General Policy and Responsibilities
The University of the South strives to provide a safe laboratory environment for its employees and students,
and believes that these groups have the right to know about the potential health hazards involved in working
with chemicals and physical hazards associated with the use of laboratory instrumentation/equipment.
The University of the South, through the Chemical Hygiene Safety Officer (CHSO), identified below, shall
provide access to training for all faculty/staff and student employees working with hazardous chemicals and
instrumentation/equipment in the laboratory areas. Laboratory-teaching faculty or staff members working
within the laboratories areas shall provide access to training for all students within their laboratory courses
or work. Upon request, the college through its Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) and CHSO will provide
additional descriptions of our policies regarding laboratory safety, procedures, potential hazards, and
training to appropriate employees and students.
The University shall appoint a Chemical Hygiene Safety Officer and establish a chain of command. The
CHSO will have the responsibility of implementing the CHP. In these responsibilities the CHSO will work
with Department Chairs (Chemistry, Biology, Geology, Physics, Psychology, Forestry, Physical Plant
Services and Fine Arts), and the Safety Committee described below. The responsibility of the CHSO is
to train the faculty, staff, and student employees who work with hazardous chemicals in the proper safety
procedures/techniques involved in their work. The CHSO is also responsible for the following criteria
mandated by the Lab Standards:
- Work with administrators and other employees to develop and implement appropriate chemical hygiene policies and practices;
- Monitor procurement, use, and disposal of chemicals used in the lab;
- See that appropriate audits are maintained;
- Help faculty/staff develop precautions and adequate facilities;
- Know the current legal requirements concerning regulated substances; and
- Seek ways to improve the chemical hygiene program.
The CHSO is also responsible to ensure that training is provided for in-house and outside technical/non-technical service personnel who at times work within the lab areas. At times these individuals may work under the supervision of the CHSO or a designated in-house supervisor. When laboratory work or related tasks are supervised by the CHSO, then the responsibility for training belongs to the CHSO. When laboratory work or related tasks are supervised by either an in-house supervisor or outside technical/non-technical service personnel, then the supervisor's responsibility is to coordinate with the CHSO to ensure that all people working in such areas are trained in the required provisions of the CHP. This training shall be provided when necessary by the CHSO or if appropriate the previously trained in-house supervisor.
The Department Chairs are responsible for enforcing chemical hygiene in the departments they serve. They will work closely with the CHSO to ensure that the CHP is smoothly implemented and followed.
The laboratory-teaching faculty or laboratory staff member teaching/working/doing research within the laboratories areas has overall responsibility for chemical hygiene in those areas, including responsibility to:
- Ensure that students/employees (working under his/her supervision) have been
made aware of the chemical hygiene rules, that protective equipment is available
and in working order, and that appropriate training has been provided;
- Provide regular, non-formal chemical hygiene and housekeeping
inspections including routine inspections of emergency equipment;
- Know the current legal requirements concerning regulated substances;
- Determine the required levels of protective apparel and equipment; and
- Ensure that facilities and training for use of any material being ordered or
used are adequate.
The students and student employees taking classes or working in the laboratory area are responsible for:
Where appropriate, the University of the South employees should consult the CHSO for advice on the planning and implementation of safe practices for the use of chemicals. The CHSO shall occasionally monitor operations to ensure that practice/technique is consistent with the CHP. If a disagreement regarding safety develops between a laboratory teaching faculty or staff member, or outside employee, and the Chemical Hygiene Officer, the Chemical Hygiene Committee will rule on the dispute. (back to top)
- Planning and conducting each operation in accordance with the CHP;
- Developing good personal chemical hygiene habits; and
- Following all rules and regulations specified in the University of the South
Student Contract and any additional rules, either written or verbal.
Identification of CHSO and the Chemical Hygiene
The Chemical Hygiene Safety Committee shall consist of one representative from each laboratory area department (chosen by the department chair), the University Health Service (chosen by the Director of Health Service), CHSO (the chair of the committee), Director of Environmental Health and Safety, Vice-President of Business and Community Relations, Director of Physical Plant Services, a member of the Sewanee Police Department (chosen by the Sewanee Police Chief), and a member of the Sewanee Fire Department . The Chemical Hygiene Safety Committee will assist the CHSO in the following.
- Implementation and annual review of the CHP.
- Review, alter and approve the original CHP and, after confirmation as official procedural
policy of the college, be given the power to alter the original document by two thirds
majority vote when a quorum of at least two thirds of the members is present. (back to top)
The University of the South Chemical Hygiene Plan
The materials below make up The University of the South's CHP. Some of the vocabulary is not in general use and is used in a specific, sometimes technical manner. The reader is referred to the Glossary and Reference for relevant terms.
STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES
The following standard procedures will be used when working within the laboratory areas.
- Avoid working alone. Avoid working alone in the laboratory. Never work alone if the operation being performed is hazardous. See Avoid Working Alone section.
- Appropriate personal hygiene practices shall be followed at all times; see
section Personal Hygiene.
- Professional standards of conduct shall be followed at all times; see section Professional Standards of Conduct.
- Appropriate eye protection/protective clothing shall be worn at all times; see section
Eye Protection and Protective Clothing.
- Good housekeeping practices shall be followed at all times; see section
- Prior approval of certain tasks is mandatory under certain conditions; see section
- Hazardous spills shall be resolved by following the designated procedures; see section Hazardous Spills.
- Accidents and incidents shall be resolved by following the designated procedures; see section Accidents and Incidents.
- Hazardous material handling safety procedures for each of the following
shall be followed at all times; see section Hazardous Material Handling Safety Procedures:
- Chemical Inventory
- Chemical Storage (Cabinets and Woods Lab basement area)
- Designated Areas
- Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
- Transporting Chemicals
- Compressed Gases
- Flammable Chemicals
- Ionizing radiation
- Corrosive Chemicals and Contact Hazard Chemicals
- Reactive Chemicals
- Toxic Chemicals
- Vapor Detection
- Waste Handling/Disposal
- Equipment/instrumentation safety procedures for each of the following shall be
followed at all times; see Equipment/Instrumentation Safety Procedures:
- Electrical Hazards
- Electronic Equipment
- Lasers (non-ionizing radiation source)
- Sterilizer ( Autoclave)
- Vacuums (Dewar Flasks, research apparatus, etc.)
