This Chemical Hygiene Plan describes policies, procedures, equipment, personal protective equipment and work practices that are capable of protecting employees from the health hazards presented by many hazardous chemicals used in laboratories. This Plan is intended to meet the requirements of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard, Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories, a copy of which is found in Appendix A.
This Chemical Hygiene Plan is intended to safely limit laboratory workers' exposure to OSHA-regulated substances. Laboratory workers must not be exposed to substances in excess of the permissible exposure limits (PEL) specified in OSHA rule 29 CFR 1910, Subpart Z, Toxic and Hazardous Substances. PELs for regulated substances are provided in Appendix B. PELs refer to airborne concentrations of substances and are averaged over an eight-hour day. A few substances (listed under Individual Chemical Standard in the Federal column in Appendix C) also have "action levels". Action levels are air concentrations below the PEL which nevertheless require that certain actions such as medical surveillance and workplace monitoring take place.
An employee's workplace exposure to any regulated substance must be monitored if there is reason to believe that the exposure will exceed an action level or a PEL. If exposures to any regulated substance routinely exceed an action level or permissible exposure level there must also be employee medical exposure surveillance.
This standard applies where "laboratory use" of hazardous chemicals occurs. Laboratory use of hazardous chemicals means handling or use of such chemicals in which all of the following conditions are met: i) the handling or use of chemicals occurs on a "laboratory scale", that is, the work involves containers which can easily and safely be manipulated by one person, ii) multiple chemical procedures or chemical substances are used, and iii) protective laboratory practices and equipment are available and in common use to minimize the potential for employee exposures to hazardous chemicals.
At a minimum, this definition covers employees (including student employees, technicians, supervisors, lead researchers and physicians) who use chemicals in teaching, research and clinical laboratories at the University of Minnesota. Certain non-traditional laboratory settings may be included under this standard at the option of individual departments within the University. Also, it is the policy of the University that laboratory students, while not legally covered under this standard, will be given training commensurate with the level of hazard associated with their laboratory work.
This standard does not apply to laboratories whose function is to produce commercial quantities of material. Also, where the use of hazardous chemicals provides no potential for employee exposure, such as in procedures using chemically impregnated test media and commercially prepared test kits, this standard will not apply. When laboratory work is limited to use of these commercially available kits, a Chemical Hygiene Plan is not required.
This laboratory standard applies to the I.T. Characterization Facility.
Although this standard deals only with use of hazardous chemicals, employees may also encounter potential physical, biological or radioactive hazards in the laboratory. Regulations and guidelines for these situations that are in effect at the University of Minnesota are listed in Appendix C.
In the unlikely event that there is a conflict between provisions of various standards, the Department of Environmental Health and Safety should be contacted to assist in resolving the discrepancy.
Users of the X-ray Scattering Facility and Ion Beam Analysis Facility must wear radiation monitoring devices and have additional safety training as outlined in Appendix C.
b. I.T. Characterization Facility
The I.T. Characterization Facility will identify at least one laboratory safety officer, Ryan Wold , to serve as a focal point for laboratory health and safety activities within the unit and as liaison with the Department of Environmental Health and Safety. Colleges that are made up of a number of large laboratory-based departments are urged to assign laboratory safety officers within each department. (The laboratory safety officer is not to be confused with the Safety Coordinator system presently existing at the University. These are separate responsibilities, although they may be held by the same individual.) Each college and non-academic department will modify this generic Chemical Hygiene Plan to incorporate location-specific information and will submit a copy of the modified plan to the Chemical Hygiene Officer for approval. Each college and non-academic department will also identify the assigned laboratory safety officers within their units and will transmit that information to the Chemical Hygiene Officer.
found in Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Disposal of Chemicals (National Research Council, 1995) are adopted for general use at the University of Minnesota. The table of contents, Chapter 1, "The Culture of Laboratory Safety", Chapter 5 "Working with Chemicals", and Chapter 6 "Working with Laboratory Equipment"of Prudent Practices are reproduced in Appendix D and can be accessed by University of Minnesota personnel electronically from DEHS's web site . The following topics are covered in Chapters 5 and 6 of Prudent Practices:
is another useful text. This manual presents information similar to that found in Prudent Practices, but in a considerably condensed format.
have been adopted by the University of Minnesota specifically for its own laboratories. Extensive and detailed policies regarding hazardous waste management are specified in the University's guide book "Hazardous Chemical Waste Management, 5th edition" . During a chemical spill in the laboratory, workers should follow Part 3: Emergency Procedures of this guide book.
