The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OR-OSHA) has promulgated a regulation covering the occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals in laboratories. Included in this regulation is a requirement for Oregon State University (OSU) to develop and carry out a Chemical Hygiene Plan.
The Chemical Hygiene Plan must include:
- procedures to assure safety and health in laboratories,
- criteria for implementation of control measures,
- provisions for training and information dissemination,
- provisions for medical consultation,
- designation of responsible personnel (to maintain safe conditions), and
- criteria for identification of particularly hazardous substances (i.e., labeling).
This document is OSU's Chemical Hygiene Plan. All laboratory personnel must understand and follow the guidelines outlined in this plan. In addition, each employee is expected to develop safe personal chemical hygiene habits aimed at minimizing chemical exposures to themselves and coworkers. This Chemical Hygiene Plan will be reviewed, evaluated and updated annually and must be made readily available to employees, their representatives and any representative of OR-OSHA.
It is important to follow this plan. OR-OSHA may monitor our laboratory operations. If we are not following the Chemical Hygiene Plan procedures, the University could be fined substantially. More importantly, following these procedures will assure that all OSU employees and students work in a safe and healthy environment.
This plan applies to all OSU employees engaged in the laboratory use of hazardous Chemicals.
"Laboratory use of hazardous chemicals" means the handling or use of such chemicals in which all of the following conditions are met:
- Chemical manipulations are carried out in containers designed to be easily and safely manipulated by one person.
- Multiple chemical procedures or chemicals are used.
- The procedures involved are not part of a production process, nor in any way simulate a production process; and
- Protective laboratory practices and equipment are available and in common use to minimize the potential for employee exposure to hazardous chemicals.
"Laboratory" means a room or group of rooms under the control of a lab supervisor or principal investigator (PI) where relatively small quantities of hazardous chemicals are used on a non-production basis. Rooms such as computer labs, electronic labs, reading labs are not considered "laboratories" under this Chemical Hygiene Plan.