Lehman College Chemical Hygiene Plan
The following Chemical Hygiene Plan describes the efforts of Lehman College to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for all employees who work with chemicals. This plan covers all areas of this institution, including Buildings and Grounds, the Chemistry, Biology and Art Departments, and other areas in which work involving the use of hazardous materials is performed. The development of this plan is one of a number of ways the College is complying with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) "Occupational Exposures to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories" standard (Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1910.1450).
All laboratory personnel, science department chair people, professors, graduate teaching assistants, college laboratory technicians, and others who work with chemicals should read this plan in full. It is available for review in the following locations:
|Building||Department||Location||Hrs. Available for Review|
|Music Bldg.||EHS Office||Room B37A||Weekdays 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.|
|Davis Hall||Biology||Room 230||Weekdays 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.|
|Shuster Hall||Campus Facilities||Room 305||Weekdays 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.|
|APEX||Public Safety||Room 109||Weekdays 9 a.m. -11 p.m.|
The OSHA Laboratory Standard
The OSHA Laboratory standard requires employers to provide safe working conditions in laboratories through the following:
- Assignment of a Chemical Hygiene Officer and Committee to oversee and implement laboratory safety and health activities.
- Development of a Chemical Hygiene Plan including operating procedures for handling, storing, and disposing of chemicals, especially for those that are extremely hazardous*.
- Evaluation of hazards in laboratories to target safety and health efforts; maintenance and inspection of emergency safety facilities and ventilation systems including fume hoods to ensure their proper functioning.
- Provide specific provisions for ensuring employee protection during use of extremely hazardous substances.
- Provision of personal protective and other safety equipment to laboratory employees.
- Laboratory employee training programs to inform employees of hazards they face in laboratories, rights to information, protection from hazardous exposures and policies and procedures in the Chemical Hygiene Plan.
- Medical consultations and exams for employees under certain circumstances at no cost to the employee.
- Record keeping and reporting requirements.
*Extremely hazardous: This term will be used throughout this plan to describe those chemicals that are carcinogens, potential carcinogens, definite or potential reproductive hazards, acutely toxic chemicals, known or potential sensitizers, and chemicals or substances of unknown hazard. It is not, however, our purpose to strictly define this term (even though OSHA does); a chemical may be extremely hazardous because of the conditions under which it is being used. This will be judged on a case by case basis. This plan addresses each of the Laboratory Standard requirements, as well as others that apply to specific aspects of laboratory safety, such as standards on chemical storage or emergency equipment, and explains how we will implement them.
The Use of the Words "should" and "must" in the Plan
We distinguish between what is required by OSHA and other state and local standards, and what is recommended through the words "should" and "must". "Must" is used when the law requires the action or goal described in the Plan; "should" is used when the action or goal is highly recommended.
Overall Program Goals
This plan is designed to ensure that all employees are provided adequate facilities to work in (including operating fume hoods, emergency eyewash and shower facilities, and fire extinguishers) and appropriate personal protective equipment, and that mechanisms are in place to address ongoing workplace safety and health issues. These mechanisms include routine maintenance and inspection programs and the convening of a Chemical Hygiene Committee.
A second important goal of the Chemical Hygiene program described by this plan is to enhance employee and administration awareness of laboratory health and safety requirements and acceptable practices through increased employee participation in safety and health activities. This will be accomplished through yearly employee laboratory orientation and hands-on sessions, and employee participation in departmental laboratory inspections.
In addition, employees will evaluate potential chemical and physical hazards of day-to-day procedures, discuss steps to minimize exposures and incidents, and maintain a reference file of these hazards.
Principal investigators involved in research with extremely hazardous chemicals will evaluate their own protocols and develop specific operating procedures for handling, and disposing of these chemicals. The Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO) will review these procedures to ensure that appropriate facilities and safety equipment are available to adequately protect employees. These procedures will be communicated to employees in their laboratories.
Chemical Hygiene Responsibilities
The President of Lehman College, Ricardo R. Fernandez, has the ultimate responsibility for chemical hygiene within this institution and provides, along with other officers and administrators, continuing support for efforts to improve workplace safety and health.
The Vice President for Administration, Mr. Vincent Clark supervises the Chemical Hygiene Program and authorizes the Chemical Hygiene Officer and Committee to take the necessary steps to accomplish the objectives of the Chemical Hygiene Plan.
Chemical Hygiene Officer and Alternates
The Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO) coordinates all laboratory health and safety activities.
Mr. Shaldon Watson is the Chemical Hygiene Officer. Ms. Ilona Linins is the Environmental Health and Safety Officer and Chemical Hygiene Officer alternate. They can be reached at 8978 or 8988 respectively or at their office locations (Music Building, B37A).
The CHO reports to the Director of Environmental Health and Safety and is given authority to suspend operations which in the professional judgment of the CHO do not conform to generally acceptable health and safety practices. The primary reason for suspension is the manner or conditions under which the work is performed pose significant short or long-term danger either to laboratory employees involved in the operation and/or to other employees and/or the environment.
The major duties of the CHO are to:
- Serve on the Chemical Hygiene Committee and work with that committee to evaluate, implement, and update the Chemical Hygiene Plan.
- Provide technical expertise and administration to the laboratory community in the area of laboratory safety and health and direct inquiries to appropriate resources.
- Ensure that facilities in which extremely hazardous substances are handled or stored are adequate to control exposure and that specific standard operating procedures are developed to instruct all personnel in the safe use of these substances.
- Review specific operating procedures developed by principal investigators and department personnel for the use and disposal of extremely hazardous chemicals/substances and for spill clean-up and decontamination.
- Review new research protocols prior to implementation to determine if hazardous chemicals are used, and if so, to ensure proper protection to lab personnel.
- Conduct biannual inspections of laboratories and storage areas with other members of the Chemical Hygiene Committee and provide inspection forms to departmental personnel and principal investigators to conduct their own routine inspections.
- Write inspection reports and recommend follow-up activities (with input from other members of the inspection team).
- Coordinate the operation and maintenance of fume hoods, emergency showers, eyewashes and fire extinguishers in laboratories where chemicals are handled by working with relevant departments, outside experts and vendors.
- Conduct (with other department personnel) department-specific employee health and safety orientation sessions and assist laboratory supervisors in developing and conducting hands-on sessions with employees.
- Investigate all incident reports, chemical spills and near-misses, to deter repeat incidents.
- Act as a liaison between the laboratory and the department administrator. If necessary, bring unresolved and potentially serious health and safety problems to the administrator's attention.
- Maintain records and make them available to employees and administrative personnel.
- Select a qualified waste disposal vendor who is licensed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to routinely pick up chemical waste materials and coordinate hazardous waste pick-up with facility wide representatives.
Chemical Hygiene Committee
The Chemical Hygiene Committee oversees and monitors the effectiveness of the Chemical Hygiene Plan and revises and updates it as necessary. The Committee meets at least once a semester. The chair takes minutes which are maintained as an official record of Chemical Hygiene Committee activities.
All departments (e.g. Chemistry, Biology, Art) in which work involves the use of chemicals or other potentially hazardous substances, as well as personnel from Buildings and Grounds will be represented on the committee.
The following are members of the Committee as chosen by the President of Lehman College.
|Mr. Shaldon Watson||EH&S Officer/CHO||ext. 8978|
|Mr. John Belardo||Art||ext. 8889|
|Prof. Liesl Jones||Chemistry||ext. 8091|
|Mr. Ray Pegollo||Buildings & Grounds||ext. 8189|
|Ms. Ilona Linins||EH&S Officer/RSO||ext. 8988|
|Ms. Christina Murillo||Biology||ext. 8654|
|Mr. Brian Morgan||EGGS||ext. 5742|
Duties of Chemical Hygiene Committee Member
- Attend Committee meetings.
- Review academic research protocols and ensure that appropriate controls and laboratory space is available to protect employees.
- Stay informed of plans for renovation or new laboratory construction projects at the institution and ensure involvement of appropriate laboratory personnel in planning stages.
- Bring unresolved departmental issues to the attention of the committee.
- Serve as liaisons between the departments and the Chemical Hygiene Officer.
The Chemical Hygiene Plan must be a flexible document. It is the responsibility of the Committee to review and update this plan. Any member of the Chemical Hygiene Committee may introduce change to the original plan, by submitting the proposed change to the Committee. The Committee will then consider the proposal at a regularly scheduled meeting. Upon consideration, a vote will be taken. A proposal requires 51% approval by the Committee in order to be accepted and incorporated into the plan. Any member of the Lehman College community can submit a proposed change through one of the Committee members.
Department Chairperson / Supervisor Responsibilities
The department head is ultimately responsible for Chemical Hygiene in his/her Department and must know and understand the goals of the chemical hygiene program and the instrumental role they must play to encourage their implementation. The department head must ensure:
- completion of a yearly computerized inventory of all chemicals in storage rooms and laboratories of their Department;
- routine identification of expired and unusable chemical stores for disposal;
- maintenance of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) for chemicals used in their department;
- enrollment of all employees in training sessions;
- routine inspection of work places and record keeping of inspection forms provided by the CHO;
- development of checklists for needed safety equipment in the department work spaces;
Principal investigators (PI) have ultimate responsibility for Chemical Hygiene in laboratories in which their research is carried out. The PI must:
- know the guidelines and procedures of the Chemical Hygiene Plan;
- write specific operating procedures for handling and disposing of extremely hazardous substances used in their laboratories and submit these procedures to the CHO for review;
- train laboratory personnel in these operating procedures and ensure the use of proper control measures;
- conduct routine inspections of laboratories with their laboratory employees;
- ensure that all appropriate controls including fume hoods and safety equipment are available and in good working order in their laboratories;
- ensure that all incidents occurring in their laboratories are reported to the CHO and that a written Incident Report is also filed;
- maintain up to date chemical inventories for their labs, and provide these to the CHO, on an annual basis;
- supervise the maintenance of Material Safety Data Sheets and ensure lab employee access to MSDSs;
- prepare an inventory of excess and waste chemicals and their location before leaving the institution.
Laboratory Employee Responsibilities
- Laboratory employees are responsible for:
- following procedures and guidelines outlined in the Chemical Hygiene Plan;
- reporting any unsafe working conditions, faulty fume hoods or emergency safety equipment to the Laboratory Supervisor and Chemical Hygiene Officer;
- filing Incident Reports with the administration and Chemical Hygiene Officer;
- conducting hazard evaluations for procedures conducted in the laboratory and maintain a file of these hazard evaluations.
Chapter 2: Chemical Procurement, Receiving and Inventorying
This section of the Chemical Hygiene Plan describes standard operating procedures for procuring, receiving and inventorying chemicals. An important program goal is to establish a centralized chemical stockroom in each department from which chemicals are procured, received, inventoried and distributed to laboratories. Centralizing these activities would:
- allow better monitoring of chemicals stored and used and their location within the facility;
- reduce the waste involved in duplicate purchases;
- reduce waste disposal costs;
- facilitate compliance with regulations.
Chemical Purchasing and Procurement
When purchasing chemical supplies for laboratories, the following requirements will be fulfilled:
- Effort must be made to purchase smaller quantities of chemicals (for example, amounts that will be used up in 3 to 6 months). Never acquire more than a one year supply.
- Chemicals will be purchased in smaller sized containers. When large containers are purchased, significant portions often remain unused and must be disposed of. The lesser unit cost for bulk purchases is outweighed by the cost of additional storage and disposal of old, unused materials.
- Check the departmental purchase against the chemical inventory to reduce duplicate purchases and use old chemicals first. Contact other departments to inquire about excess chemicals they have that you might need.
- Before substances which are considered to be extremely hazardous such as carcinogens, reproductive hazards, and acutely toxic substances, are ordered, consideration must be made as to whether there are adequate facilities and equipment to handle the type and amount of a substance safely.
- All purchase orders must include a request that Material Safety Data Sheets be sent to the CHO at the Environmental Health and Safety Office, Music BLDG Room B37A. The MSDSs will then be distributed so that employees will have access to them during working hours.
All incoming shipments must be inspected by those receiving them for the following requirements:
- Proper labels must be attached (see Chapter IV).
- Containers must be intact and in good condition.
