The Chemical Hygiene Guidelines are designed to be used as a reference.  The guidelines contain a variety of information to assist laboratory personnel in the development and maintenance of a comprehensive Chemical Hygiene Program, as required by the OSHA Laboratory Standard.

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Steps for Compliance

Steps for Complying with the OSHA Lab Standard at Utah State University

  1. Obtain copies of the following from the Environmental Health & Safety Office:
    1. USU Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP).  Every person working in a laboratory should be familiar with the CHP for that laboratory.  USU model CHP is available in hard copy at the EHS office, on the USU EHS website, or an electronic version can be sent via e-mail.
    2. USU Chemical Hygiene Guidelines (CHG).  This document includes a variety of information on chemical safety and will assist your laboratory in achieving compliance with the laboratory safety standard.  The chemical hygiene guidelines are a reference document, available in hard copy, electronically via e-mail, or on the USU EHS website.
  2. Complete and maintain an inventory of hazardous materials (chemicals).  At a minimum, this information should include the chemical name, CAS number, manufacturer, primary hazard (e.g. flammable, oxidizer, corrosive), and the maximum quantity that could be in the lab.  Examples of hazardous materials inventory forms are available in the Chemical Hygiene Guidelines.
  3. Maintain a file of MSDS for chemicals in the lab.  Retain MSDSs received following chemical purchases.
  4. Make any needed changes to the model CHP to reflect conditions in your lab.  This will include identification of particularly hazardous chemicals and procedures, development of Chemical Hygiene Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and safety rules and safety information specific to the laboratory.
    1. Identification of particularly hazardous chemical and procedures.  The OSHA Lab Standard identifies the following chemical categories to be “particularly hazardous substances”:  carcinogens, chemicals of high acute toxicity, reproductive toxins (teratogens and mutagens), allergens, and chemicals with a potential for significant physical hazard such as, extremely reactive materials and cryogenic liquids.  See the Hazardous Materials Listings section of the Chemical Hygiene Guidelines for more information.
    2. Chemical Hygiene Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are required for particularly hazardous substances and procedures.  See the “Guide to Preparing Chemical Hygiene SOPs” in the USU Information section of the Chemical Hygiene Guidelines.  Consider using them in a “designated area” and maintaining controlled access to them.  Consider requiring prior approval for particular tasks.
    3. Safety Rules or Safety Information Specific to the Laboratory.  At a minimum this must include tasks requiring prior approval, location of the chemical inventory, MSDSs, CHP, lab visitor requirements, housekeeping procedures, location and availability of personal protective equipment and spill response supplies and emergency response information.  A map of the lab with chemical storage areas, hoods, and safety equipment is desirable.
  5. Ensure that laboratory workers are informed about laboratory safety, the requirements of the OSHA Lab Standard, and the Chemical Hygiene Plan for the Lab.  The EH&S Office offers Laboratory Safety Initial Training monthly.  Lab Safety Refresher Training is also available.  Communication of chemical hygiene and safety considerations specific to the lab are the direct responsibilities of the principal investigator or laboratory supervisor.
  6. Submit you Chemical Hygiene Plan annually to the Chemical Hygiene Committee (UMC 8315) for approval.
  7. Perform chemical laboratory self inspections.  A “Laboratory Safety Audit Form” is available in the USU Information Section of the Chemical Hygiene Guidelines.
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