The "Quick Reference" from this section is reproduced below.
Other University of Minnesota Policies for Safe Practices in Laboratories are reproduced in Appendix E.
This section summarizes laboratory-specific SOPs. The full text of these SOPs is included in Appendix F, or can be obtained from the referenced PI, or from the Laboratory Safety Officer, Ryan Wold , for the I.T. Characterization Facility. Safety information is included in each SOP, and may be highlighted in a Laboratory Safety Information Sheet, similar to the one included in Appendix F.
Engineering controls, personal protective equipment, hygiene practices, and administrative controls each play a role in a comprehensive laboratory safety program. Implementation of specific measures must be carried out on a case-by-case basis, using the following criteria for guidance in making decisions. Assistance is available from the Department of Environmental Health and Safety.
The laboratory fume hood is the major protective device available to laboratory workers. It is designed to capture chemicals that escape from their containers or apparatus and to remove them from the laboratory environment before they can be inhaled. Characteristics to be considered in requiring fume hood use are physical state, volatility, toxicity, flammability, eye and skin irritation, odor, and the potential for producing aerosols. A fume hood should be used if a proposed chemical procedure exhibits any one of these characteristics to a degree that (1) airborne concentrations might approach the action level (or permissible exposure limit), (2) flammable vapors might approach one tenth of the lower explosion limit, (3) materials of unknown toxicity are used or generated, or (4) the odor produced is annoying to laboratory occupants or adjacent units.
Procedures that can generally be carried out safely outside the fume hood include those involving (1) water-based solutions of salts, dilute acids, bases, or other reagents, (2) very low volatility liquids or solids, (3) closed systems that do not allow significant escape to the laboratory environment, and (4) extremely small quantities of otherwise problematic chemicals. The procedure itself must be evaluated for its potential to increase volatility or produce aerosols.
In specialized cases, fume hoods will contain exhaust treatment devices, such as water wash-down for perchloric acid use, or charcoal or HEPA filters for removal of particularly toxic or radioactive materials.
Safety shields, such as the sliding sash of a fume hood, are appropriate when working with highly concentrated acids, bases, oxidizers or reducing agents, all of which have the potential for causing sudden spattering or even explosive release of material. Reactions carried out at non-ambient pressures (vacuum or high pressure) also require safety shields, as do reactions that are carried out for the first time or are significantly scaled up from normal operating conditions.
Other containment devices, such as glove boxes or vented gas cabinets, may be required when it is necessary to provide an inert atmosphere for the chemical procedure taking place, when capture of any chemical emission is desirable, or when the standard laboratory fume hood does not provide adequate assurance that overexposure to a hazardous chemical will not occur. The presence of biological or radioactive materials may also mandate certain special containment devices.
High strength barriers coupled with remote handling devices may be necessary for safe use of extremely shock sensitive or reactive chemicals.
Highly localized exhaust ventilation, such as is usually installed over atomic absorption units, may be required for instrumentation that exhausts toxic or irritating materials to the laboratory environment.
Ventilated chemical storage cabinets or rooms should be used when the chemicals in storage may generate toxic, flammable or irritating levels of airborne contamination.
Eye protection is required for all personnel and any visitors whose eyes may be exposed to chemical or physical hazards. Side shields on safety spectacles provide some protection against splashed chemicals or flying particles, but goggles or face shields are necessary when there is a greater than average danger of eye contact. A higher than average risk exists when working with highly reactive chemicals, concentrated corrosives, or with vacuum or pressurized glassware systems. Contact lenses should not be worn in the laboratory. Chemicals can be concentrated under contact lenses and contact lenses will interfere with eye flushing in case of emergency.