- Any leaking containers must be placed in an appropriate secondary container immediately and treated as a chemical spill. See Chapter VII on emergencies for more detailed information about chemical spill response.
Expiration dates must be determined and assigned to each chemical container coming into the facility which contains any of the following:
- Picric acid, picrate salts
- peroxidizable materials
- polymerizers that react violently
- materials known to deteriorate or become unstable or reactive over time.
The expiration date should be no longer than one year after the date of acquisition. These chemical containers must also be labeled with the dates they are first opened. See Chapter V on storing chemicals and Chapter VI on handling specific classes of chemicals for more information about unstable and reactive chemicals.
All areas where shipments of chemicals are received will have appropriate personal protective equipment and spill control equipment available in case of a leaking or punctured container. In addition, each chemical receiving area should have an appropriate fire extinguisher, no more than 50 feet from any point in the space, and a safety shower, and eyewash station, within 25 feet of the storeroom or laboratory door, in case of chemical splashes or spills on the body.
All individuals involved in procuring and receiving chemicals must be included in the laboratory employee training programs discussed in Chapter X.
The maintenance of chemical inventories is required by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, the NYS Right-To-Know Law and the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) Title III Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Law. Individuals, communities, and emergency response personnel have a right to know what types and amounts of chemicals are used and stored in laboratory facilities.
1. Chairpersons/supervisors will coordinate collection of inventories from individual areas in order to develop a department-wide computerized inventory of all of their chemicals.
A computerized chemical inventory database must include:
- the chemical name;
- Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) Registry Number;
- location (building name and room number);
- Hazard Warning code.
All personnel involved in inventory taking must have been trained in safety and health within the year, must be provided with the proper personal protective equipment, must have access to safety showers and eyewash stations, and must know what to do in the event of an emergency involving the chemicals being inventoried. In addition, spill control equipment and fire extinguishers must be checked before the inventory taking, to ensure that the appropriate type is available.
Minimize picking up and moving of bottles while taking the inventory, and never move potentially explosive materials. Arrangement and segregation of chemicals can be accomplished at another time.
2. The departmental chemical inventory must be updated on an annual basis to ensure that it reflects what is currently stored and used in laboratory facilities.
3. Each department head must ensure that chemical inventories are provided on an annual basis to the Chemical Hygiene Officer. This inventory will be used to fulfill reporting requirements under the EPA's Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act (SARA) of 1986. If a facility has amounts equal to or more than the threshold planning quantity (TPQ) of any substance listed in the Appendix of 49 CFR 172.101 (SARA Title III) (or designated by the state or local environmental agency), at any one time, there are notification requirements that must be complied with.
4. Chemicals in storage areas must be evaluated at least annually for deterioration, container integrity, and for their age. Those that have expired must be marked for destruction or disposal or, if warranted, given a new expiration date. Particular attention must be paid to unstable chemicals such as ethers and other peroxidizable materials.
5. Any potentially explosive chemicals whose shelf-life has expired must not be handled or moved by any laboratory employees taking inventories until the Chemical Hygiene Officer is contacted. It is better to be over-cautious than under-cautious under these circumstances.
Chapter 3: Hazard Assessments
Defining “Hazardous” Chemicals
The OSHA Hazard Communication Standard states that:
“‘Hazardous chemical’ means any chemical which is a health hazard or a physical hazard.”
The OSHA Lab Standard defines a hazardous chemical as a chemical for which there is significant evidence based upon at least one study that acute or chronic health effects may occur in exposed employees. The term “health hazard” includes chemicals which are:
- toxic or highly toxic agents;
- reproductive toxins;
- irritants, corrosives, sensitizers;
- agents which target specific organs including damage to the lungs, skin, eyes, or mucus membranes.
The OSHA Hazard Communication Standard defines a physical hazard as a chemical for which there is scientifically valid evidence that it is a:class=WordSection15>
- combustible liquid;
- compressed gas;
- organic peroxide;
- unstable (reactive);
Chemicals listed in any of the following references are also defined by OSHA and many states as hazardous:
- 29 CFR Part 1910 Subpart Z;
- American Conference of Governmental and Industrial Hygienists’ (ACGIH) Threshhold Limit Values (TLVs) for substances in the work place;
- National Toxicology Program Annual Report on Carcinogens (NTPARC);
- International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
Hazard Assessment Criteria
OSHA and state criteria establish a base of 2311 chemicals that are hazardous by regulatory definition and in addition, hazard assessments can be based upon evaluation of information provided by chemical manufacturer MSDSs and other sources.
Chapter 4: Hazard Communication:
Signs, Labels, and Material Safety Data Sheets
All employees must be alerted to hazards which exist in an area they enter. The employer shall post signs at locations where notices are normally posted, to inform employees that they have the right to information from their employer regarding the toxic substances found in the workplace. In addition, during emergencies, the location of information and emergency equipment must be clearly marked. The following is a list of some of the most important signs that must be posted.
Laboratory Potentially Hazardous Substances
A sign with the above words in RED on a white background must be posted on the door outside of each laboratory at the midpoint of the height of the door. It must be made of metal or other durable material and posted at eye level. The height of the letters in the word "Laboratory" must be at least 1 ½" high; the words "Potentially Hazardous Substances" must be at least 7/16" high.
Signs identifying emergency equipment and exits shall be posted at the location of each safety shower, eyewash station, fire extinguisher, and exit must be posted and must be large and conspicuous. Telephone numbers of emergency personnel, facilities, supervisors and the Chemical Hygiene Officer must be posted next to the phone in each laboratory, storeroom/ stockroom and storage area. If there is no phone in the room, a sign should be posted indicating the location of the nearest phone (which should have posted next to it all the pertinent telephone numbers).
“No Smoking” signs shall be posted at the entrance to storage areas and laboratories as well as within these spaces.
Specific Hazard Categories. All laboratories in which the following materials are used, must post signs outside the laboratory and/or storage area indicating the presence of such hazards as:
- Water-reactive chemicals;
- Flammable gases or explosives;
- Toxic gases (e.g. cyanide, hydrogen sulfide);
- Reproductive Hazards;
- Biohazardous materials;
- Radioactive materials;
The NFPA Hazard Rating System will be used to indicate the above hazards.
Flammable Storage Cabinets and Flammable Storage- and Explosion Proof Refrigerators. These must be labeled according to local fire regulations. "Store no flammables flashing below 100EF" to be posted on all non-explosion proof refrigerators and walk in cold rooms. Check with the Chemical Hygiene Officer about how to properly label storage cabinets and refrigerators.
The Chemical Hygiene Officer will be responsible for ensuring that all laboratory and storage areas follow this standard operating procedure to post signs.
Employers are required to establish a hazardous chemical labeling program for their facilities to ensure that all containers are properly labeled. Accurate, complete and effective labels are critical to the success of any hazard communication program. Hazardous chemical labels tell employees if the chemical is hazardous and what the hazards are.
The Communication Standard mandates that manufacturers provide users and distributors of their products with properly labeled containers. Labels must include the following information:
- the common name of the chemical;
- name, address, and emergency telephone # of company responsible for the product;
- a hazard warning indicating the most serious health or safety hazard the chemical poses (e.g. corrosive, carcinogen, water-reactive, flammable).
Under the OSHA Laboratory Standard, the removal or defacing of labels on all incoming containers is specifically prohibited.
In the laboratory it is a common occurrence to have chemicals transferred to secondary containers. If this material remains under the control of the person involved in the transfer and is used in a single work session it is not necessary to label the secondary container. Secondary containers used by more than one person must be labeled with the information described above. This information can be found on the original label or on the material safety data sheet for the product. Warning labels must be in English although they may provide in other languages in addition. In many academic institutions there are students who use a language other than English. In such cases, consideration should be given to providing warning labels in other languages.
The following is a description of four of the most commonly used label types.
ANSI Chemical Label
American National Standard Institute (ANSI) has published a voluntary labeling standard (ANSI Z129.1-1988) followed by most chemical manufacturers. This standard calls for the following items:
- “Signal words” to be used to indicate the severity of the hazard:
- DANGER, for the most serious hazard;
- WARNING, for a moderate hazard;
- CAUTION, to indicate a lesser degree of hazard;
- additionally, highly toxic materials will be marked POISON.
- Precautionary Statements such as:
- Wash thoroughly after handling;
- Avoid contact with eyes, skin and clothing;
- Use only with adequate ventilation;
- Keep away from heat, sparks, and flame;
- Keep away from contact with clothing and other combustible materials
- Instructions in case of exposure. Instructions on what to do in case of accidental exposure will be included whenever immediate action is needed. Instructions will be given in a simple fashion that assumes no special knowledge or training on the part of the responder. Examples of first aid statements are:
- If inhaled, remove to fresh air;
- If not breathing, give artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen;
- Get medical attention immediately;
- In case of contact, flush eyes immediately with water for at least 15 minutes
- Notes to physician for emergency treatment.
- If an antidote or special treatment is needed, these are included under the caption of ANTIDOTE or NOTES TO PHYSICIANS.
- Instructions in case of fire or chemical spill
- Instructions for chemical handling and storage
NFPA Labeling System
The NFPA hazard diamond is a method of labeling materials to indicate the level of hazard they present. The blue, red, and yellow (nine o’clock, twelve o’clock and three o’clock positions respectively) colored areas indicate, respectively, the health, flammability, and reactivity hazard associated with the material. These three areas use a numbering scale ranging from zero to four. A value of zero means that the material poses essentially no hazard; a rating of four indicates a high degree of hazard. The white area (six o’clock position) is reserved for special hazard warnings such as water reactivity or other hazard.
Hazardous Material Identification Guide (HMIG) and the Hazardous Material Information System (HMIS)
Two other HCS compliant systems that are very similar to one another are the Hazardous Material Identification Guide (HMIG) and the Hazardous Material Information System (HMIS). HMIG is a labeling system developed and sold through Lab Safety Supply Inc. The HMIS was developed by the National Paint and Coatings Association (NPCA) and sold through Labelmaster Inc. Both systems use a label with four color bars and a space at the top where the name of the chemical should be written. The blue, red, and yellow colored bars indicate, respectively, the health, flammability, and reactivity hazard associated with the material. These three bars use a numbering scale ranging from zero to four. A value of zero means that the material poses essentially no hazard; a rating of four indicates extreme danger. Although the details of how numbers are assigned may vary somewhat between systems, this is essentially the same overall scheme as is used in the NFPA system but note there are differences between NFPA and HMIG.
The fourth, white bar is marked "protective equipment" in the HMIG system, and "personal protection" in the HMIS system. Both systems (HMIG and HMIS) place a letter in this bar to indicate the kind(s) of personal protective equipment (PPE) that should be used in order to handle the material safely. The letters used are A - K and X. Meanings of the letters are the same in both systems, and both systems augment the letter code with icons or pictograms showing the kinds of PPE to be used.
A significant difference between the HMIG and HMIS systems is that the revised HMIS system (1995) now includes a second box on the blue (health hazard) bar. If this second box holds an asterisk (*), then the health hazard associated with the material is a chronic (long-term) effect.
Highly toxic chemicals, carcinogens or chemicals that present other significant hazards
Any highly toxic substance, known or suspected carcinogens or chemicals that present other significant hazards (flammability, reactivity etc.) must be relabeled if it is repackaged. In particular, if a solution of more than 1% of a highly toxic substance (defined as having an LD50 equal to or less than 50mg/kg) or 0.1% of a known or suspected carcinogen is made, it must be relabeled with the information contained on the original label. These so called Right-to-Know (RTK) labels must contain the full name of the material, the solution concentration in percent, a warning section including modes of entry, target organs, precautions to be taken when using the chemical and first aid.
Reporting of improperly labeled or non-intact containers
All employees involved in unpacking chemicals are responsible for inspecting each container to ensure that it arrives properly labeled. When there is a problem with an incoming product label, a supervisor should be contacted. You have the right to reject shipment of improperly labeled products.
Any laboratory employee finding unlabeled containers, containers without the minimum of information required, or labels that are torn or illegible, must report it to their supervisor.
