1.1 – Introduction to the Chemical Hygiene Plan

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) laboratory health standard (Occupational Exposures to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories CFR 1910.1450) requires employers of laboratory employees to implement exposure control programs and convey chemical health and safety information to laboratory employees working with hazardous materials. Specific provisions of the standard require:

  1. Chemical fume hood evaluations.
  2. Establishment of standard operating procedures for routine and “high hazard” laboratory operations.
  3. Research protocol safety reviews.
  4. Employee exposure assessments.
  5. Medical consultations/exams.
  6. Employee training.
  7. Labeling of chemical containers.
  8. Management of SDS (Safety Data Sheets) and other safety reference materials.

The standard’s intent is to ensure that laboratory employees are apprised of the hazards of chemicals in their work area, and that appropriate work practices and procedures are in place to protect laboratory employees from chemical health and safety hazards.

The standard operating procedures (laboratory practices and engineering controls) recommended in this manual identify the safeguards that should be taken when working with hazardous materials. These safeguards will protect laboratory workers from unsafe conditions in the vast majority of situations. There are instances, however, when the physical and chemical properties, the proposed use, the quantity used for a particular purpose or the toxicity of a substance will be such that either additional, or fewer, controls might be appropriate to protect the laboratory worker. Professional judgment is essential in the interpretation of these standard operating procedures, and individual laboratories may modify these procedures to meet their specific uses and operational needs.

This website outlines how the Wesleyan University Science Departments are complying with each of the elements in OSHA’s Laboratory Standard. Additional copies of the Chemical Hygiene Plan are located in each of the Science Department Offices.