- Protective equipment safety procedures for each of the following shall be followed at all times; see section Protective Equipment Safety Procedures:
- Fume Hoods and Energy Recovery Unit Hoods
- General Ventilation Systems
- Emergency safety procedures for each of the following shall be followed at
all times; see
12-Emergency Safety Procedures
- Chemical Spill Plans
- Evacuation Plan
- Eye Wash Fountains and Safety Showers
- Fire Extinguishers
- Fire Prevention Guidelines for Laboratories
- First Aid
EXPANDED STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES
1-Avoid Working Alone
Avoid working alone with chemicals, experimental equipment or workshop equipment. Each department will establish polices for work in its area.(back to top)
2-Personal Hygiene Practices
- Wash promptly whenever a chemical has contacted the skin.
- Avoid inhalation of chemicals; do not "sniff" to test chemicals.
- Do not use mouth suction to pipette anything; use suction bulbs.
- Wash well with soap and water before leaving the laboratory area; do not wash with solvents.
- Smoking is not permitted in any laboratory on campus.
- Do not bring food, beverage, tobacco or cosmetic products into a chemical laboratory or storage area.
- Eating and/or drinking is prohibited in a laboratory areas where hazardous materials are manipulated or stored. There is always the possibility of contaminating the food, food containers, drinking containers, and your hands with toxic or hazardous substances. This rule includes gum, snuff, chewing tobacco, lip balm or similar products. Likewise, food is not to be stored in refrigerators in the lab.
- When entering any laboratory area shoes and shirt must be worn at all times. ( see 4-Eye Protection/Protective clothing). (back to top)
3-Professional Standards of Conduct
- Do not engage in practical jokes or horseplay which might distract or startle someone.
- It is the responsibility of all to report accidents/incidents immediately to the supervisor or professor. NEVER try to cover up an accident/incident.
- 3. Make others aware when they are performing tasks in a manner that is potentially dangerous/harmful to themselves/others and in violation of the CHP. Report anyone who is unwilling to follow the CHP to your supervisor or professor. (back to top)
4-Eye Protection and Protective Clothing
All people in the laboratory, including visitors, should normally wear appropriate eye protection/protective clothing at all times in locations where chemicals are stored or handled, even when not performing a chemical operation. Conference rooms, libraries, offices, microscope rooms in which chemicals are not in use, and similar rooms are not normally eye protection areas. However, at any time when hazardous chemicals are used in such rooms, even temporarily, signs should be posted and all persons in the vicinity warned that eye protection/protective clothing is temporarily required. For laboratory operations that do not involve the use of chemicals in the immediate vicinity, it may be permissible by arrangement with the instructor or chemical hygiene officer to remove eye protection/protective clothing.
- Goggle Requirement:
Goggles are required in any laboratory procedure in which chemicals (all liquid, solid or
gaseous materials) are manipulated and pose a significant splash hazard to the eye. All
lab goggles must meet the ANSI splash criteria. Goggles are also required when working
with glassware under reduced or elevated pressure, and when glass apparatus is used in
combustion or other high temperature operations. All inert materials which are considered
to be unknowns or used in conjunction with any glass apparatus (such as a distillation,
extraction, titration , heating, vacuum, or any non-normal condition) shall be subject to the
Goggle Requirement. If there is doubt about whether or not goggles should be required,
then they shall be worn.
- Safety Glasses Requirement:
Safety glasses can be an option (to goggles) only when working with non-hazardous
materials under normal conditions and when no significant splash hazard exists (such as
working with dropper bottles containing dilute concentrations ). Safety glasses are an
acceptable option to goggles when working in chemical storage areas or when
transporting chemicals as long as the chemicals are not being manipulated. All safety
glasses should comply with the Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection
(Z87.1) standard. This standard specifies a minimum lens thickness of 3 mm, impact and
flame resistance requirements, and lens-retaining frames. When working with UV, IR, or
lasers which can damage the eye, it may be necessary to wear safety glasses which
filter specific wavelengths of light.
- Face Shield Requirement :
A face shield is not an acceptable substitute for splash goggles. Both goggles
and face shield are needed to meet the ANSI splash requirement when working with
concentrated chemicals. When working with more than 10 ml of a corrosive liquid,
a face shield large enough to protect the chin, neck and ears as well as the face
must be worn in order to protect the face and neck area. Also, if the laboratory procedure
has the potential for a mild explosion, use of concentrated acids or alkalis may have an
unknown reaction, a face shield shall be worn. When working in a fume hood, it is
possible that the sash can be pulled down as an option to a face shield (this is up to the
instructor). Face shields should also be worn when the lab involves high velocity flying
particles (such as shop work).
When working with corrosive liquids, 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. When working with allergenic, sensitizing, or
toxic chemicals, wear gloves made of material known to be or tested and found to be
resistant to permeation by the chemical and tested for the absence of pin holes.
- Aprons, Lab Coats, and Clothing:
When appropriate wear either a high necked, "rubberized" laboratory apron, calf or ankle
length, or a long sleeve, calf or ankle length chemical and fire resistant laboratory coat.
Chemical laboratory safety standards recommend wearing long sleeve/long legged
clothing; do not wear short sleeved shirts, short trousers or skirts.
It is recommended that you wear low-heel shoes with fully covering "uppers"; do not wear
shoes with open toes or with uppers constructed of woven material. Leather shoes are
highly recommended for all chemical procedures. (back to top)
5-Good Housekeeping Practices in Chemical Laboratories
- Access to emergency equipment, showers, eyewashes and exits should never be
blocked by anything, not even a temporarily parked chemical cart.
- Keep all work areas, especially laboratory benches, clear of clutter. Bench tops should be
kept clear of any devices or materials not directly involved in the experiment in progress.
This minimizes the chances of an accident and diminishes the severity of any accident
that might occur.
- Keep all aisles, hallways, and stairs clear of all chemicals.
- All chemicals should be placed in their assigned storage areas at the end of each
- Promptly clean up all spills; properly dispose of the spilled chemical and clean-up
- All working surfaces and floors should be cleaned regularly. Wipe down working surfaces with a damp paper towel immediately following use. This includes bench tops,
fume hood work surfaces, sink drain boards, sinks, balance pans and weighing area, etc.