Newly synthesized chemicals
Principal investigators in research laboratories will be responsible for ensuring that newly synthesized chemicals are used exclusively within the laboratory, and are properly labeled. If the hazards of a substance produced in the laboratory are unknown, it must be assumed to be hazardous, and the label must indicate that the potential hazards of that substance have not been tested and are unknown. See Section VI for the special precautions which should be taken when handling these substances.
Material Safety Data Sheets.
An MSDS must be obtained for every hazardous chemical used in a workplace. Although the standard specifies the information required to be on an MSDS, it does not dictate a set format. This means employers must not only acquire MSDSs, but they must review them for completeness.
The information required to appear on a compliant MSDS is divided into 16 sections:
The College must ensure that a current MSDS is available for each chemical on premises. Employers should safeguard themselves by refusing to accept samples from vendors and training all workers to also reject them, no matter how small the sample. Do not allow salespeople to leave containers for anyone or for any reason. Develop an approved vendor list and a single purchasing route, allowing no employee to bring chemicals on site regardless of their intent to solve an immediate problem.
OSHA Laboratory Standard Requirements
The OSHA Laboratory Standard and the New York State Right to Know Law (for public sector laboratories only) require that Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) be collected and maintained for virtually all chemicals used and stored in the laboratory. As with labels, the Hazard Communication Standard mandates that chemical manufacturer provide Material Safety Data Sheets for each chemical. MSDSs provide basic information about the safety and health hazards posed by a chemical and precautions to take when using it. The MSDSs must be received before or at the same time that the chemicals are received.
Collection and Distribution of MSDSs.
Material Safety Data Sheets must be collected and distributed in each department to assure that all employees may have access to them. Following is a description of the system used to collect and distribute these sheets.
All purchasing agents (Purchasing Department, Contracts & Grants Office, etc.) are mandated to include in all purchase orders, contracts, etc., in which new chemicals are procured, a clause requiring the vendor to supply a material safety data sheet which meets federal OSHA requirements for every chemical they send to the College. The clause must also contain a requirement that the supplier add to the MSDS sheets any significant new information regarding the hazard of a chemical or ways to protect against its hazards within three months. Principle investigators ordering directly from vendors will direct those vendors to send MSDSs to the Chemical Hygiene Officer for proper distribution.
MSDSs are to be addressed to:
Lehman College – EH & S Office
250 Bedford Park Blvd. West
Bronx, New York 10468-1589
Attention: Chemical Hygiene Officer
Music Building, Room B37A
Upon receipt of the MSDSs from chemical manufacturers, chemical name, and the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry number will be entered on the MSDS Master list. The CHO will designate the way each chemical will be named, and thus where in the Master MSDS books the sheets will be placed. The MSDSs will then be duplicated and copies sent to the user of the chemicals, to Campus Facilities, and the last copy to Public Safety.
Chemical storage areas in the academic laboratory setting include central stockrooms, storerooms, laboratory work areas, storage cabinets, refrigerators and freezers. There are established legal requirements as well as recommended practices for storing chemicals. These requirements and guidelines are summarized below in the following sections:
- General requirements:
- Segregation of incompatible chemicals;
- Specifications for chemical storerooms;
- Chemical storage in laboratories (outside of chemical storerooms);
- Additional storage requirements and recommendations for some specific hazard chemical classes.
- Every chemical should have an identifiable storage place and should be returned to that location after use.
- A storage scheme must be developed in each chemical storage area to ensure the segregation of incompatibles and efforts must be made to isolate particularly flammable, reactive, and toxic materials. An exclusively alphabetical storage scheme is prohibited.
- Chemical storage on benchtops will be minimized in order to reduce the amounts of chemicals unprotected from a potential fire or easily knocked over.
- Compatible chemicals should be grouped by container size to make it easier to retrieve chemicals and to reduce the possibility of bottle breakage.
- Chemical storage in hoods will be minimized. Storing containers inside the hood interferes with airflow reduces and clutters up the work space, and involves the stored materials in a spill fire or explosion. Where possible, chemicals will be stored in cabinets which vent directly into the fume hood.
- Labels must be maintained on all stored materials.
- Stored chemicals must not be exposed to direct sunlight or heat.
- Storage trays should be used to minimize the spread of a spill.
- Laboratory refrigerators must never be used to store food.
- All chemicals containers left out of storage areas must be checked at the end of each workday. Unneeded items must be returned to chemical storerooms or stockrooms.
- Store acids in a dedicated acid cabinet. Store nitric acid in that same cabinet only if isolated from other acids. Store both inorganic and some organic acids in the acid cabinet.
- Store flammables in a dedicated flammables cabinet.
- Store severe poisons in a dedicated poisons cabinet.
- First opening and expiration dates must be assigned to all chemicals in the following groups by the first laboratory employee using it:
- Picric acid/metal picrate salts;
- peroxidizable materials (aldehydes, ethers & compounds containing benzylic hydrogen atoms);
- polymerizers that react violently in polymerization or become hazardous after polymerization;
- other materials known to deteriorate or become unstable or reactive over time. Peroxidizable materials must be tested routinely for peroxides.
- All laboratory personnel, on termination, transfer, or graduation, must (in conjunction with the laboratory supervisor and Chemical Hygiene Officer) arrange for the removal or safe storage of all hazardous materials remaining in their laboratory.
- Appropriate spill control, clean-up and emergency equipment must be available wherever chemicals are stored. See Chapter VIII for considerations in choosing these materials.
Segregation of Incompatible Chemicals
Chemicals must not be arranged alphabetically or haphazardly either in stockrooms or in laboratory work areas. An alphabetical arranging of chemicals can inadvertently place two incompatible chemicals next to one another, which in the event that the containers break or leak could react violently. Several examples of this follow:
|Acetic acid||+||Acetaldehyde||=||explosive reaction|
|Aluminum metal||+||Ammonium nitrate||=||potential explosive|
|Cupric sulfide||+||Cadmium chlorate||=||explode on contact|
|Mercury II oxide||+||Magnesium metal||=||potential explosive|
|Sodium nitrite||+||Sodium hypophosphite||=||explosive|
Numerous approaches can be taken to segregate chemicals in storage. Different approaches may be required depending upon the type and amount of space available for storage and the environmental conditions of the spaces. Major considerations for criteria to segregate should include water compatibility and flammability.
Special attention must be paid to the following chemicals due to their potential instability.
|Nitrites||Perchloric acid||Phosphorous pentoxide|
Particular attention must be paid to isolating flammables, air-reactive (pyrophoric), peroxide-forming and toxic chemicals. Storage of specific hazard classes of chemicals is discussed in more detail below.
Chemical Storage Area Specifications
Stockrooms are those facilities areas in which storing relatively large quantities of chemicals are stored for laboratory use.
General Specifications for All Stockrooms
- Stockroom access must be strictly limited to specified personnel. All laboratories, preparation rooms, and storeroom/stockrooms must be locked and secure when designated laboratory employees are not present.
- A mechanical exhaust ventilation system must be present and should provide at least 6 air changes per hour. Additional local exhaust may be required if activities such as dispensing take place in the storage area.
- Each storage area should have at least 1 large sink, safety shower, eyewash station, and must have an appropriate fire extinguisher with adequate extinguishing capacity.
- Each chemical storage area should have a master control shut-off valve for water, electricity, and gas.
- Shelf assemblies must be firmly secured to walls. Weight limits provided by the manufacturer must not be exceeded. Avoid island shelf assemblies.
- Large containers should be stored on lower shelves. No chemicals should be stored above eye level and avoid top shelf chemical storage. Chemicals must not be stored on the floor.
- Shelves must be protected from contact with chemicals through chemical-resistant baked-on coatings, and/or by covering shelves with heavy plastic sheeting. Shelving materials must be sturdy enough to carry the load, and should have an applied edge to prevent chemical containers from falling off. Use fixed shelves instead of adjustable shelves, which are less sturdy.
- All chemical storerooms and stockrooms must have clearly marked, unobstructed exits. Each area should have two exits. Maintain aisle distance > 3 feet.
- Chemical stockrooms must be well-illuminated so that labels can be easily read.
- No aisle should dead end. Aisles must be kept clear of clutter, > 3 ft wide.
- The environment in stockrooms must be controlled to avoid extremes of temperature and high humidity. Open flames, smoking and localized heating units are not permitted.
- Floors must be kept clean and dry.
- Wherever highly toxic chemicals are stored and could be released, self-contained escape respirators or self-contained breathing apparatus must be made available (see Chapter VIII or standard operating procedures related to respirators).
Flammable Materials Stockrooms
Flammable materials not currently in use should be isolated in stockrooms in such a way as to minimize the potential harm to persons and property in the event of a fire. Storage facilities for flammables must meet the following specifications:
- The walls, ceilings, and floors of an inside storage room for flammable materials must be constructed of materials having at least a 2-hour fire resistance.
- All doors between the room and the building should be self-closing Class B fire doors.
- Adequate mechanical ventilation must be provided and controlled from a switch outside the stockroom door. Ventilation should be at floor level since flammable vapors tend to sink in air.
- In areas where Class I flammable liquids are stored or dispensed, electrical power, lights, switches, and sockets must be explosion-proof.
- Fan motors and ventilation equipment motors must be non-sparking.
- All smoking and lighting of matches are prohibited.
Chemical Storage Outside of the Chemical Stockroom
The nature of laboratory work calls for a certain amount of chemicals to be on hand for easy access. However, all laboratory employees must limit, as much as possible, the amounts of chemicals stored on benchtops, in hoods, or other exposed areas, especially when these chemicals are flammable, combustible, reactive, toxic, or corrosive.
Legal limits on amounts of flammables, combustibles, reactives, and unstable chemicals in laboratories
Local fire regulations (such as those in NYC) determine the amount of flammable materials, oxidizing, unstable and reactive chemicals which may be stored in laboratories based upon the fire rating of the room and whether it has a sprinkler system.
The following table shows an example of local fire department limits in New York City.
** Except for chemical research laboratories, no permit shall be required for laboratories storing or using less than 32 oz., flammable liquids or volatile flammable oils (VFOs), 0.5 lb. oxidizing material and/or 0.15 cubic feet water container capacity of flammable gases.
For example, a laboratory unit with a fire rating of 1 hour that has no sprinkler system must not store more than:
- 15 gallons of flammable liquids;
- 2 pounds of flammable solids;
- 20 pounds of oxidizing materials;
- 2 pounds of unstable or reactive chemicals.
The National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Code 45 (Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals) goes farther in describing maximum permissible quantities of flammable and combustible materials outside of approved liquid storage rooms. They recommend limits per lab unit as well as per 100 square feet of laboratory unit in sprinklered and unsprinklered units. Instructional laboratories specifically are allowed only half of the quantity of non-instructional laboratories.
For example, the maximum quantity of Class I flammables in unsprinklered instructional laboratories including quantities in storage cabinets and safety cans (see below) is 10 gallons per 100 square feet of laboratory space. Research labs would be allowed 20 gallons including quantities in storage cabinets and safety cans.
Laboratory Supervisors must inventory chemicals in laboratories periodically to ensure that the above described limits are not exceeded. Any problems must be directed to the Departmental Chairperson, the Chemical Hygiene Officer, or other designated individual
Flammable Liquids Storage Cabinets
When substantial amounts of flammable liquids are stored on open shelves or work benches it is possible for a small spill to quickly escalate. It is essential that flammable chemicals be isolated from combustibles and kept away from ignition sources. Store flammable materials in storage cabinets which meet OSHA and National Fire Protection Association specifications. These require that burning cabinet contents are protected from temperatures exceeding 325oF for at least 10 minutes, enough time for personnel to evacuate the area.
Commercial flammable storage cabinets are available to store 30, 46, and 60 gallons of flammable materials.
Cabinets are available with work bench surfaces, and as fume hood bases where the cabinet is vented through the fume hood itself.
Vented cabinets that do not vent through a fume hood require steel venting ducts which and must never be vented where the vapors could escape into other rooms of the facility. Designing and installing the proper venting equipment requires technical assistance.
NEVER INSTALL OR REROUTE DUCT WORK WITHOUT FIRST SEEKING QUALIFIED TECHNICAL ADVICE.
NO MORE THAN 60 GALLONS OF FLAMMABLES AND 120 GALLONS OF COMBUSTIBLES MAY EVER BE STORED IN THESE CABINETS.