Lab coats or other similar clothing protectors are strongly encouraged for all laboratory personnel. Lab coats are required when working with select carcinogens, reproductive toxins, substances which have a high degree of acute toxicity, strong acids and bases, and any substance on the OSHA PEL list carrying a "skin" notation. See Appendix B for chemical listings.
Gloves made of appropriate material are required to protect the hands and arms from thermal burns, cuts, or chemical exposure that may result in absorption through the skin or reaction on the surface of the skin. Gloves are also required when working with particularly hazardous substances where possible transfer from hand to mouth must be avoided. Thus gloves are required for work involving pure or concentrated solutions of select carcinogens, reproductive toxins, substances which have a high degree of acute toxicity, strong acids and bases, and any substance on the OSHA PEL list carrying a "skin" notation.
Gloves should be carefully selected using guides from the manufacturers. General selection guides are available (see Prudent Practices, p. 159); however, glove-resistance to various chemicals materials will vary with the manufacturer, model and thickness. Therefore, review a glove-resistance chart from the manufacturer you intend to buy, from before purchasing gloves.
Bare feet are not permitted in any laboratory. Sandals and open-toed shoes are strongly discouraged in all laboratories and are not permitted in any situation where lab coats and gloves are required.
Respiratory protection is generally not necessary in the laboratory setting and must not be used as a substitute for adequate engineering controls. Availability of respiratory protection for emergency situations may be required when working with chemicals that are highly toxic and highly volatile or gaseous. If an experimental protocol requires exposure above the action level (or PEL) that cannot be reduced, respiratory protection will be required. Rarely, an experimental situation may potentially involve IDLH (immediately dangerous to life or health) concentrations of chemicals, which will require use of respiratory protection. All use of respiratory protective equipment is covered under the University of Minnesota Respiratory Protection Program.
Supervisors shall designate areas, activities, and tasks which require specific types of personal protective equipment as described above.
Fume hoods must be monitored daily by the user to ensure that air is moving into the hood. Any malfunctions must be reported immediately to the appropriate Facilities Management zone office. The hood should have a continuous reading device, such as a pressure gauge, to indicate that air is moving correctly. Users of older hoods without continuous reading devices should attach a strip of tissue or yarn to the bottom of the vertical sliding sash. The user must ensure the hood and baffles are not blocked by equipment and bottles, as air velocity through the face may be decreased. DEHS staff will measure the average face velocity of each fume hood annually with a velometer or a thermoanemometer. A record of monitoring results will be made.
Eye washes must be flushed weekly by the user. This will ensure that the eye wash is working, and that the water is clean, should emergency use become necessary. The user should coordinate with Facilities Management IT Zone, phone 625-0008, to ensure that emergency showers and eye washes are checked annually. Fire extinguishers will be checked annually by a University contractor. The user is responsible for checking regularly to ensure that other protective equipment is functioning properly. Environmental Health and Safety staff can assist with these evaluations, should assistance be necessary.
General laboratory conditions must be monitored periodically by the users. A generic laboratory audit form is included in Appendix G, and may be tailored for use by individual laboratories. The departmental Laboratory Safety Officer or the University's Chemical Hygiene Officer may also use this form for spot-checks of the laboratories.
The acceptable operating range for fume hoods is 80 to 150 linear feet per minute, at the designated sash opening (usually 18 inches). If, during the annual check, a hood is operating outside of this range, DEHS staff may request that you check to ensure the baffles are adjusted properly, and that the exhaust slots are not blocked by bottles and equipment. If these adjustments do not help, DEHS staff will report the deficiency to the appropriate Facilities Management zone office for servicing.
Training in the appropriate use and care of fume hood systems, showers, eyewashes and other safety equipment must be included in the initial and update training described in Section 5.
When new ventilation systems, such as variable air volume exhaust, are installed in University facilities, specific policies for their use will be developed by the Department of Environmental Health and Safety and employees will be promptly trained on use of the new equipment.