In general, leave the area cleaner than you found it.
- It is recommended no chemicals are to be stored in aisles, fume hoods, stairwells, on
desks or laboratory benches, on floors or in hallways, or left overnight on shelves over the workbenches.
- Glassware should be rinsed immediately following use to prevent others from coming
into contact with residues left in or on the glassware. All lab users are responsible for
prompt and proper cleaning, drying, and storage of glassware.
All laboratories will be inspected by the Chemical Hygiene Officer on an informal basis periodically throughout the term, not less than once per month. The results of the lab inspections shall be forwarded to the Department Chair for review and follow-up.
Faculty members are responsible for housekeeping in their laboratory areas. (back to top)
Prior approval to proceed with a laboratory task shall be approved by the Department Chair and or the Chemical Hygiene Safety Officer whenever one of the following conditions exists:
- A new major laboratory procedure or test is to be carried out.
- It is likely that the Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) or the Threshold Limit Value (TLV) could be exceeded or that other harm is likely.
- There is a change in a procedure or test, even if it is very similar to prior practices. "Change in a procedure or test" means:
- 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.
- Any major change in other conditions under which the procedure is to be conducted.
- There is a failure of any of the equipment used in the process, especially of safeguards such as fume hoods or clamped apparatus.
- Members of the laboratory staff become ill, suspect that they or others have been exposed, or otherwise suspect a failure of any safeguards. (back to top)
NOTE: An important part of the Chemical Hygiene Plan is the review of all possible spills ahead of time. Be certain the necessary spill control materials are readily available and that all personnel in the area know how to use them.
- Jmmediately alert others in the area as soon as any spill occurs. Consult the MSDS for spill control procedures specific to the chemical. Caution: Some materials become
corrosive, irritating and otherwise hazardous on contact with water.
- Any contaminated clothing must be removed immediately and the skin washed with soap
and water. Brush off any solid residues before washing skin. Flush skin with water for no
less than five minutes. Clothes must be laundered before reuse (do no wash with other clothing).
- Jf it appears that the spill is too large to be easily contained and cleaned up, call 1111 and
request help. If there is no fire hazard and the material is not particularly volatile or toxic,
clean it up as soon as possible. However to facilitate cleaning up liquids, use an
absorbent material that will neutralize the liquids if possible (trisodium phosphate; sand
followed by sodium bicarbonate solution or powder for acids; sodium thiosulfate solution
for bromine, etc.). Commercial adsorbents (e.g., Oil-Dri and Zorb-All), vermiculite, or other
satisfactory clay absorbents (about 30 mesh) are also recommended. (Dry sand, although
cheap and easily available, is less effective than most adsorbents on a weight absorbed to
weight of absorbent basis. However, it should be used whenever more effective
materials are not available.)
During cleanup, a dustpan and brush should be used, and rubber gloves should be worn.
After most of the material has been cleaned and while wearing gloves, clean the contaminated
area with soap and water and mop it dry. If the spill is on the floor, some adsorbent should be
sprinkled on the spot to prevent slipping. Caution: Vermiculite and some other adsorbents
create a slipping hazard when wet. Place yellow "wet floor" cones in area.
- If a volatile, flammable, or toxic material is spilled, immediately warn everyone to extinguish flames and turn off spark-producing equipment such as brush-type motors. Shut down all
equipment and vacate the room until it is decontaminated. The following substances are
particularly hazardous and cleanup should be handled only by someone with proper training:
- aromatic amines
- carbon disulfide
- nitro compounds
- organic halides
Avoid skin contact by wearing appropriate protective clothing (gloves, face mask, etc.) and,
to prevent inhalation, wear appropriate breathing apparatus. (Any mask to be used should be
tested for fit at least once a year.) Spills or splashes on clothing should be immediately removed
to prevent skin penetration. Consult the First Aid section of this Safety Plan.
- Many small liquid spills (less than 100 ml) can be adsorbed with paper towels, sand, or an
adsorbent. However, paper towels can increase the surface area and evaporation rate of
flammable liquids increasing the fire hazard. Most solid spills can be brushed up and
disposed of in appropriate solid-waste containers, but care must be exercised to avoid
reactive combinations. Don't leave paper towels or other materials used to clean up a spill
in open trash cans in the work area. Dispose of them in the spill kit containers.
- Acids - Concentrated Acetic, Formic, Nitric, Phosphoric, Perchloric, Sulfuric;
dilute Hydrochloric; for large spills (500 ml or more), use spill control pillow to soak up as much
acid as possible. Follow instructions on pillow dispenser box. Place used pillow in plastic
bag for later disposal. Neutralize remaining acid with acid spill cleanup kit, following
instructions on kit. Used pillow may either be neutralized with lime and disposed of, or
consult the Chemical Safety Officer. Small spills may be treated directly with spill
cleanup kit. Caution: Most pillows cannot be used with HF.
- Acid chlorides. Remember, acid chlorides are potent lachrymators. For acid chloride
spills, use calcined adsorbent products, such as Oil-Dri or Zorb-All, or dry sand. Avoid
contact with skin. Avoid inhaling hydrogen chloride vapors.
- Alkali metal. Avoid water! A spill of an alkali metal should be smothered with powdered
graphite or Met-L-X extinguisher (Type D) and removed to a safe location where it can be
disposed of by reaction with a dry secondary alcohol or, in an emergency, by open-air
burning under controlled conditions to ensure that the smoke is properly dispersed.
(Open-air burning is not a generally acceptable disposal method according to EPA.)
Sodium-potassium alloys (NaK) present even greater hazards than either sodium or potassium alone;
strict observation of the supplier's recommendations must be followed.
Particles of alkali metal splattered on the skin should be rapidly removed and the skin
flushed quickly with water. If any metal on the skin becomes ignited, deluge it with cold
- Caustics: Solutions of ammonium, calcium, potassium or sodium hydroxide; for large
spills (500 ml or more) use spill control pillows, following dispenser box instructions.
Place used pillow in plastic bag for later disposal. Neutralize remaining spill with caustic
spill cleanup kit following instructions on kit. Small spills may be treated directly with spill
- Concentrated Hydrochloric: Cover spill with vapor barrier absorbent blanket, open
windows and turn on fume hoods. Use spill control pillows if necessary. Neutralize spill
with acid spill cleanup kit. Local evacuation may be necessary to prevent exposure to
corrosive fumes (see Evacuation Plan section of this document).