Cabinets must meet the following specifications:
- the bottom, top and sides must be of least 18-gauge metal iron and double walled with 1.5” of air space;
- joints must be riveted, welded or made tight by equally effective alternative means;
- the cabinet door should have a 3 point lock;
- the door sill should be raised at least 2 inches above the bottom of the cabinet;
- cabinets must be conspicuously labeled "Flammable - Keep Fire Away”.
Storage Requirements for Specific Hazard Classes of Chemicals
Flammables and Combustibles
Maximum Container Sizes:
OSHA and NFPA limit the size of the container for classes of flammable and combustible materials. The more fire resistant a container, the larger it may be.
Container Material and Type
Maximum allowable size of container
NFPA Flammable Liquid* Class
NFPA Combustible Liquid* Class
Metal (other than Department of Transportation (DOT) approved plastic)
Metal Drum (DOT approved)
- Sizes as large as 1 gallon may be used if the purity of the liquids is adversely affected by storage in metal or if liquid causes excessive corrosion of the container.
- In instructional laboratories, no containers for Class I or II liquids can exceed 1 gallon, unless they are stored in safety cans which may be of 2 gallon capacity
* Definitions of Flammable and Combustible Classes:
|Flammable/Combustible Class||Flash point||Boiling point|
|Class IA Flammables||<73oF||<100oF|
|Class IB Flammables||<73oF||>100oF|
|Class IC Flammables||>73oF||<100oF|
|Class II Combustibles||>100oF||<140oF|
|Class III Combustibles||>140oF|
Safety Cans for Flammables
Portable and approved safety cans should be used when possible for storing flammable liquids. At the very least, flammable liquids in quantities greater than 1 liter should be stored in metal containers. Safety cans are available in a variety of sizes and materials and are designed to prevent explosions in the event of a fire through a spring loaded spout cover which opens to relieve internal pressure when subjected to a fire. These cans will not leak if tipped over. Some also have flame arresters in the spout to prevent flame propagation into the cans. Flammable liquids purchased in large containers should be re-packed into smaller safety cans for distribution to laboratories.
Flammable and Other Compressed Gases
- The names of compressed gases must be prominently posted;
- storage of flammable gases in laboratories is not permitted, except when being used. At no point shall more than twice the amount required be permitted in instructional laboratories;
- flammable gas cylinders should be stored in a separate area from other types of compressed gases;
- cylinders of incompatible gases must be segregated by distance. Group cylinders by the type of gas (e.g. toxic, corrosive, etc.);
- empty cylinders should be separated from full cylinders and labeled "empty" or "MT";
- all compressed gases must be stored away from direct or localized heat (including radiators, steam pipes, or boilers) in well-ventilated, dry areas, and away from areas where heavy items could strike them (e.g. near elevators or service corridors);
- all compressed gases, including empty cylinders, must be secured in an upright position with chains, straps or special stands, and must be capped when stored or moved;
- a hand truck must be available for transporting gas cylinders to and from storage areas.
Definition: Oxidizers are any solid or liquid that readily yields oxygen or other oxidizing gas or that readily reacts to oxidize combustible materials. Strong oxidizers can present fire and explosion hazards on contact with organic compounds or other oxidizable materials. Some examples are:
- hydrogen peroxide (> 8%)
- magnesium perchlorate
- nitric acid
- perchloric acid
- silver nitrate
- calcium hypochlorite
- chromic acid
- sodium peroxide
- ammonium dichromate
- sodium chlorate
Oxidizers must be stored away from incompatible materials such as:
- flammables and combustible materials;
- paper trash bins;
- finely divided metals;
- organic liquids;
- other oxidizers.
Nitric acid, sulfuric acid, and perchloric acid should be stored in separate rooms, cabinets or break-resistant containers and placed in acid-resistant trays.
Some oxidizers can undergo explosive reactions when catalyzed or exposed to heat, shock, or friction and must be physically separated from other chemicals. Examples are:
- ammonium perchlorate;
- ammonium permanganate;
- hydrogen peroxide (> 91% by weight);
- perchloric acid solutions (> 72.5% by weight);
- potassium superoxide.
Strong oxidizing agents should be stored and used in glass or other inert containers of inorganic materials. Corks and rubber stoppers (i.e., organic materials) should not be used.
Peroxides and Chemicals Which Tend to Form Peroxides
These must be stored in airtight containers in a dark, cool and dry place.
Storage temperature considerations
To minimize the rate of decomposition, peroxides and peroxidizable materials should be stored at the lowest possible temperature consistent with their solubility and freezing point. Liquid or solutions of peroxide should not be stored at or lower than the temperature at which the peroxide freezes or precipitates, because peroxides in these forms are extremely sensitive to shock and heat.
Toxic chemicals can cause either severe short-term health effects and/or severe long-term chronic health effects. These include corrosives, dehydrating agents, carcinogens, potential carcinogens, allergic sensitizers, and reproductive hazards. They also include chemicals known to affect the nervous system, the liver, the kidneys, or the respiratory system.
- These chemicals must be stored in unbreakable chemically resistant containers;
- adequate ventilation must be provided in storage areas especially for toxics that have a high vapor pressure;
- all dispensing of these materials must be conducted in a fume hood;
- other information about handling extremely toxic chemicals can be found in Chapter VI.
Operating Procedures for Handling Chemical
Standard Operating Procedures
Evaluation of Potential and Known Hazards
Prior to initiating a new experiment or procedure, all laboratory employees must evaluate the potential physical and health hazards associated with its chemicals and processes. Container labels and material safety data sheets, as well as other references, will be used to conduct the evaluation. Laboratory personnel will be familiar with their own and previous evaluations prior to beginning work, and will use appropriate ventilation, protective equipment and procedures to minimize exposure. The evaluation will include preparation for any potential emergency.
Substitution as a Primary Method of Control
Following hazard evaluation, laboratory personnel should always consider substituting less hazardous and toxic substances. Only chemicals for which appropriate exposure controls are present may be used.
Laboratory employees must obtain prior approval to proceed with a laboratory task from a supervisor whenever:
- a new laboratory procedure or test is carried out;
- there is a significant change in a procedure or test likely to alter the hazard. A significant change is defined as a 10% or greater increase or decrease in the amount of one or more chemicals used, a substitution or deletion of any of the chemicals in a procedure, or a change in the conditions under which the procedure is conducted;
- there is a failure of equipment normally used such as fume hoods or other local ventilation;
- there are unknown or unexpected test results;
- members of the laboratory staff become ill, suspect exposure or otherwise suspect failure of the engineering safeguards.
Reporting Laboratory Incidents and Unsafe Conditions
Report all laboratory incidents no matter how minor to a supervisor. Incident report forms are available from the Chemical Hygiene Officer. Unusual or unexplainable chemical incidents should be discussed with others in the department, to caution others as to the risk of the procedure. Report any unsafe conditions by contacting the CHO and filing a written report so that the condition may be corrected as soon as possible. Unsafe conditions which must be reported include:
- non-functioning hoods in areas where hazardous chemicals are being used;
- unsafe storage conditions;
- blocked emergency exits;
- improperly charged fire extinguishers;
- eyewash stations or safety showers that do not work;
- absence of personal protective equipment (e.g, goggles, gloves)
NEVER work alone in a laboratory or chemical storage area. Under most circumstances individuals should avoid working alone when conducting research and experiments involving hazardous substances and procedures. Rules are as follows:
- Undergraduate teaching laboratories: A faculty member must be present in the lab at all times when undergraduate students are conducting experiments.
- Research Laboratories: Personnel working alone must contact Public Safety to make them aware of their presence in the facility and encourage them to periodically check on them. These personnel should plan a route of escape in case of an emergency.
- Wear appropriate eye protection at all times.
- When working with flammable chemicals, be certain that there are no sources of ignition near enough to cause a fire or explosion in the event of a vapor release or liquid spill.
- Use a tip-resistant shield for protection whenever an explosion or implosion might occur.
For the chemicals they are working with, all employees should be aware of:
- the chemicals' hazards, as determined from the MSDS and other appropriate references;
- appropriate safeguards for using that chemical, including personal protective equipment;
- the location and proper use of emergency equipment;
- how and where to properly store the chemical when it is not in use;
- proper personal hygiene practices;
- the proper methods of transporting chemicals within the facility;
- appropriate procedures for emergencies, including evacuation routes, spill cleanup procedures and proper waste disposal
- Never store food or beverages in storage areas, refrigerators, glassware, or use utensils which are also used for laboratory operations.
- Do not eat, drink, smoke, chew gum, or apply cosmetics in laboratories where chemicals or other hazardous materials (e.g., radioactive or biohazardous materials) are present.
- Never mouth pipet. Always use a pipet bulb or other mechanical pipet filling device.
- Do not smell or taste chemicals.
- Wash areas of exposed skin well before leaving the laboratory
- Confine long hair and loose clothing. Wear shoes at all times in the laboratory but do not wear sandals, perforated shoes or sneakers.
- Always wear long-sleeved and long-legged clothing. While performing laboratory work, never wear short-sleeved T-shirts, short skirts, or shorts.
- Jewelry should not be worn which interferes with gloves and other protective clothing, or which could come into contact with electrical sources or react with chemicals.
Proper Equipment Use
- Use equipment only for its intended purpose.
- Inspect equipment or lab apparatus for damage before use. Never use damaged equipment such as cracked glassware, or equipment with frayed electrical wiring.
- Shield or wrap Dewar flasks and other evacuated glassware to contain chemicals and glass fragments should implosion occur.
Personal protective Equipment
Choose protective clothing and other equipment based on the types of chemicals handled, the degree of protection required, and the areas of the body which may become contaminated. All clothing and equipment must at a minimum, meet standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). All respiratory protective equipment must be chosen in conjunction with the Chemical Hygiene Officer, since there are strict legal requirements as to the use and distribution of these devices.
Every effort must be made to evaluate the effectiveness of equipment and make improvements where possible. The Chemical Hygiene Officer should be consulted for suggestions. Special consideration must be given to purchasing appropriate personal protective equipment and other safety equipment when extremely hazardous substances are involved. Choice of this equipment under these circumstances must be reviewed by the Chemical Hygiene Officer in advance of purchase requests.
All personnel, students, and any visitors in locations where chemicals are stored or handled must wear protective goggles at all times. Setting the requirements for their use is the responsibility of lab supervisors and directors. All eyewear must meet the American National Standards Institute's (ANSI) "Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection", Z87.11989. Prior to use, personnel will verify that the equipment has been approved for the particular procedure (e.g., Protective equipment may be ANSI certified for chemical splashes but not for explosions). ANSI standards require minimum lens thickness of 3mm, impact resistance, passage of a flammability test, and lens- retaining frames.
DO NOT WEAR contact lenses, even under goggles or safety glasses. Gases and vapors can concentrate under or in lenses and cause permanent eye damage. It is almost impossible to remove contact lens to irrigate the eye in an emergency.
The following table will be consulted in choosing protective eyewear.
Eye Protection Guidelines
|Type of Eye Protection||
Activities Requiring Use of Eye Protection
Acid/Caustic goggles with side shields
Impact protection goggles
Face shields (protects face, throat and neck)
Both goggles and face shields
Specialized eye protection
ORDINARY PRESCRIPTION GLASSES ARE NOT ADEQUATE TO PROTECT EYES FROM INJURY.
Guidelines for Use of Gloves
It is the responsibility of the lab director/supervisor and the employee, to choose and use the appropriate gloves.
Gloves must be worn whenever there is a chance for hand contact with chemicals, such as during the transfer of chemicals from one container to another or during the transfer of chemical wastes. Gloves must be worn if the chemicals involved are easily absorbed through the skin and/or are acute or chronic toxins. When working with the corrosive liquids, also wear gloves made of material known to be resistant to permeation by the corrosive chemical and tested by air inflation (do not inflate by mouth) for the absence of pin-hole leaks.
Lab personnel must inspect gloves prior to each use. Gloves must be washed before removal except those that are easily permeated by water (e.g. leather, polyvinyl alcohol).
