly forbidden.
- Seek information and advice from knowledgeable
persons, standards and codes about the hazards present in the laboratory.
Plan operations, equipment and protective measures accordingly.
- Inspect personal protective equipment (gloves,
safety glasses or goggle, respirators, etc) prior to use, and wear appropriate
protective equipment as procedures dictate and when necessary to avoid
- All containers in the laboratory shall be labeled.
This includes chemical containers and containers of used or waste chemicals.
The label shall be informative and durable, and at a minimum, will identify
contents, source, date of acquisition, storage location and indication
- Portable containers shall be labeled by the
individual using the container.
An example is a small bottle of a chemical to
be kept for a reasonable period of time in a laboratory refrigerator or
on a laboratory bench.
- Exemptions for labeling requirements shall
be made for chemical transfers from a labeled container into a container
which is intended only for the immediate use of the employee
who performed the transfer. Examples are the transfer of material
into a graduated cylinder to measure volume or the use of a beaker or container
to measure weight of a substance.
- The labeling process and practices shall
be periodically inspected by the Chemical Hygiene Officer to
ensure that labels have not been defaced or removed.
Criteria for Implementation of Control
- Air sampling for evaluating employee exposure
to chemical substances shall be conducted periodically or as specified
by specific codes or regulations.
- Upon addition of new chemicals or changes in
control procedures, additional air sampling will be considered to
determine the exposures. Conduct air sampling if there is reason
to believe that exposure levels for regulated substances that require
sampling routinely exceed the action level, or in the absence of
an action level, PEL. Air sampling will be implemented when usage
of highly toxic substances exceeds three times per week. It is the responsibility
of the laboratory supervisor to see that such sampling is done in a timely
- The results of air sampling studies performed
in the laboratory are maintained and recorded.
- Each laboratory worker is directly responsible
for the cleanliness of his or her work space, and jointly responsible for
common areas of the laboratory. The Laboratory Supervisor is responsible
for the maintenance of housekeeping standards.
- The following procedures apply to the housekeeping
standards of the laboratory:
- All spills on lab benches or floors shall be
immediately cleaned and properly disposed of. Large spills will necessitate
the implementation of the Emergency Action Plan per OSHA 1910.38
- The lab benches shall be kept clear of equipment
and chemicals except those necessary for the work currently being performed.
- The work area shall be cleaned at the
end of each operation and each shift.
- All apparatus shall be thoroughly cleaned and
returned to storage upon completion of usage.
- All floors, aisles, exits, fire extinguishing
equipment, eyewash stations, showers, electrical disconnects and other
emergency equipment shall remain unobstructed.
- Labeled containers should be placed so that
the label faces front.
- Chemical containers shall be clean, properly
labeled and returned to storage upon completion of usage.
- All chemical wastes will be disposed of in
accordance with the Polytechnic University waste disposal plan
under the supervision of the Chemical Store Room Supervisor.
Safety and Emergency Equipment
- Telephone numbers of emergency personnel, supervisors
and other workers as deemed appropriate are to be posted in laboratories
and other designated areas.
- All laboratory personnel will be trained in
the proper use of fire extinguishers when hired and annually thereafter.
Prior to the procurement of new chemicals, the Chemical Hygiene Officer
shall verify that existing extinguishers and other emergency equipment
are appropriate for such chemicals.
- All employees who might be exposed to chemical
splashes shall be instructed in the location and proper usage of emergency
showers and eyewash stations. The eyewash and emergency shower shall
be inspected periodically by the laboratory supervisor. These inspections
shall be in accordance with ANSI Z358.1 and manufacturer's specifications.
Records shall be maintained.
- Location signs for safety and emergency equipment
shall be posted in laboratories and other designated areas at all
When laboratory procedures change to require the
use of additional classifications of chemicals (allergens, embryotoxins,
reproductive toxins, carcinogens, flammables.), additional special precautions
shall be implemented as deemed necessary by the Chemical Hygiene Officer.
Written permission from the Department Head and Chemical Hygiene Officer
shall is required for all laboratory use of embryotoxins, neurotoxins,
reproductive toxins and carcinogens. All questions regarding the
use of such materials should be addressed to the Chemical Hygiene Officer.