- Hydrogen Peroxide 30%: For small spills, dilute with water and sponge up spill; for
large spills, dilute with water and use spill control pillow according to dispenser box instructions.
Any concentrations above 30% pose serious problems.
- Mercury: Because of the high toxicity of mercury vapor, spilled mercury should be
immediately and thoroughly cleaned up using an aspirator bulb or a vacuum device. If a
mercury cleanup unit is available, become familiar with its location and proper use.
Mercury spilled into floor cracks can be made non-volatile by amalgamation with zinc dust.
Domestic vacuum cleaners must not be used because they will only redisperse mercury
aerosols and spread the contamination. A mercury vapor monitoring instrument should
be available for determining the effectiveness of the cleanup. Call the CHSO at 1916
for help with clean-up and to monitor the airborne mercury levels. A mercury spill kit is
available from the CHSO.
- White (yellow) phosphorus: A spill of white (yellow) phosphorus should be
blanketed with wet sand or wet adsorbent and disposed of. If any white phosphorus
is splattered on the skin, flush the skin with cold water and remove adhering phosphorus.
Copper sulfate solution provides a visual aid in removing particles because it produces
a dark color in contact with elemental phosphorus. (back to top)
8-Accidents and Incidents
All accidents which result in excessive exposure of a hazardous materials to personnel are to be reported promptly to Sewanee Police Department (ext. 1111), Chemical Hygiene Safety Officer, and the Director of Environmental Health and Safety (ext. 1916). Such reportable occurrences include accidental ingestion, inhalation, or inoculation of any hazardous material in a quantity that can reasonably be expected to produce deleterious effects. All spills of significant quantities of hazardous materials should also be reported since they can easily lead to exposure of unwary personnel.
All incidents (or "near misses") that occur due to negligence or a potentially dangerous situation, but do not necessarily result in an excessive exposure to a hazardous material(s) or physical harm to personnel will be reported to the Chemical Hygiene Safety Officer or the Director of Environmental Health and Safety (ext.1916). Such reportable incidents (or "near misses") include, explosions, lab fires, an individual slipping on a wet floor, broken equipment which is dangerous, etc.
An accident or incident report should contain:
- Name, age, sex, occupation and department of each exposed or involved person
- Name and location of the person investigating the incident
- Brief description of accident or incident [what happened; nature of exposure (ingestion,
inhalation, inoculation, etc.); what has been done to aid the victim(s)]
- Nature of aid required - Be as specific as possible to avoid the wrong response to the accident or incident! Aid requests might be:
- No assistance required, just reporting for the record.
- Please send help for removal of spilled material
- Please send transportation to take injured victim to hospital
- This is a major accident - please send all the help available!
A file will be maintained by both CHSO and the Director of Environmental Health and Safety involving all accidents and incidents. This file will assist planning efforts to make the area a safer one in which to work. It will also serve an important legal purpose in the case of litigation resulting from the occurrence.
Accident/Illness Worker's Compensation forms are available from the Personnel Services (Annie Hoosier ext. 1113). Complete the form and return to Annie Hoosier WITHIN FIVE (5) DAYS following the accident.
Accidents involving students or others who are not employees do not require Worker's Compensation reporting. However, a form such as this Accident Report should be completed and saved indefinitely. (back to top)
9-Hazardous Material Handling Safety Procedures
9-a Chemical Inventory
All chemical containers must be clearly labeled with the name, grade and supplier of the chemical, and shall be inventoried into chemical/safety inventory database by the CHSO, or assistants working under the CHSO. Inventorying a chemical into stock requires:
- Color Tagging
Color tagging the chemical into its proper storage compatibility group. Compatibility
grouping is necessary to lessen the likelihood of chemical containers breaking and
reacting with each other to cause fire, explosion, toxic gas generation, etc.
See chemical group color code chart below.
|G||GENERAL INORGANIC||NO CODE
|X||GENERAL ORGANIC||NO CODE
|F||FLAMMABLE & COMBUSTIBLES||RED
|D||STAINS & DYES||AQUA
|M||CULTURE MEDIA||NO CODE
- Inventory Tagging
Inventory tagging of the chemical with a database unique barcode ID number will reference the date of purchase, expiration date and cost.
Newly purchased chemicals shall be inventoried into stock before they are allowed to be
used in a laboratory area. Every area in which chemicals are used or stored must have an
up-to-date [ i.e., no more than one year old ] inventory of the chemicals found in that area.
- Special Areas Tagging
At times certain reactive chemicals (because of their incompatibility with other chemicals
within a group) will require storage in a special area. Chemicals of this type shall be clearly
marked with storage precautions.
The inventory shall contain at least a common chemical name of the substance, the number of
containers of the material, and the approximate quantity of the material present in each container. Whenever possible the Inventory shall also contain the Chemical Abstracts Service Registry
Number, or CAS number for the chemical. This is an unambiguous and universal descriptor of the
material which is independent of the type of nomenclature used. The Inventory shall also contain
whenever possible the information on the age of the material such as the date purchased and/or
the date opened.
A printed copy of the most recent inventory must accompany the CHP in an area designated for safety materials.
Chemical Label Drop Boxes have been placed in the laboratory areas to facilitate the maintenance of an up-to-date inventory. Chemical inventory tags shall be removed from empty chemical containers and placed into the Chemical Label Drop Box before disposing of the containers (see 10-m Waste Handling/Disposal for the disposal of chemical containers). It is the responsibility of the laboratory teaching faculty and staff supervisors to see that this policy is followed. The CHSO will periodically gather the inventory tagging labels from the drop boxes and delete the inventory information from the computer database.
A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for each compound on the inventory must be accessible to all persons using the area. This MSDS could be in the form of a printed copy in the Safety Plan or it could be available on a computer in the area from a central database.
9-b Chemical Storage
To minimize hazards, the accumulation of chemicals should be minimized. If possible, only order chemicals in quantities that are likely to be consumed in a year or less. Many chemicals have a short shelf life. Some, such as ethers and secondary alcohols, oxidize to explosive peroxides in as little as three months after the container is first opened.