Prior to use, lab personnel will consult the glove manufacturers permeation and resistance charts (available from the manufacturer) to make sure that the glove is made of the proper material for the chemicals being used. These materials vary in the way they resist being degraded and permeated. No glove totally resists degradation and permeation over time and must be replaced periodically, depending on how often it is used, for what concentration of chemical, and for how long. The make-up and thickness of a glove determines its appropriateness.
The choice of protective clothing depends upon the degree of protection required. Protective and appropriate clothing is required when a potential exists for chemical splashes, fire, extreme heat or cold, excessive moisture, and radiation. Setting requirements for their use is the responsibility of lab supervisors and directors.
Protective clothing which should be readily available to laboratory personnel include:
- Lab coats
- Lab aprons
- Shoe Covers
- Jump suits/coveralls
Laboratory personnel must be instructed to consider the following characteristics in protective clothing selection and purchase:
- ability to resist fire, heat and the chemicals used;
- impermeability, when needed;
- comfort, permitting easy execution of tasks when worn;
- ease of cleaning (unless disposable);
- ability to be removed during an emergency or chemical splash (e.g., has snap fasteners rather than buttons).
Safety shields should be used on or near equipment when there is potential for explosion or splash hazards. Fixed shields will be used whenever possible, recognizing that their weight and resistance provides superior protection against minor blasts. Portable shields may be used when the hazard is limited to small splashes, heat or fire. Where combustion is possible, the shield must be made of non-flammable or slow burning material. It is the laboratory supervisor's responsibility to assure that shields are used appropriately.
Prior to large volume purchases, personal protective equipment should be evaluated under real or simulated conditions to ensure that it meets both safety and performance standards. For example, chemical splash goggles may meet ANSI standards but fog up rapidly or are so uncomfortable that they will not be worn.
OSHA requires all employers to primarily prevent air contamination. If vapor concentrations cannot be kept below regulated levels, the employer must implement a written respirator program (29 CFR 1910.134). The written program will address issues such as respirator selection criteria, inspection, and maintenance. All personnel using respirators must be trained in their proper use and care. Additionally, there are fit testing and medical evaluation requirements
Transportation of Chemicals Within the Facility
- Hand-carried chemicals should be placed in an outside container or acid carrying bucket to protect against breakage;
- wheeled carts used to transport chemicals should be stable and move smoothly over uneven surfaces without tipping or stopping suddenly, should have lipped surfaces which would contain the chemicals if the containers break;
- laboratory employees transporting chemicals must wear splash goggles and an apron in the event that containers break and chemicals are splashed;
- use freight only elevators if possible and passenger elevators only during low use time periods;
- compressed gas cylinders should be transported with hand trucks only with the cylinder strapped in place;
- cylinders must NEVER be rolled or dragged. Keep the cylinder capped until it is used.
- Keep all work areas, including work benches and floors, clean, dry and uncluttered;
- access to emergency equipment, utility controls, showers, eyewash stations and laboratory exits should never be blocked;
- all chemical containers must be labeled with at least the identity of the contents and the hazards those contents present to users;
- all chemicals should be placed in their assigned storage areas at the end of each workday;
- at the end of each workday, the contents of all unlabeled containers are to be considered wastes;
- wastes should be properly labeled and kept in their proper containers;
- promptly clean up all spills; properly dispose of the spilled chemical and cleanup materials;
- all working surfaces and floors should be cleaned regularly;
- no chemicals are to be stored in aisles or stairwells, on desks or laboratory benches, on floors or in hallways, or to be left overnight on shelves over the workbenches.
Working with Toxic Chemicals
Laboratory personnel usually are aware of the physical properties of the chemicals they use. They are often not aware of the toxicology of these same chemicals. The MSDSs for many of the chemicals used in the laboratory will state recommended limits or OSHA-mandated limits, or both, as guidelines for exposure. Typical limits are threshold limit values (TLV), permissible exposure limits (PEL), and action levels. When such limits are stated, they will be used to assist the Chemical Hygiene Officer in determining the safety precautions, control measures, and safety apparel that apply when working with toxic chemicals. Chemicals must be used in an operating fume hood, glove box, vacuum line, or similar device, which is equipped with appropriate traps and/or scrubbers if:
- a TLV or PEL value is less than 50 ppm or 50 mg/m3;
- the lethal concentration information (LC50) is less than 200ppm or 200mg/m3 (when administered continuously for one hour or less);
- vapor pressures are moderate or high and will be likely exceed maximum air concentration limits.
Deposit chemical waste in their appropriate, labeled, receptacles and follow all other disposal procedures described in Section V of this Chemical Hygiene Plan.
Be particularly cautious about releasing hazardous substances into designated "cold" rooms or "warm" rooms, since these facilities have recirculated atmospheres.
Minimize the release of toxic vapors into the laboratory by venting apparatus such as vacuum pumps and distillation columns into local exhaust devices. When especially toxic or corrosive vapors are involved, they should pass through scrubbers prior to being discharged from the local exhaust system.
Working with Flammable Chemicals
- In general, the flammability of a chemical is determined by its flash point, the lowest temperature at which an ignition source can cause the chemical to ignite momentarily under certain controlled conditions.
- Chemicals with a flash point below 200 F (93.3 C) will be considered "fire-hazard chemicals".
- OSHA standards and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines define when a chemical is considered flammable. In all work with fire-hazard chemicals, follow the requirements of 29 CFR, Subparts H and L; NFPA Manual 30, "Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code"; and NFPA Manual 45, "Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals".
- Fire-hazard chemicals should be stored in a flammable solvent storage area or in storage cabinets designed for flammable materials.
- Fire-hazard chemicals should be used only in vented hoods and away from sources of ignition.
Working with Reactive Chemicals
A reactive chemical is one that:
- is described as such in the MSDS;
- is ranked by the NFPA as 3 or 4 for reactivity;
- is identified by the Department of Transportation as an oxidizer, an organic peroxide, or an explosive, Class A, B, or C;
- meets the EPA definition of reactive in 40 CFR 261.23;
- meets the OSHA definition of unstable in 29 CFR 1910.1450;
- is known or found to be reactive with other substances.
Handle reactive chemicals with all proper safety precautions, including segregation in storage and prohibition on mixing even small quantities with other chemicals without prior approval and appropriate personal protection and precautions.
Working with Corrosive and Contact Hazard Chemicals
Corrosivity, allergenic, and sensitizer information is sometimes given in manufacturers' MSDSs and on labels. Also, guidelines on which chemicals are corrosive, can be found in other OSHA standards and in regulations promulgated by DOT in 49CFR and the EPA in 40SFR.
A corrosive chemical is one that:
- meets the OSHA definition of corrosive in Appendix A of 29 CFR 1910.1200;
- has a pH greater than 12.5 or less than 2.0;
- is known or found to be corrosive to living tissue.
A contact-hazard chemical is an allergen or sensitizer that:
- is so identified or described in the MSDS or on the label;
- is so identified or described in the medical or industrial hygiene literature;
- is known or found to be an allergen or sensitizer.
Handle corrosive and contact-hazard chemicals with all proper safety precautions including wearing both safety goggles and face shield, gloves tested for absence of pin holes and known to be resistant to permeation or penetration, and a laboratory apron or laboratory coat.
The OSHA Laboratory standard requires that protective equipment function properly and that specific measures be taken to ensure proper and adequate performance of such equipment. Provisions are also required for additional employee protection when working with particularly hazardous substances.
It is this institution's responsibility to provide the following controls where they are needed to protect employees and to ensure that:
- general ventilation systems and fume hoods are functional and meet the requirements for procedures performed;
- personal protective equipment is appropriate and available;
- emergency safety facilities and equipment are sufficient and accessible.
Requirements with respect to the first two types of controls and criteria for their use are described below. Requirements for emergency safety facilities and equipment is covered in Chapter VII.
The general ventilation system in laboratories must be well-maintained and the quantity and quality of air flow monitored every 3 months. Eight to fourteen (8-14) room air changes per hour should be provided by general ventilation in laboratories where fume hoods are used as the primary method of control. Storage areas used for flammables must have 6 air changes per hour. Air should be 100% fresh in all active laboratories and chemical storage areas. Air removed from the laboratories through vents and ducts by general ventilation should be vented to the outside, not into the general facility circulation. Intake vents for the system should be far enough removed from the system's exit port to prevent cross contamination. A slightly negative pressure should be maintained in laboratories to ensure airflow into the laboratory from uncontaminated areas. These advisories will be taken into account in all future design and redesign of ventilation systems for laboratory use.
General ventilation will not be relied upon to protect employees from toxic exposures. Fume hoods and other local exhaust system devices must be used for these purposes.
Specific circumstances under which fume hoods must be used are indicated below.
Fume hoods minimize personal risk of exposure to toxic and hazardous materials by isolating activities from the general laboratory environment and by capturing chemical vapors, fumes and mists at their source, preventing them from entering the general laboratory environment. Their use is encouraged whenever possible, and mandated for certain substances and procedures, as outlined below. Check fume hoods before use to ensure adequate functioning. Send a hood maintenance request to Buildings & Grounds if there is a problem and contact the CHO if the problem is not addressed immediately.
Fire Department regulations in NYC require that all fume hoods be vented so that a minimum average face velocity of 100 linear feet per minute (100 ft/min) is achieved. The Maintenance and Inspection Program for laboratories of this institution, described in Chapter IX of this Plan, will ensure that fume hood performance is routinely assessed and systems are maintained.
Common ducts may be used only for fume hoods located in the same laboratory unit (defined as an enclosed fire-rated space that may contain more than one separate laboratory work areas). Hoods in different laboratory units should not have combined ducts. Duct work must be arranged so that exhaust from one duct cannot be forced out through any other hood served by the common duct.
When Hoods Will be Used:
- The toxicity of the substance used should be considered. Hoods should always be used when the chemical is a known or suspected carcinogen, reproductive hazard, sensitizer, or acutely toxic chemical;
- the quantity of chemical should be considered. Hoods should always be used when handling large quantities of chemicals (over 500 milliliters of liquid or over 30 grams of a solid); flammable and reactive substances should be handled in a fume hood;
- new reactions that may be unpredictable or old reactions which have a history of being less than fully reliable must be conducted in a hood.
Required Work Practices with Fume Hoods
- All laboratory employees must check the functioning of fume hoods before use and employ work practices which optimize the protection afforded by fume hoods. Methods for evaluating fume hood performance will be a subject covered in employee training, and will generally include:
- Continuous monitoring devices
- Smoke tube tests
- Kimwipes on bottom edge of sash
- Immediately report all improperly functioning fume hoods to the laboratory supervisor or director. It is their responsibility to ensure that fume hoods in their laboratories work properly;
- do not block vents in the hood with stored chemicals - doing so interferes with the proper airflow;
- hoods must not be used to dispose of or store hazardous chemicals. Hoods which evolve toxic vapors or dusts must be fitted with condensers, traps, or scrubbers, to contain and collect them and prevent them from being released into the environment;
- hoods should be closed when not in use. Keep the sash down as far as possible during use to improve the overall performance of the hood. If chemicals remain in the hood after use, the fan must be left on;
- reduce turbulence near and in the hood by closing nearby doors and windows when possible, opening and closing the sash slowly and smoothly, and by avoiding rapid movements inside the hood;
- keep equipment at least 6 inches inside the hood face;
- connect electrical equipment to outlets outside the hood when possible. This way, in the event of an emergency one can disconnect equipment without creating a spark inside the hood. Be cautious of tripping hazards with the cords;
- wash the hood work platform as often as necessary to maintain a clean, dry surface.
Fume hoods in which perchloric acid, strong oxidizing agents, or highly reactive chemicals are used
Fume hoods for handling (and heating) perchloric acid, strong oxidizing agents, or other highly reactive chemicals must be served by an independent duct. If you are unsure of whether this is the case when using these materials, DO NOT GO FORWARD WITH YOUR WORK. Contact the Facilities Office to determine if hoods are independently ducted.
Situations in Which Laboratory Work Should Not Proceed
When fume hoods are not operating properly, they should not be used. Where there is reason to believe that laboratory employees would be unnecessarily exposed to toxic chemicals due to the failure of a hood to function properly, then activities should cease. See Chapter VI, "Handling Chemicals" of this Plan for more specific operating procedures around fume hood use with particularly hazardous chemicals.