Working with Allergens, Neurotoxins, Embryotoxins
and Reproductive Toxins
- Suitable gloves to prevent hand contact shall
be worn when exposed to allergens or substances of unknown allergen activity.
- Neurotoxins, embryotoxins and chemicals of
known or suspected reproductive hazard will be handled only in a hood with
confirmed satisfactory airflow performance and will require the use of
protective equipment to prevent skin contact as prescribed by the laboratory
supervisor and Chemical Hygiene Officer.
- Neurotoxins, embryotoxins and known reproductive
toxins will be stored in adequately ventilated areas in unbreakable secondary
containers. Waste containers of such materials must be use secondary containment
and be appropriately labeled.
- The Laboratory Supervisor, University
Safety Officer and Chemical Hygiene Officers will be notified of spills
and other exposure incidents involving allergens, neurotoxins, embryotoxins
and reproductive toxins. A physician will be consulted when appropriate.
Working with High Toxicity
- Areas where these chemicals are stored and
used must have restricted access and have special warning signs.
All containers should be labeled clearly with chemical composition, know
hazards and precautions for handling.
- Only persons directly involved in the laboratory
work and who have been advised of special precautions that may apply should
have access to laboratories where highly toxic chemicals are handled.
Written permission from the Laboratory Supervisor, Department Head
and Chemical Hygiene Officer is required. A copy of such documents
shall be kept in the Departmental files.
Two people will always be present during work
with these chemicals.
- Procedures involving highly toxic substances
that can generate dust, vapors or aerosols must be conducted in a hood,
glove box or other suitable containment device and will be trapped by scrubber
or HEPA filter, as determined by the Laboratory Supervisor in consultation
with the Chemical Hygiene Officer.
- Properly selected gloves and long sleeves will
be used. Hands and arms will be washed immediately after working
with these chemicals.
- Laboratory workers must use appropriate face
and eye protection to prevent ingestion, inhalation and skin absorption
of toxic chemicals in case of unexpected events. Such personal protective
equipment should be selected in consultation with the Laboratory Supervisor.
- Equipment used for the handling of highly toxic
substances should be suitable isolated from the general laboratory environment.
Laboratory vacuum pumps used with these substances should be protected
by HEPA filters or scrubbers and vented into an exhaust hood.
- Any contaminated equipment or glassware will
be decontaminated in the hood before removing them from the designated
- Transport of very toxic chemicals from one
location to another should be planned carefully. Samples should be
carried in unbreakable secondary storage containers. Personal protective
equipment appropriate for the material should be worn.
- Spill control and appropriate emergency response
kits should be kept nearby and laboratory workers should be trained in
Working with Flammable Chemicals
- Chemicals with a flash point below 93.3OC
(200OF) will be considered “fire-hazard
- Such substances must be handled in areas free
of ignition sources. Never heat fire-hazard chemicals with
an open flame. Use an appropriate exhaust system such as a fume hood when
transferring or handling flammables.
- Keep containers of flammables tightly closed
at all times when not in use.
- Store flammables in Flammable storage cabinets
in accordance with NFPA codes or in an explosion-proof refrigerator.
Use the smallest quantity of flammable substances consistent with need.
Consult NFPA manual 30 and manual 45 for additional information.
Working with Corrosive Chemicals
Major classes of corrosives include mineral acids
including, but not limited to hydrochloric, hydrofluoric, nitric
and sulfuric acids, strong bases including but not limited to metal hydroxides
and ammonia, strong oxidizers including but not limited to hydrogen peroxide
and strong dehydrating agents including but not limited to phosphorous
pentoxide and calcium oxide.
- Personal protective equipment including both
safety goggles and face shield, gloves know to be resistant, and a laboratory
apron or laboratory coat shall be used when handling corrosives.
- Neutralizing agents such as sodium bicarbonate
should be kept in the laboratory for use in case of spills.
- Store corrosive wastes by class separated from
other chemicals and dispose of as hazardous chemical waste.
Working with Reactive Chemicals
A reactive chemical is one that is defined as
such by the MSDS, and/or is identified as an oxidizer, a peroxide or explosive
or is known or found to be reactive with other substances.
- Highly reactive substances should be stored
separately from other materials.
- Personal protective equipment should be used
by laboratory workers, including goggles and face shields and appropriate
- Avoid exposure of highly reactive materials
to light, heat shock and catalysts, consistent with MSDS information