All chemicals in storage should be contained in tightly closed, sturdy and appropriate containers. The container must be clearly labeled with the name, grade and supplier of the chemical, and contain the date that the material was first opened.
Since chemical containers in storage are sometimes broken, chemicals should be stored in reactivity groups so that two chemicals that might react with each other to cause fire, explosion, toxic gas generation, etc. are not stored next to each other. Large containers should be stored on low shelves, preferably in a tray large enough to contain the contents in the event of a spill or container rupture.
All flammable materials must be stored in approved flammable storage cabinets. These cabinets must be kept tightly closed for maximum protection. No more than 45 L of flammable materials may be stored in any area that is not a special flammable materials storage area. For additional details, consult the code for flammable and combustible materials (NFPA 30). See additional information below:
Flammable Liquid Storage
- Fire hazard chemicals in quantities greater than 500 ml should be kept in metal safety cans designed for such storage. (High purity chemicals many be kept in glass containers.)The cans should be used only as recommended by the manufacturer, including the following safety practices:
- Never disable the spring-loaded closure.
- Always keep the flame arrestor screen in place; replace if punctured or damaged.
- Cabinets designed for the storage of flammables should be properly used and maintained.
- Read and follow the manufacturer's information and also follow these safety practices:
- Store only compatible materials inside a cabinet.
- Do not store paper or cardboard or other combustible packaging material in a flammable liquid storage cabinet.
- The manufacturer establishes quantity limits for various sizes of flammable liquid storage cabinets; do not overload a cabinet.
Chemicals in storage should be inventoried at least annually. If a chemical has not been used in a year, it should be considered a prime candidate for disposal or exchange with other laboratories that have a need for it.
All storage areas should be secure. They should not be in heavily traveled areas, and should be in separate areas other than offices, laboratories, or general work areas whenever possible. They should be accessible only to those few individuals who have a need for the chemicals and who have had the proper training in the use of all of the materials in that storage area.
9-c Designated Area
It is the sole intent of the designated area program to clearly mark areas where employees perform work with hazardous chemicals. To this point, the warning labels, tape, and/or signs which specify the designated area shall serve as a hazard warning to all people who intend to enter the area. No person shall enter any designated area during normal lab operations without proper safety equipment and training. When working with hazardous chemicals in these areas, it will be understood that all work should be done in a fume hood or area suited for the operation at hand. This designated area program is designed to facilitate all common lab chemicals as well as Carcinogens, Reproductive Toxins, substances that have a High Degree of Acute Toxicity and chemicals of Unknown Toxicity. For the purposes of this Chemical Hygiene Program, chemicals in the above four categories will be called "inimical".
Listed below are the components of the designated area program.
All areas shall be clearly marked.
- Each lab shall be individually accessed and marked accordingly with floor tape or similar
controls. Any person who intends to enter the marked areas must:
- be wearing the proper safety equipment
- be trained in proper procedures for all chemicals in the marked areas
- Designated areas shall be clearly marked with a warning identifying the use of inimical chemicals. Only those persons trained to work with inimical chemicals will be permitted to
conduct work with those chemicals in a designated area. All people qualified through
training and experience shall:
- Use the smallest amount of chemical that is consistent with the requirements of the work to be done.
- Use HEPA filters or high efficiency scrubber systems to protect vacuum lines and
- Store inimical chemicals or remove them from storage.
- Prepare waste from work with inimical chemicals for waste disposal.
- All inimical chemicals will be stored in locked and enclosed spaces with a slight
negative pressure compared to the rest of the building.
9-d Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
It is the responsibility of each department to maintain its own MSDS records. Chemical manufacturers and suppliers are required to supply one copy of a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) the first time they supply a given chemical. These sheets follow a set form and contain data on the chemical name and synonyms, physical and chemical properties, handling procedures, spill procedures, disposal procedures, etc. These original copies of MSDS are kept at the site where the chemical is used. Copies will be sent to the Director of Environmental Health and Safety and to the CHSO.
Hard copies of the MSDS sheets will be available for review in each laboratory and in a central location to be located in Woods Laboratories Building for a master collection. The Van Ness Building and Carnegie Hall also need to have designated locations for hard copies of MSDS's. Each chemical listed on the inventory for the area must have a MSDS in the collection of these sheets that is kept with the Safety Plan.
The training of new employees or students must include a description of where the MSDS's are kept, what they contain and some brief practice in reading an MSDS for a chemical found in the area.
The MSDS sheets must be available to all persons when working in laboratory areas. They shall not be filed away in a area that is not open when the laboratory areas are in use.
9-e Transporting Chemicals
- Transport all chemicals using the container-within-a-container concept.
- When moving in the laboratory, anticipate sudden backing up or changes in
direction from others.
- If you stumble or fall while carrying glassware or chemicals, try to project them away from
yourself and others.
- When a flammable liquid is withdrawn from a drum or when a drum is filled, both the drum
and the other equipment must be electrically wired to each other and to the ground in
order to avoid the possible build up of static charge. When transferring from a metal to
glass, the metal container should be grounded.
- Always wear the proper protective equipment before transporting any chemical.
- Under no circumstance shall any chemical(s) be transported out of any building on
campus without consent of the faculty supervisor or CHSO.
9-f Compressed Gases
Always use the minimum-sized compressed gas cylinder adequate to perform an experiment. When ordering hazardous gases, consider factors such as handling and storage, eye and skin
absorption, proper gas regulators, chemical properties, and disposal costs. Gas cylinders are among the most costly items to dispose. Avoid accumulating gas cylinders. They pose an increasing danger as they age. The publications of the Compressed Gas Association and of major suppliers should be consulted before using compressed gases. The following rules for use of compressed gases apply:
- Handle cylinders of compressed gases as high-energy sources and therefore as potential explosives.
- When storing or moving a cylinder, the protective cap must be securely in place to protect the valve stem.
- When moving large cylinders, strap them to a properly designed, wheeled cart to ensure stability. The protective cap must be in place. Never move a cylinder with a regulator attached!
- Cylinders of all sizes must be restrained by straps, chains, or a suitable stand to prevent them from falling.
- Do not expose cylinders to temperatures higher than about 50o C. Some rupture devices on cylinders will release at about 65o C. Some small cylinders, such as lecture bottles, are not fitted with rupture devices and may explode if exposed to high temperatures.