New Construction and Installation of Fume Hoods
The Chemical Hygiene Committee will be consulted in advance of plans for any new construction of fume hoods in laboratory facilities to ensure that safety regulations and past experience are considered.
Inspection and Maintenance
The Chemical Hygiene Officer will coordinate the maintenance and inspection of facilities, general ventilation systems, fume hoods, and emergency facilities and equipment such as eyewash stations, safety showers, fire extinguishers, and self-contained breathing apparatuses in laboratories, storage areas, and preparation rooms. The frequency of these inspections and maintenance programs is described in Chapter IX. Maintenance and Inspection programs will target areas in which particularly hazardous chemicals and/or procedures are used.
Employee Reporting of Improperly Functioning Equipment
Between maintenance and inspection intervals, all laboratory employees must report improperly functioning fume hoods, general ventilation systems, safety showers, and eyewash stations and other safety equipment to Buildings & Grounds using a standard "Work Order" form.
Availability of Equipment
Each department supervisor, will complete and maintain a checklist identifying the types and approximate number of safety items required for each workspace in that department. The checklist will be made available to the Chemical Hygiene Officer upon request. Each supervisor must ensure that the choice of all safety equipment is based on an evaluation of the hazards of procedures and chemicals used in each laboratory.
Each department must ensure that any necessary equipment is ordered, received and made available to employees. Safety equipment checklists will be reviewed during biannual inspections by the Chemical Hygiene Officer and Committee
Emergency Planning and Response
This chapter of the Chemical Hygiene Plan describes how this institution will meet it's responsibilities to prepare for laboratory-related emergencies. Described below are emergency safety equipment and materials required in every laboratory, guidelines for responding to chemicals spills, fires and medical emergencies, and procedural and educational steps to ensure that laboratories and laboratory personnel are prepared for chemical spills and emergencies.
Preparing for Emergencies
Operating Procedures for Responding to Spills, Fires, and Medical Emergencies
The Chemical Hygiene Committee will periodically review and update this institution's guidelines for responding to chemical spills, fires and medical emergencies. Principal Investigators of research and designated department personnel of academic programs maintain responsibility to develop written operating procedures for responding to emergencies involving extremely hazardous chemicals they currently or intend to work with. The Chemical Hygiene Officer and Committee will review these procedures.
Building Evacuation Procedures
The Chemical Hygiene Committee members and the Chemical Hygiene Officer will formally establish emergency protocols for evacuating laboratory facilities in the event of a fire, chemical release or other emergency. Already existing protocol will be periodically reviewed and updated by the Chemical Hygiene Committee. The written evacuation protocol will be specifically checked for proper coordination between principal investigator's laboratories, departmental laboratories, teaching labs and the Chemical Hygiene Office.
Establishment of Outside Technical Assistance and Response Capability
The Chemical Hygiene Committee and Chemical Hygiene Officer must establish off-site resources to be called upon to perform functions beyond the ability, scope or permitted actions of this institution's staff. Emergency resources have been established for the following events:
- large chemical spills (more than 6 liters) and extremely toxic chemical spills that cannot be handled by laboratory employees;
- toxic chemical releases (compressed gases, cryogenics);
- medical emergencies.
The table below, or one substantially similar should be posted in each laboratory near a telephone, or in another prominent location at eye level.
Contacts for Laboratory Emergencies
FIRES OR EXPLOSIONS
LARGE CHEMICAL SPILLS
Chemical Hygiene Officer, Shaldon Watson, x8978
To be arranged
CYLINDER / CHEMICAL
Chemical Hygiene Officer, Shaldon Watson, x8978
To be arranged
Acute Chemical Exposure
Name: Public Safety
Tel: Ext. 7777
Development of On-site Emergency Response Capability
The Chemical Hygiene Committee members should develop the capacity to efficiently and quickly respond to first reports of laboratory emergencies and provide assistance and guidance in selecting a course of action. They each will be familiar with the above-named contacts, their telephone numbers, and understand the capabilities and limitations of this institution to respond to problems. Committee members will feel free to call upon each other for advise in anticipation of a problem or during or following an incident. For this reason, a list of current Chemical Hygiene committee members is included below.
|Mr. Shaldon Watson||EH&S||x8978|
|Mr. Ray Pegollo||Buildings & Grounds||x8180|
|Mr. John Belardo||Art||x8889|
|Mr. Fausto Ramirez||Public Safety||x7777|
|Ms. Ilona Linins||EH&S||x8988|
Review and Investigation of Incidents
In addition to the already established labor management authority in this institution for reviewing incidents, the Chemical Hygiene Officer will review all incident reports with the express aim of understanding factors which contributed to its occurrence in order to help prevent future occurrences. Recommendations for improvements will be presented and discussed at Chemical Hygiene Committee meetings and with appropriate department personnel.
Completion of Laboratory Safety Equipment Checklists
Each Laboratory (in consultation with the Department and the Chemical Hygiene Officer) will develop a check-list indicating the number and types of safety and spill control equipment required to protect employees in that lab during spill clean-up, fire, or evacuation procedures. This list must be kept current and updated after each incident.
Required Emergency Equipment and Facilities
It is the institution's responsibility to identify and purchase spill control and personal protective equipment for employees working in laboratories and other workplaces. This institution will provide a sufficient number of appropriate and charged fire extinguishers, eyewash and shower facilities, respiratory protective devices, and first aid kits in all laboratories. It is the responsibility of supervisors, Principal Investigators and others to alert Department Heads about the lack of necessary safety equipment and facilities in their laboratories.
Emergency Telephones and Posted Telephone Numbers
Every lab should have a clearly marked phone with emergency telephone numbers listed next to it. If there is no phone in the lab, there must be an alternative written plan for contacting emergency or other personnel. This alternative plan must be clearly posted in the laboratory. Specific telephone numbers to be posted are indicated above.
Deluge Showers and Eyewash Stations
Showers must be located within 25 feet of every laboratory, storage area, or chemical preparation room wherever corrosives, dehydrating agents, solvents, and other hazardous chemicals are stored or used. Eyewash stations should be installed and functional in each lab, storage area or chemical preparation room. Instructions for activating the shower and eyewash should be clearly posted and all lab personnel must be trained to use these facilities.
Eyewash stations should be centrally placed in a lab along a normal path of egress and should take no longer than 16 seconds to reach from any point in the laboratory.
The shower and the eyewash should ideally be next to each other, since incidents involving facial splashes are likely to involve other part of the body as well. The eyewash water supply must provide .4 gallons/minute of water at 25 psi or less to flood the eyes and face with potable, aerated, water for at least 16 minutes. The best design is 2 nozzles facing upward and aimed slightly inward.
The water supply should run until it is turned off. Deluge showers should be able to deliver 50-60 gallons of water at one time.
Valves on eyewash and safety showers should be easily turned on in one second or less and designed so that water flow stays on without requiring the operator to keep it on.
Ideally, the water temperature should be at 90-95 degrees F (32- 35 degrees C) but not over 100 degrees F. A flow of extremely cold water on a person for any length of time can cause them to go into shock.
Small squeeze bottles containing a pint or quart of water are not acceptable. The water may be contaminated and there is not sufficient volume to be of any use.
Fire Alarm System
All laboratory facilities must be capable of notifying all personnel in the vicinity of a fire so that they may evacuate the building. Locations which have no alarm system must have alternative ways of notifying employees and other persons. These alternative methods must be communicated to all necessary personnel.
Portable extinguishers must be present in all laboratories, chemical storage and preparation areas. They must be of the right type and the right capacity (volume) to be able to extinguish the amount of material that may be involved in a fire. The following table shows the uses for different types of extinguishers and is a guide for the choice of the proper extinguisher in any laboratory.
Fire extinguishers should be located near doors of storage or work areas or just inside or outside of the door so that when an occupant attempts to get the extinguisher, he/she will be moving toward the exit. The maintenance program for fire extinguishers to ensure that they are properly charged for use is described in Chapter IX.
Uses for various types of fire extinguishers
TYPE OF EXTINGUISHER
DO NOT USE ON
burning paper, wood, coal, rubber, textiles
Class A fires
electrical, liquid or metal fires
petroleum hydrocarbons (flammable solvents, motor oil, grease)
Class B fires
metal fires (including lithium aluminum hydride)
burning liquids, large quantities of flammable solvents
Class C fires
metal fires, fires involving delicate instruments
Met-L-X and others with special granular formations
burning metal (e.g. lithium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, alloys of reactive metals, metal hydrides, metal alkyls, and other organometallics)
Class D fire
paper, trash, liquid, electrical fires
Multipurpose extinguishers are good for areas where fires may involve different classes of materials. Dry powder extinguishers, for example, would be good for a fire involving all or one of the following: solvents (Type B), and electrical (Type C). If a laboratory also used combustible metals (magnesium and sodium) a second extinguisher for Type D fires (e.g., Met-L-X) is required.
Fire blankets must be readily available in each laboratory to use to cover an injured victim who may be in shock until emergency medical help arrives. NEVER USE FIRE BLANKETS TO COVER A VICTIM IN A STANDING POSITION WHOSE CLOTHING IS ON FIRE. This would increase the amount of hot gases and smoke inhaled, as well as possibly cause face and head burns. Procedures for clothing fires are described below.
Chemical Spill Control Equipment
The College will ensure that all teaching and research laboratories will have sufficient spill control equipment either in the laboratory itself or readily available to respond to spills involving the chemicals used in the laboratory. Chemical spill supplies must be capable of dealing with a spill of up to two gallons. The minimum equipment should include:
- neutralizing materials;
- absorption materials;
- broom and dustpan;
- bags, large, 6 mil polyethylene;
- bucket (polyethylene);
- containers (5 gallon plastic);
- high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtered vacuum cleaner (for certain materials such as toxic metals and their compounds). class=WordSection116>
The types of neutralizing and absorption material, and containers will depend on the types of chemicals used in a laboratory.
Goggles (splash proof)
Eye protection must always be worn during ANY work with chemicals, including cleaning up spills.
Various Types of Gloves
Use manufacturer's permeation and resistance glove charts (which can be obtained from the manufacturer) to choose appropriate gloves to use when cleaning up spills. Laboratory personnel should make themselves familiar with the best choice of gloves for the types of spills that are most likely to be encountered.
Rubber boots or plastic shoe covers should be worn to avoid exposure of shoes (and feet) to corrosives or large quantities of solvents in clean-up operations. Foot protection such as shoe covers should be used in emergency situations only because of the risk of static spark.
Coveralls, Light Weight, Chemical Resistant (e.g. Tyvek) and Duct Tape
These may be necessary depending upon the extent of the spill and the toxicity or corrosivity of the chemical(s) involved. Duct tape is used to tape off all openings in the coveralls (wrists, ankles, etc).
Disposable Full Length Jump Suits
Use when cleaning up particularly hazardous materials such as carcinogens. Disposable full-length jump suits for high risk situations, offer protection from vapor and/or liquid penetration from head to toes.
Employees working in laboratories, storage areas, or preparation rooms, should not have to wear respiratory protective equipment routinely. However, there may be emergency situations which require the use of positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus, or negative pressure half-face respirators, or emergency escape air packs.
Each Department must determine, with assistance from the Chemical Hygiene Officer and Committee, the types and number of respirators which should be made available in each department for emergency situations.
Situations requiring respirators include:
- large chemical spills and spills involving extremely toxic chemicals;
- chemical releases from compressed gas cylinders involving toxic materials or ones which rapidly create oxygen deficient environments;
- escape from advanced fires.
Under no circumstances is respiratory protective equipment to be used by a person unless they have participated in a respirator protection program which includes training, a medical exam, and fit testing required by the OSHA Respirator Standard (Title 29, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1910.134).
First Aid Kit
Every laboratory must have a first aid kit containing a variety of bandages; adhesive tape, alcohol swabs, gauze, cold and hot packs, burn spray, abrasion ointment, tweezers, scissors and a first aid manual.