It is essential that laboratory employees have access to information on the hazards of chemicals and procedures for working safely. Supervisors must ensure that laboratory employees are informed about and have access to the following information sources:
Each laboratory supervisor is responsible for ensuring that laboratory employees are provided with training about the hazards of chemicals present in their laboratory work area, and methods to control exposure to such chemicals. Such training must be provided at the time of an employee's initial assignment to a work area where hazardous chemicals are present and prior to assignments involving new potential exposure situations. Refresher training must be provided annually.
Colleges and non-academic departments that engage in the laboratory use of hazardous chemicals are responsible for identifying employees who require training and for developing and delivering training programs for such employees. DEHS offers training on the third Thursday of each month that covers general laboratory safety issues, hazardous waste management, and biohazardous materials handling. Departments are welcome to send employees to this 'base' training at no charge. However, laboratory supervisors must provide additional training on laboratory-specific hazards to ensure all the OSHA-required training topics have been adequately addressed. Call DEHS at 626-6002 to register trainees.
Employee training programs will include, at a minimum, the following subjects:
There are no procedures and/or chemicals routinely used in the IT Characterization Facility that require approval. Special cases may be presented in writing to the safety officer, Ryan Wold , for approval.
will have an opportunity to receive medical attention, including any follow-up examinations which the examining physician determines to be necessary, under the following circumstances:
will be performed by or under the direct supervision of a licensed physician and will be provided without cost to the employee, without loss of pay and at a reasonable time and place. The University of Minnesota's Occupational Medicine Program is located in Boynton Health Service. If off-hours medical attention is required, the employee should be taken to the University Hospital Emergency Room. A University of Minnesota Incident Report form (see Appendix J) should be filled out for any incident resulting in a medical consultation or medical examination. In the event of a life-threatening illness or injury, dial 911 and request an ambulance.
The above information will be collected and transmitted by the employee's supervisor or department and will be submitted to the Department of Environmental Health and Safety as well as to the examining physician.
The written opinion will not reveal specific findings of diagnoses unrelated to occupational exposure. The Department of Environmental Health and Safety will notify the employee's department of the results of the medical consultation or examination.
The following individuals and groups have responsibilities for implementation of various aspects of the University of Minnesota's Chemical Hygiene Plan.
The University of Minnesota's Chemical Hygiene Officer is Dawn C. Errede, Department of Environmental Health and Safety. Ms. Errede is a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) and chemical hygiene specialist with an M.S. in Environmental Health. Address: W-140 Boynton Health Service. Phone: 612-626-2330.
Mike Boucher (phone: 624-6590) is the Safety Officer for the I.T. Characterization Facility. A generic description of a laboratory safety officer's duties is included in Appendix K.
The I.T. Characterization Facility has a safety committee comprised of all full-time employees.
The Department of Environmental Health and Safety offers assistance in a wide range of health and safety issues. A departmental organizational chart, list of services offered, and staff phone numbers are included in Appendix L. Address: W-140 Boynton. Phone: 612-626-6002.
The University of Minnesota's Boynton Health Service provides occupational medicine services. The phone number for the Occupational Medicine program, which covers Research Animal Resources, respiratory protection, and pesticide exposures only, is 612-625-4906. Non hospital employee chemical exposures should go through Boynton's urgent care.
Additional employee protection will be considered for work with particularly hazardous substances. These include select carcinogens, reproductive toxins and substances which have a high degree of acute toxicity (see Appendix B). Pages 90-93 of the 1995 edition of Prudent Practices provide detailed recommendations for work with particularly hazardous substances. These pages may be accessed from DEHS's web site . Also, DEHS has hard copies of the entire 1995 edition available for departmental Laboratory Safety Officers. Laboratory supervisors and principal investigators are responsible for assuring that laboratory procedures involving particularly hazardous chemicals have been evaluated for the level of employee protection required. Specific consideration will be given to the need for inclusion of the following provisions:
On an annual basis, this Chemical Hygiene Plan will be reviewed and evaluated for effectiveness by the Department of Environmental Health and Safety and updated as necessary. Any changes in the Chemical Hygiene Plan will be transmitted to college and departmental laboratory safety officers, who are responsible for carrying out a similar review and modification of their plans, and submitting a revised copy to the Chemical Hygiene Officer.