- Avoid placeing cylinders where they may come in contact with an electrical unit. Avoid areas that are damp or subject to a slat spray or other corrosive material.
- Never use a cylinder that cannot be identified positively.
- Never lubricate, modify, force, or tamper with a cylinder valve.
- Use cylinders of toxic, flammable, or reactive gases only in fume hoods. They should be stored in appropriately ventilated cabinets. (If available)
- Use suitable supports to hold cylinders at all times.
- Under no condition should high-pressure gases be directed at a person.
- Avoid using compressed gas or compressed air should not be used to blow away dust or dirt when the resultant flying particles might be dangerous.
- Rapid release of a compressed gas will cause an unsecured gas hose to whip dangerously and also may build up a static charge that could ignite a combustible gas.
- Do not extinguish a flame involving a highly combustible gas until the source of gas has been shut off; otherwise, it can re-ignite, causing an explosion.
- When not in use, close cylinder and bench valves. The main cylinder valve should be tightly closed but any needle valves on the regulator or lines need only be finger tight to avoid ruining the valve and/or valve stem.
- Never bleed a cylinder completely empty. Leave a slight pressure to keep contaminants out. In storage, always separate empties from full cylinders.
- Promptly remove the regulators from empty cylinders and replace the protective caps at once. Mark the cylinder "MT."
- Use the appropriate regulator on each gas cylinder. Adapters or homemade modifications can be dangerous.
- Oil or grease on the high-pressure side of an oxygen, chlorine, or other cylinder of an oxidizing agent can lead to an explosion.
- Always use a regulator to prevent back-siphonage of chemicals into the cylinder.
- Always wear safety glasses and safety shoes (If possible) when handling compressed gas cylinders.
Special Bulk Storage Considerations
- Always wear eye protection and safety shoes (If possible) when working with cylinders.
- Handle only cylinders that have a safety cap in place.
- Never use cylinders as rollers. Never allow cylinders to drop or strike together violently.
- Stand back from any falling cylinder. You are likely to injure yourself trying to catch it.
- Cylinders in storage must be kept upright and interlocked into a compact group.
- Adequate ventilation of cylinder storage is critical. Ventilation may be provided by natural
air flow through doors at floor level and vents at ceiling level or by a continuously running
- All cylinders stored outside should be placed on a pad to stay out of water. An overhead
cover is also necessary to avoid sunlight and direct rain.
- Do not store cylinders near the edge of a platform where they may be bumped off. Docks
used for storage must be equipped with approved safety rails.
- Transportation of cylindersshould be done only by trained personnel using approved
trucks. Consult CHSO (ext. 1916) for assistance or questions.
GAS RELEASE NOTE: The Superfund Amendments and Re authorization Act of 1986 (SARA Title III) states that releases of extremely hazardous substances must be reported to EPA. Director of EHS has the list to guide those using gases. Some examples of reportable releases include ammonia, chlorine, fluorine, arsine, etc. Call the Director Of EHS (ext. 1916) to establish the proper classification of any compressed gases used.
NFPA codes restrict the number and types of gases that can be used in an area. Consult CHSO. Do not store flammables and oxidizer gases together!
9-g Corrosive Chemicals and Contact Hazard Chemicals
Corrosivity, allergenic and sensitizer information is sometimes given in manufacturers' MSDS's and on labels. Also, guidelines for corrosive chemicals can be found in other OSHA standards and in regulations promulgated by DOT in 49 CFR and the EPA in 40 CFR.
- A corrosive chemical is one which:
- Fits the OSHA definition of corrosive in Appendix A of 29 CFR 1910.1200,
- Fits the EPA definition of corrosive in 40 CFR 261.22, (has a pH greater than
12 or less than 2.5), or which
- Is known or found to be corrosive to living tissue.
- A contact hazard chemical is an allergen or sensitizer which:
- 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.
- Except as noted in Expanded Section of Standard Operating Procedures, a corrosive
chemical will be handled with all proper safety precautions used including wearing both
safety goggles and face shield as well as gloves tested for absence of pin holes and
known to be resistant to permeation or penetration and a laboratory apron or laboratory coat.
9-h Flammable Chemicals
In general, the flammability of a chemical is determined by its flash point, the lowest temperature under certain controlled conditions at which an ignition source can cause the chemical to ignite momentarily.
- Chemicals with a flash point below 200°F will be grouped and labeled as either Flammable
and Combustible Chemicals or Flammable Solids. Flammable and Combustible Chemicals
will be labeled with a red tape and Flammable Solids with a copper tape. Both groups of
chemicals will be considered "Fire Hazard Chemicals" regarding the CHP.
- OSHA standards and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines on when a chemical is considered flammable apply to the use of flammable chemicals in the
laboratory. 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 will be stored in a flammable solvent storage area or in an approved flammable storage cabinets.
- Fire Hazard chemicals will be used only in vented hoods and away from sources of ignition.
- No more than 45 liters of flammable and combustible materials may be stored in any area
that is not a special Flammable Storage Area.
9-i Ionizing Radiation
The Radiation Safety Officer for The University of the South Is Dr. Randolph Peterson.
Radiation safety policy and procedural questions are to be directed to Dr. Peterson at X-1550.
9-j Reactive Chemicals
The most complete and reliable reference on chemical reactivity is found in the current edition of "Handbook of Reactive Chemical Hazards" by L. Bretherick, published by Butterworths. Reactivity information is sometimes given in manufacturers' MSDSs and on labels. Also, guidelines for reactive chemicals can be found in regulations promulgated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) in 49 CFR and by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 40 CFR. Also see NFPA Manual 325 M "Fire Hazard Properties of Flammable Liquids, Gases, Volatile Solids", Manual 49 "Hazardous Chemicals Data", and Manual 491M "Manual of Hazardous Chemical Reactions".
- A reactive chemical is one which:
- Is described as such in Bretherick or the MSDS,
- Is ranked by the NFPA as 3 or 4 for reactivity,
- Is identified by the DOT as:
- An oxidizer,
- An organic peroxide, or
- An explosive, Class A, B, or C,
- Fits the EPA definition of reactive in 40 CFR 261.23,
- Fits the OSHA definition of unstable in 29 CFR 1910.1450, or which
- Is known or found to be reactive with other substances.