Standard Operating Procedures for Chemical Spills
Each department must consider the types of emergencies that may arise within its laboratories and develop written procedures describing the series of steps that should be taken in the event that these emergencies occur. Any laboratories handling extremely hazardous materials (including carcinogens, potential carcinogens, reproductive hazards, acutely toxic chemicals or sensitizers) must have a written protocol for their use. The use of biologic and radiologic materials may require distinct protocols, depending on their quantity and the extent and severity of their hazards. All laboratory employees must be trained in the steps to take in the event of an emergency.
In the event of any chemical spill, release, injury or illness incident reports must be filled out, signed by either the person involved or an alternate person of their choosing and sent to the Chemical Hygiene Officer.
Laboratory employees witnessing chemical spills or emergencies must never take it upon themselves to clean up a chemical spill, put out a fire, or administer medical assistance if they are not familiar with emergency or spill control protocol, don't know what chemicals are involved or don't have the proper protection.
NEVER contact Custodial Staff to respond to chemical spills! They are neither trained nor equipped to clean-up chemical spills.
Laboratory employees must wear personal protective equipment which will prevent contact with or inhalation of toxic chemicals.
All laboratory employees witnessing, involved, or affected by a chemical spill, release or other incident are entitled to a medical consultation by a physician experienced in identifying and treating patients experiencing toxic effects of chemicals.
After each incident, designated Department personnel must ensure that all emergency equipment, supplies, and materials are replenished.
- Inert solids can be swept up and placed into a container constructed of material it originally came in. However, certain solids pose toxic, flammable and reactive hazards and must never be swept up routinely or mixed in with regular trash.
- Oxidizers: Spilled nitrates, permanganates, and perchlorates must be separated from other types of waste products and kept away from paper and other combustibles.
- Extremely toxic solids: beryllium, cadmium, arsenic, barium, mercury and their compounds. These must be collected with a high efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA) vacuum cleaner which removes up to 99.7% of particles with mean diameters as small as 0.3 micrometers.
- Air-reactive (pyrophoric) solids. These burn when exposed to the air.
- White Phosphorous. If spilled, it must be kept wet and covered with wet sand. Any spill residue must be kept under water. Dispose of as a hazardous material. Other pyrophoric solids may be incompatible with water. It is the laboratory supervisor’s responsibility to research (using Material Safety Data Sheets and applicable texts) appropriate response to other types of spills involving a specific pyrophoric chemical.
- Water-reactive solids: Sodium and potassium metals react with water to form flammable hydrogen gas which may then ignite from the heat of the reaction. Cover potassium with dry sodium carbonate and disperse and place the mixture in a large steel pan located in an isolated, dry area pending its disposal.
- Explosive solids: Only trained personnel should attempt to clean up spills involving explosive solids. Immediately notify the Chemical Hygiene Officer in the event that an explosive solid is spilled.
- All liquid spills should be diked first (absorbent placed around the spilled material), then generally neutralized and absorbed onto a solid material before being disposed of. There are three major types of absorbents, each appropriate for certain types of chemical spills.
- Organic Absorbents (paper towels, sawdust). Inappropriate for caustics, acids and oxidizers.
- Mineral (granular clay, vermiculite, diatomaceous earth, sand). This is the most inert type of absorbent material to use, but should not be used for chemicals that liberate vapors.
- Synthetic (polypropylene fibers). Not good with strong oxidizers. The only appropriate absorbent for hydrofluoric acid spills.
- The area of a spill must always be decontaminated after the spilled material is removed (see decontamination issues below).
- Never use a mop, wringer or bucket on a hazardous or flammable liquid. Mops should only by used on nontoxic, non-corrosive, nonflammable, and inert liquids.
- Do not dilute spilled liquid laboratory chemicals with water unless absolutely necessary (i.e. there are no neutralizing materials available) for the following reasons:
- In some cases it is dangerous (e.g. with sulfuric acid it can cause splattering and related harm).
- It does not work for organic solvents and other hazardous liquids.
- It is not legal to flush chemicals into the sewer system. The liquid must be removed and treated as hazardous waste.
- It causes the spill to spread further than it might have and may ultimately increase the cost of disposal.
- Before responding immediately to a spill, consider the potential vapor concentration and toxicity of the material. Consider the rate of evaporation of the liquid, the environmental conditions of the room (adequacy of ventilation, temperature), and the time elapsed since the spill occurred.
- Always make sure to have the necessary personal protective equipment before attempting to clean up a chemical spill.
- All contaminated spill materials, including disposable personal protective equipment, (almost always) must be disposed of as hazardous waste. Contents of all containers or plastic bags must be properly labeled.
- Always address an injury first before attempting to respond to a spill.
Guidelines for Specific Hazard Classes
Don splash protective goggles, acid-resistant gloves. Use manufacturers glove chart to determine in advance what kind of glove material you will need. Coveralls and plastic shoe covering may be necessary if the spill is large. Slowly add proper amounts of a weak base to the spill area (e.g. sodium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate, calcium carbonate) and physically mix the neutralizing agent slowly and uniformly into the acid with & plastic rod or wooden stick. An eventual lack of foaming or fizzing indicates the point of neutralization.
Then add absorbent such as vermiculite and scoop into a polyethylene container.
Hydrofluoric acid spills:
HF is extremely corrosive. The acidic fluoride attacks the skin quickly without initial pain and can cause severe delayed effects which require calcium gluconate injections. NEVER CLEAN-UP HF SPILLS, NO MATTER HOW SMALL UNLESS YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN YOU HAVE THE PROPER GLOVES AND THAT THEY HAVE NO HOLES.
Apply calcium-containing compounds and soda ash to precipitate the fluoride ion as calcium fluoride and render a neutral ph. DO NOT USE MINERAL ABSORBENTS (the silicon in them reacts with HF to produce silicon tetrafluoride, a toxic gas). Special synthetic absorbents are required.
Don the same protective equipment as for strong acids. Add a weak acid (e.g. citric acid or weak (1-6 molar) hydrochloric acid). PH indicator paper should be used to ensure that the material has been neutralized.
Before doing anything, turn off all power supplies and unplug any equipment that may spark. Hoods should also be turned off. Then follow the basic guidelines for liquid spills above. Flammable vapors may travel distances to ignition sources and flash back to the source of the vapors, rapidly creating a very dangerous environment.
All labs where mercury is present must have an acceptable means of cleaning up a mercury spill should one occur. Mercury is an extremely toxic metal, which evaporates at room temperature and is odorless with no warning properties. It easily fills cracks and crevices where it continues to evaporate without notice.
Mercury spill kits are commercially available. They include a small pump, sponges saturated with material that absorbs mercury, and absorbent powder that reacts with mercury to form an amalgam. The powder should be poured into seams and cracks of the floor if necessary.
NEVER USE ORDINARY VACUUM CLEANERS TO CLEAN UP MERCURY SPILLS! Mercury vapors will be spewed out of the vacuum's exhaust.
Personal Chemical Contamination and Medical Emergencies
All incidents involving chemical contamination (skin contact, inhalation, ingestion) or injury must be followed up by medical personnel at no cost to the employee. Listed below are initial steps to take to minimize harm after chemical exposure or injury. All incidents must be reported to the Chemical Hygiene Officer and the Incident Report Form filled out as soon as possible.
- Chemical Eye Splashes: Immediately rinse the affected eye or eyes at the eyewash station for at least 15 minutes while holding the lids open to ensure proper irrigation.
- Contamination of Large Areas of the Body: Immediately remove contaminated clothing while using the safety shower for at least 15 minutes. Wash contaminated areas with a mild soap and water. Do not waste time because of modesty. Do not use neutralizing agents or salves.
- Ingestion of Chemicals: Encourage victim to drink large quantities of water, and seek medical attention by calling Public Safety.
- Development of Signs or Symptoms of Chemical Exposure: In the event that a laboratory employee develops dizziness, nausea, light-headedness, a burning sensation in the eyes, nose, or throat, or other signs and symptoms of chemical exposure, they must leave the area immediately and get fresh air. Contact your Laboratory Supervisor and/or the Chemical Hygiene Officer.
- Thermal and Chemical Burns: Where appropriate, flush the area with cold water. For extreme burns, call a medical emergency number immediately and seek advice.
- Gashes. Cuts and Heavy Bleeding: Contact Public Safety at ext. 7777. Apply compression to the wound to slow bleeding. Call an ambulance service when appropriate.
Fires and Fire Related Incidents
Basic steps to take in the event of a fire (The order of these steps may vary depending on the situation):
- Pull the nearest fire alarm.
- Immediately after, notify the Fire Dept by calling 911.
- Evacuate all unnecessary people in the area. Follow building evacuation procedures.
- If there is time and it is safe, shut off all power and close the door of the room where the fire is behind you
- If you are working and you hear a fire alarm, immediately leave the building by taking the nearest stairwell. ALWAYS USE THE STAIRS. NEVER TAKE THE ELEVATOR.
Determining When to Attempt to Put Out a Fire
Judgement must be used to determine whether to attempt to put it out yourself. Combined circumstances which might encourage an attempt are
- the fire is small;
- chemical(s) and/or processes involved are not potentially explosive;
- fire is isolated (away from other chemicals);
- you have experience using a fire extinguisher;
- the fire extinguisher is the right type for the chemical involved;
- a move towards the fire extinguisher does not trap you in the room in the event the fire spreads;
- if the fire is in a beaker or other small container, it may be stopped by placing a watch glass over it with a tongs or other tool. NEVER PLACE A WATCH GLASS ON DIRECTLY WITH YOUR HANDS.
Using the Fire Extinguisher
In the event that a fire extinguisher is used, the following four steps should be taken
(P A S S):
- Pull the pin out on the extinguisher.
- Aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the nozzle to release extinguishing material.
- Sweep: Use a back and forth sweeping motion.
If after a few minutes the intensity or size of the fire has not diminished, GET OUT and close the door behind you. Larger or rapidly growing fires MUST BE LEFT UP TO THE FIRE DEPARTMENT!
When a Person and/or Their Clothing is on Fire
If you are on fire STOP, DROP, AND ROLL. Your body weight will smother the fire. DO NOT RUN! Running simply fuels the flames. Use the safety shower if it is not far away.
If you are witness to a person on fire, have the person STOP, DROP, and ROLL. Have someone else pull the fire alarm and contact the fire Department and Emergency Medical Services. DO NOT WRAP A PERSON IN A VERTICAL POSITION IN A BLANKET TO SMOTHER THE FLAMES. This could worsen the situation.
Ensuring Laboratory Preparedness for Emergencies
Employee participation in routine drills for fires, chemical spills, and medical emergencies.
All laboratory employees are required to participate in fire drills, chemical spill scenarios, and medical emergency scenarios to prepare them for these events. Fire drills will be coordinated by Public Safety and Buildings & Grounds. Chemical spills and medical emergency scenarios will be coordinated by department personnel. Interactive discussions will follow these scenarios which will be acted out and/or presented.
Laboratory supervisors must write spill response procedures for extremely hazardous chemicals and discuss them with employees before work with these chemicals is begun.
Routine laboratory inspections conducted by inspection teams described in Chapter IX of the plan will evaluate the adequacy of emergency safety facilities and equipment described in this chapter.
Emergency facilities and equipment are maintained periodically to ensure that when they are needed, they will function properly.
After each incident, designated Department personnel will ensure that all emergency equipment, supplies, and materials are replenished.
An Incident Reporting and Follow-up System ensures that the factors responsible for an incident are examined and corrected if possible
Maintenance and Inspection Program
The College has established a maintenance and inspection program to ensure that ventilation systems and emergency safety equipment are functioning properly and that laboratory working conditions meet legal as well as acceptable standards. The maintenance and inspection program will target facilities known to be using extremely hazardous chemicals including known and potential carcinogens, highly acutely toxic, reproductive toxins, allergens, and others .
General ventilation performance in laboratories will be evaluated by Buildings & Grounds twice a year to ensure that
- General ventilation provides fresh air and between 4 to 12 air changes per hour to all laboratories in which hoods are used.
- All exhaust air from laboratories is vented to the outside and not circulated throughout the building. Special attention will be paid to laboratories in which fume hoods are routinely operating to ensure a proper flow of air.
- All chemical storage areas receive 6 air changes an hour, and exhausted air is not re-circulated through the facility.
