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Laboratory Safety Programs

Chemical Hygiene Plan

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The Chemical Hygiene Plan will address general and specific hazards that exist within the laboratory and the controls to manage and/or avoid them.  OSHA has promulgated non-mandatory standards that will assist with the creation of an appropriate Chemical Hygiene Plan.  Be aware that some states have an OSHA-approved state plan that may differ from the federal OSHA regulations. The OSHA references for creating or updating a Chemical Hygiene Plan are:

  • 29 CFR 1910.1450 National Research Council Recommendations Concerning Chemical Hygiene in Laboratories (non-mandatory) and its Appendix A and Appendix B.

The laboratory's Chemical Hygiene Plan should encompass a number of topics including, but not limited to:11-13

  • Standard operating procedures for laboratory chemicals
    • Procedures for chemical procurement, receipt, and handling
    • Identification of personnel responsible for laboratory chemicals
    • Chemical inventory
    • Chemical storage
    • Chemical handling
    • Definitions of chemical hazards
      • Toxins, corrosives, allergens, asphyxiants, carcinogens, reproductive/embryo toxins
  • Compressed gases
  • Radiation protection program
    • Monitoring, exposure, training
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Methods/routes of contamination
  • General laboratory work practices
    • Grooming, appropriate attire, working alone, handling of chemicals
  • Criteria for the implementation of control measures
  • Engineering controls employed in the laboratory
  • Employee information and training
  • Medical information
    • Specific information covering the "Who, what, when, why, and how"
  • Chemical Hygiene Plan responsibilities
    • Safety officer
    • Safety committee
    • Lab director
    • Supervisors
    • Employees
    • Employer
  • Record keeping
  • Annual audit
  • References and recommended reading 

The plan should address safety needs in specific testing areas, as required.  For example, if the laboratory has a firearms section, it will have protocols for lead testing and general (physical) safety.

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