- Reactive chemicals will be handled with all proper safety precautions used including segregation in storage and prohibition on mixing even small quantities with other chemicals without prior approval and appropriate personal protection and precautions.
9-k Toxic 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.
- When a TLV or PEL value is less than 50 ppm or 100 mg/m3 the user of the chemical
must use it in an operating fume hood or if a fume hood is not available, a proper respirator
will be used by all persons in the affected area.
- If a TLV, PEL, or comparable value is not available for that substance, the animal or human
median inhalation Lethal Concentration information, LC50, will be assessed. If that value
is less than no less than 200 ppm or 2000 mg/m3 when administered continuously for
one hour or less, then the chemical must be used in an operating fume hood or if a fume
hood is not available, a proper respirator will be used by all persons in the affected area.
- Whenever laboratory handling of toxic substances with moderate or greater vapor
pressures will be likely to exceed air concentration limits, laboratory work with such liquids
and solids will be conducted in a fume hood, glove box, vacuum line, or similar, which is
equipped with appropriate traps and/or scrubbers. If these are not available, no work will
be performed using that chemical.
9-l Vapor Detection
Odor cannot be used as a means of determining that inhalation exposure limits are or are not being exceeded. Whenever there is reason to suspect that a toxic chemical inhalation limit might be exceeded and whether or not a suspicious odor is noticed, the supervisor must be notified and laboratory workers should wear a respirator suitable for protection against the suspect chemical. This protective equipment shall be worn until measurements of the concentration of the suspect vapor in the air show that the limit is not exceeded. Under this circumstance and if there is no reason to anticipate an increase in the concentration of the chemical, and if the supervisor approves, the respirator can be removed and the work may continue.
9-m Waste Handling/Disposal
- Disposal of waste materials promptly. When disposing of chemicals, one basic principle
applies: keep each different class of chemical in a separate clearly labeled disposal container.
- All laboratory waste or used chemicals which have been exhausted shall be appropriately
labeled and located in the appropriate satellite location for that area. All labels shall contain the following information:
academic term and year,
instructor's name, a d
a complete list of the chemical(s) in the
container with the approximate amounts (% composition for mixtures).
Every lab area has been equipped with a used chemical label box. These labels are to be
permanently affixed to the waste bottle(s) with shipping tape.
- Never put chemicals into the sink or down the drain unless they are deactivated or
neutralized or such disposal is allowed. Please contact the CHSO if you are not sure about the chemical.
- All broken glass belongs in its own marked waste container. Broken thermometers
should be placed in a special container marked "Broken Thermometers."
- Peroxides, because of their reactivity and the unpredictable nature of their
formation in laboratory chemicals, require the assistance of an expert for the disposal of
large quantities (25 grams or more).
- All used chemicals and chemical waste shall be stored in the waste storage room
in the basement of Woods Laboratories Building. The CHSO shall review all containers
biannually to make a determination of which containers shall be classified as hazardous waste for disposal.
- All chemical waste shall be disposed of by an EPA approved disposal company. All
chemical waste located on site should be recorded in a current log and this inventory shall
be sent to the Director of EHS annually to be bid out for disposal at the end of the
academic year. (back to top)
10-Equipment/Instrumentation Safety Procedures
10-a Electrical Hazards
For more information, see the National Electrical Code, a part of the National Fire Codes (especially Article 500 on electrical equipment in hazardous atmospheres).
Do not touch a person in contact with a live electrical circuit. Disconnect the power first or you may be seriously injured.
All electrical outlets should carry a grounding connection requiring a three-pronged plug. All electrical equipment except glass-cloth heaters and certain oscillographs requiring a floating ground should be wired with a grounding plug. If equipment does not have a three-pronged plug, ground the equipment separately to a cold-water pipe. Test outlets for grounding before using, especially in buildings not originally built for laboratory or shop use. Not all cold-water pipes provide a ground because some may have plastic valves or fittings. Continuity of grounding connections, including leads to building ground itself, should be checked periodically by an authorized inspector. Follow the National Electrical Code in all installations. This includes proper grounding as well as proper equipment for hazardous areas. Grounding electrical outlets is not enough protection in a laboratory where the floor might be wet or where there is much electrical equipment. In these cases, a ground-fault interrupter is recommended.
Eliminate wiring that is frayed or worn or permanently stretched across the floor where someone could trip over it, obstructed switch gear and panel boards, unlabeled panel boards, electrical outlets with open (or missing) cover plates, and excessive use of extension cords. The condition of wiring, plugs, cords, and related equipment should be regularly inspected.
Refrigerators constitute a unique hazard because explosions may occur when they are used for storage of volatile or unstable chemicals. Domestic (household-type) refrigerators shall not be used for chemical storage unless they are modified by eliminating sources of open electrical contacts inside the storage cabinet, including lights and butter bin, and by having the door closure replaced with easily opened magnets. The motor and other electrical parts on the exterior of a domestic refrigerator can still ignite flammable vapors in the room.
10-b Equipment in Physics, Geology, Chemistry and Woods Lab Shop
These areas are designed for the preparation of lab specimens, apparatus, repairs of equipment and instrumentation and other lab related needs. Due to the potential hazards of the equipment/tools located in these areas, all work is to be performed only by qualified individuals under the direct supervision of the faculty/staff instructor. Any individual working in either the Physics , Geology , Chemistry or Woods Lab shop areas must have been trained in the appropriate safety/working procedures for all equipment/tools before any work is performed. Below is a list of rules which regulate safety in these areas.
- Safety training is mandatory. Do not operate any equipment without having previously
been trained and authorized to use that particular piece of equipment.
- Safety glasses or goggles and ear protection must be worn at all times in designated areas.
- Remove all rings, bracelets, necklaces, neckties, jewelry or loose articles of clothing that
could pose a danger of becoming entangled in moving parts of equipment.
- Before oiling, repairing or working on equipment, disconnect power on site.
- Avoid working alone, someone should always be in calling distance.
10-cLasers (Non-Ionizing Radiation)
The Radiation Safety Officer for The University of the South Is Dr. Randolph Peterson.
Radiation safety policy and procedural questions are to be directed to Dr. Peterson at X-1550.
10-d Sterilizers and Autoclaves
Follow the University Blood Borne Pathogen policy and manufacture's instructions on use, safety rules and inspection of equipment.