Centralized heating, ventilation and cooling systems that affect laboratories will also be maintained. This includes the following activities:
- filters are changed or cleaned;
- water is frequently checked for biological growth;
- condensate pans are cleaned regularly.
Local Exhaust Systems: Fume Hoods
The fume hood maintenance program comprises the following elements:
- Fan(s) check;
- bearings for overheating (grease as required);
- belt drives for proper tension;
- fan wheel for proper rotation and freedom from accumulations. Fan rotation is often reversed with repair or alterations to wiring circuits or starters. Fans move a fraction of their rated capacity when operating backwards.
The ducting will be inspected to ensure that joints are intact and there are no holes in the system.
Visual Inspection of Hood
The hood will be checked for signs of corrosion, or other indications of needed repair.
The interior surface of the hood, the sash glass, and the light unit will be cleaned.
Emergency Eyewash and Deluge Showers
Any needed maintenance and repair will be made on emergency eyewash systems or deluge showers that are not functioning properly. This will be determined during biannual facility inspections which test this equipment's performance.
All fire extinguishers will be inspected and maintained by Buildings & Grounds on a regular basis (every six months) to ensure that they are properly charged in the event of a fire. In addition, Buildings and Grounds will also be responsible for hydro-testing of extinguishers.
Mechanisms for Employees to Report Malfunctioning Equipment
Departmental personnel and laboratory employees having any indication of improper functioning of fume hoods or safety equipment will alert the Chemical Hygiene Officer and fill out a Work Order Form indicating the problem and the location of the fume hood or equipment.
Routinely scheduled laboratory inspection serve a number of purposes such as:
- providing "inspectors" with the opportunity to become familiar with procedures and chemicals used in labs;
- allowing for routine exchange and discussion between "inspectors" and laboratory personnel;
- identifying unsafe work conditions and practices;
- providing the basis for setting priorities and targeting efforts;
- providing a measurement of compliance with the OSHA Laboratory Standard and applicable state and local regulations.
A number of inspection checklists are included in Appendix. The first covers the major items or areas of the laboratory including general housekeeping, chemical storage, emergency equipment, fume hoods, etc. The other checklists (hood performance, gas cylinder and refrigerators and freezers) are examples of more detailed checklists for areas of the lab that merit particular attention. These checklists serve only as a guide since activities vary widely from lab to lab. During any laboratory inspection careful observation is more important than sticking rigidly to a checklist.
Chemical Hygiene Committee Inspections
The Chemical Hygiene Committee and Chemical Hygiene Officer will conduct biannual inspections of laboratories for unsafe conditions and practices as well as test key safety equipment to ensure its proper functioning.
Before inspections, a copy of the chemical inventory and a description of basic operations conducted in a lab will be provided by the laboratory supervisor to the Chemical Hygiene Committee.
Inspection Reports and Report Presentations
The Chemical Hygiene Officer and/or members of the committee will write inspection reports identifying problems needing immediate attention, and those that are of a lesser priority. Inspection results will be discussed with departmental Chairs, laboratory employees and laboratory supervisors and Principal Investigators, indicating what follow-up is needed to correct the problem(s) if any.
The inspection team will:
- Evaluate fume hood performance in laboratories.
- Use smoke tubes to determine if the hood is exhausting air;
- measure the rate of flow at the face of the hood by making a series of face velocity measurements (using micromanometer) at various points on a grid (see the sample hood performance form). Each measurement should not vary greater than or less than 25% from the average face velocity measurement;
- observe airflow in the room that may interfere with the fume hood's operation;
- ask laboratory employees about hood performance
- Inspect and test all emergency equipment including eyewash stations, and safety showers;
- look for blocked emergency exits;
- check fire extinguishers to make sure they are properly charged;
- check availability and appropriateness of spill control and other emergency equipment;
- check availability of MSDS;
- inspect protective equipment for integrity as well as appropriateness;
- observe general housekeeping conditions and systems used to communicate hazards (e.g. signs and labels);
- inspect storage areas for proper segregation of chemical classes, storage facility and container integrity;
- review waste disposal practices.
Routine Inspection by Laboratory Employees
Part of the training program for laboratory employees includes participation in self-guided quarterly inspections of their own laboratory. Each inspection will focus on one or two particular areas of the laboratory environment (e.g. emergency preparedness, fume hoods and personal protective equipment, chemical storage, etc.) and after each inspection, a list of needed improvements will be drawn up. These inspection results will serve as interim monitors of safety between the biannual inspections made by the Chemical Hygiene Committee.
Follow-up Measures to Ensure that Problems are Addressed
As a routine policy, the second inspection of the year will focus on laboratories in which improvements should have been made, either by laboratory employees or by management. All serious and potentially serious laboratory safety and/or health problems will be brought to the attention of the Chemical Hygiene Committee and a schedule of steps and time frame for completing them will be drawn up by the Committee.
Laboratory Employee Training and Information Programs
Each Department must make health and safety information for each chemical (or hazard class of chemicals) currently being used in the lab readily available to all laboratory employees during working hours. This is done by ensuring employee access to Material Safety Data Sheets and other reference texts on chemical health hazards, fire hazards, reactivity hazards, physical properties (vapor density, vapor pressure, lower and upper explosive limits, etc.).
Employees must have access to a copy of the OSHA Laboratory Standard and its appendices, as well as a list of OSHA permissible exposure limits.
All employees of Lehman College including faculty, graduate student teaching assistants, post doctoral researchers, laboratory technicians, maintenance and custodial employees who may come in contact with the laboratory environment, must attend a laboratory employee training session provided by a Chemical Hygiene Officer at the time of initial employment and each year thereafter to be made aware of their rights and responsibilities under the OSHA Laboratory Standard, and about specific operating procedures for working with chemicals.
Training Program Elements
Several 1-2 hour training sessions will be conducted throughout the year. These will be given by the Chemical Hygiene Officer. Specific focus and length for the training sessions is determined by the Chemical Hygiene Officer in conjunction with departmental representatives. Training will be conducted in groups.
The times and locations for these sessions are announced via a general College-wide mailing. Attendance records for these sessions will be maintained by the Chemical Hygiene Officer. The training session will cover the following material:
- The Laboratory Standard
- Chemical Hazards in the Laboratory
- Determining the Presence of Hazardous Chemicals
- Hazard Warning Labels
- Control Measures and Personal Protective Equipment
- Material Safety Data Sheets and Other Reference Materials
- Directing Complaints
Additional Training and Hands-On Instruction
At the request of department chairs or supervisors, the Chemical Hygiene Officer will conduct hands-on-training in:
- Proper use of fume hoods and/or other local exhaust systems and assessment of hood performance;
- use of emergency showers and eyewash stations;
- locations and use of spill control equipment.
The following materials will be distributed in each training program:
- Laboratory Standard Fact Sheet;
- list of key emergency telephone numbers incl. Chemical Hygiene Officer and Union Representatives;
- sample MSDS and Fact Sheet on how to read
The Chemical Hygiene Officer will maintain records of all laboratory training sessions, including sample agendas, handouts, sign-in sheets, course date and the number of hours participants attended. The Chemical Hygiene Officer, in conjunction with institutional administration, will assure that at least one copy of records of all training is maintained in a single, central location.
Exposure Evaluations, Medical Consultations and Exams
Lehman College will provide employees who work with hazardous chemicals a medical consultation and/or examination whenever an employee develops signs and symptoms of exposure associated with chemicals they are using (or may come in contact with) in the laboratory.
Suspicion of Exposure Criteria
The following are examples of events or circumstances which might be reasonably considered as evidence of likely toxic chemical exposure:
- employee had direct skin or eye contact with a chemical because of a spill, leak etc.;
- odor was noticed, especially if the person was working with a chemical with a TLV lower than the odor threshold;
- there is a manifestation of health hazard symptoms such as headache, dizziness, rash, nausea, coughing, tearing irritation or redness of eyes, irritation of nose or throat, or loss of motor control or judgment;
- some or all of the symptoms disappear when the person is taken into fresh air;
- symptoms previously complained about reappear soon after working with chemicals again;
- complaints are received from more than one person in the same work area.
The following procedure should be followed in evaluating exposures.
- Person or victim initiating the complaint should be interviewed;
- Essential information concerning the incident should be gathered such as:
- chemical name;
- other chemicals used by victim;
- chemicals used by others in the immediate area;
- chemicals stored in the area;
- symptoms of exposure;
- were control measures such as fume hoods and personal protective equipment used;
- are air sampling or monitoring devices available
- Conduct air sampling of area for suspected chemicals
- Do a comparison of symptoms with MSDS information for chemicals in the area.
- Determine if a medical consultation is needed.
- Review the present control measures and safety procedures to insure that they are adequate.
Medical Consultations and Exams
The exposure evaluation may indicate that a medical consultation should be offered to employees who are suspected of having an exposure to a hazardous chemical. The purpose of the consultation is to determine whether the employee needs a medical examination. The employee may be referred to a licensed physician trained in Occupational Medicine. In case an emergency situation arises, the Office of Public Safety will immediately summons an ambulance and the employee will be taken to the hospital. Consultations and exams will be provided at no cost to the employee, during the employees normal work time (if possible) and with no charge to either sick leave or annual leave and no loss of pay. Any bills incurred by the employee will be paid directly to the physician or to the employee if reimbursement is required.
The Chemical Hygiene Officer will refer to the incident report form (if available) to provide the following information to the physician involved:
- the hazardous chemicals the employee was exposed to;
- conditions under which the exposure occurred;
- signs or symptoms of exposure experienced by the employee during, soon after, and within 72 hours after the incident.
The physician must inform the College in writing and the examined employee of any necessary
medical follow-up. The physician must also report the results of the medical exam, and associated tests, and any medical conditions which would place the employee at increased risk as a result of exposure to a hazardous chemical in the workplace. The written opinion will not reveal specific findings of diagnoses unrelated to occupational exposure.
The following are occupational medicine clinics in New York City and vicinity:
- Mount Sinai Irving J. Selikoff Occupational Health Clinical Center
12th Floor Guggenheim Hall
5 East 98th Street
New York, New York 10029
- Director - Philip J. Landrigan, M.D.
- Medical Director - Stephen M. Levin, M.D.
- Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 - 5:00 pm
Occupational Medicine Clinic c/o Department of Community and Preventive Medicine
- Division of Occupational Medicine
SUNY at Stony Brook, New York 11794
- Medical Director - Davis Parkinson, M.D.
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 - 5:00 pm
Lehman College maintains the following records as required under the OSHA Laboratory Standard and other relevant OSHA standards. These records can be made available to employees, to the administration, or to any outside inspection agencies upon request.
An Official Chemical Hygiene Plan
Copies of this plan are located in the following offices:
- Public Safety - Apex 109
- Campus Facilities - Shuster Hall 327
- EH&S Office - Music Bldg B37A
- Library Reference Desk
It is available for review between 9am-5pm, Monday - Friday and will be maintained by the CHO.
Laboratory Employee Training Records
These records will be maintained by the CHO.
Incident Reports/Illnesses and Injury Logs
Chemical Hygiene Officer will maintain records of all laboratory incidents that occur at Lehman College and any follow-up action taken in response to the incident. Records of injuries and illnesses that have been documented by the Chemical Hygiene Officer will be maintained and posted regularly as required.
Laboratory Inspection and Maintenance Reports
Reports of laboratory inspections and maintenance records will be kept by the CHO.
The information resulting from medical consultations and exams conducted in response to workplace exposures or incidents will be maintained by the CHO. Access will be restricted.
Air Monitoring Results
Whenever air monitoring or personal sampling of employees is conducted, employees are entitled to the result of this monitoring under OSHA's Access to Medical and Exposure Records standard (29 CFR Part 1910.20).
Chemical Exposure Records
Records will be maintained by the CHO of employee exposures to “Toxic and Hazardous Substances” listed in OSHA 29 CFR Part 1910 Subpart Z.
Chemical Hygiene Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes will be maintained by the chair of the Chemical Hygiene committee and the Chemical Hygiene Officer in Davis Hall Room 332.
Employee Complaint Record
Records will be kept by the Chemical Hygiene Officer.
Last modified: Mar 13, 2012