10-e Vacuums, Dewar Flasks, Research Apparatus, etc.)
Any glass equipment to be evacuated, such as suction flasks, should be specially designed with heavy walls. Dewar flasks and large vacuum vessels should be taped or otherwise screened or contained in a metal jacket to prevent flying glass in the case of an implosion. Most household Thermos bottles have thin walls and are not acceptable substitutes for laboratory Dewar flasks.
The use of research apparatus such as a rotary vacuum (or any apparatus under reduced or elevated pressures) shall be used only by individuals who have been trained in the proper operational techniques involved in its use or under the direct supervision of a qualified person.
All glassware has the potential to break and cause injury. The use of glassware in conjunction with chemicals has even a higher potential of causing injury or death to an individual. It is imperative that all glassware handling procedures be followed:
- All glassware used in a laboratory experiment shall only be used for its intended purposes.
- Under no circumstances shall any laboratory glassware be used for domestic use
- All glassware shall be properly cleaned before storage.
- Follow all safety procedures or instructions for the glassware in use.
- All graduated cylinders must be equipped with a large rubber disc
around the neck of the cylinder.
- Suction bulbs should always be used when pipetting. Never pipet by
mouth. When filling a burette, always use a small funnel to facilitate
pouring of the liquid into the narrow aperture of the burette.
- When separating volatile liquids with a separatory funnel, pressure must
be released frequently during the extraction process.
- When heating liquids in test tubes, superheating can easily occur,
resulting in the violent ejection of hot liquid. The test tube should be
pointed away from the body or other persons nearby, and the liquid
should be agitated gently by shaking the test tube. Only heat resisting
tubes should be used for heating liquids.
- All glassware or apparatus supports, clamps, or the like should be
carefully checked and tested before beginning the experiment.
Allowances must be made for the expansion of the glass if the apparatus
is to be heated. In the case of flasks containing large quantities of liquids,
it is good practice to place a tray underneath which is more than capable
of holding the entire contents. (back to top)
11-Protective Equipment Safety Procedures
11-a Fume Hoods and General Ventilation Systems
Chemical safety is achieved by continual awareness of chemical hazards and by keeping the chemical under control by using precautions including engineering safeguards such as hoods and general ventilation systems . Laboratory personnel should be familiar with the precautions to be taken including the use of engineering and other safeguards. Laboratory supervisors should be alert to detect the malfunction of engineering controls and other safeguards. All engineering safeguards and controls must be properly maintained, inspected on a regular basis, and never overloaded beyond their design limits. The following procedures shall be followed regarding fume hoods and general ventilation systems:
- Laboratory ventilation should be not less than six air changes per hour (calculated).
This flow is not necessarily sufficient to prevent accumulation of chemical vapors.
Work done with toxic chemicals that have low air concentration limits, or that have
high vapor pressures, should always be done in a hood.
- Fume hoods should provide70 to 150 linear feet per minute of air flow.
- Laboratory employees should understand and comply with the following:
- A fume hood is a safety backup for condensers, traps, or other devices that
collect vapors and fumes. It is not used to "dispose" of chemicals by
evaporation unless the vapors are trapped and recovered for proper waste disposal.
- The apparatus inside the hood should be placed on the floor of the hood at
least six inches away from the front edge.
- Fume hood windows should be lowered (closed) at all times except when
necessary to raise (open) in order to adjust the apparatus that is inside the hood.
- The hood fan should be always "on" whenever a chemical is inside the hood,
- whether or not any work is being done in the hood.
- Personnel should be aware of the steps to be taken in the event of power
failure or other hood failure.
- f. Hood vent ducts and fans must be inspected at frequent intervals to be sure
they are both clean and clear of obstructions. This maintenance is performed by PPS.
- Hoods are should not be used as storage areas for chemicals, apparatus, or other materials.
- Whenever it is possible that engineering controls or work practices could become or are ineffective, and that employees might be exposed to vapor or particulate concentrations
greater than the PEL, Action Level, TLV, or similar limit, whichever is the lowest,
respirators should be worn.
- The requirements of 29 CFR 1910.134 should be followed.
- Written Standard Operating Procedures governing the selection and use of respirators.
- All employees who are likely to need to use respirators must be trained in
their proper use, inspection, and maintenance.
11-c Protective Equipment
- Whenever exposure by inhalation is likely to exceed the threshold limits described in
MSDS sheets, use a hood; if this is not possible, a proper respirator must be worn.
Consult with your supervisor or professor before doing any such work.
- Carefully inspect all protective equipment before using. Do not use defective protective
- Followed the safety procedures specified by the supervisor/professor and any
specific procedure covered under procedures of this CHP.
12 Emergency Safety Procedures
12-a Chemical Spill Plan
General Chemical Spills
All spills should be cleaned up promptly, efficiently and properly by the appropriate personnel. Do not attempt to clean up any significant spill.
- Appropriately warn all individuals at risk of involvement.
- For spills on the skin or in the eyes, treatment must begin immediately. Often the
volume spilled is not so important as the toxicity of the substances.
- Contact the Instructor and the Chemical Hygiene Officer as soon as possible to conduct
appropriate evacuation and clean up.
- Follow all instructions as given.
12-b Emergency Response and Evacuation Plan
This section is dedicated to proper procedure for accidents and to inform you of the proper safety equipment needed to deal with given situations that you may encounter in the laboratory. As much as possible, follow procedures that have been established and practiced. When helping another person, remember to evaluate the potential danger to yourself before taking action. When an emergency occurs, take the following actions:
- 1. Report the nature and location of the emergency to the instructor and, if necessary, to
the appropriate fire or medical facility; give your name, telephone number, and address.
Indicate where you will meet the emergency vehicle. If individuals are involved,
report how many; whether they are unconscious, burned, or trapped; whether
an explosion has occurred; and whether there is or has been a chemical or electrical fire.
- 2. Tell others in the area about the nature of the emergency.
- 3. Do not move any injured persons unless they are in immediate danger from chemical
exposure or fire. Keep them warm. Unnecessary movement can severely complicate
neck injuries and fractures.
- 4. Meet the ambulance or fire crews at the place you indicated. Send someone else if you
- 5. Do not make any other telephone calls unless they directly relate to the control of the emergency
There are two types of evacuation:
- General - all building occupants must evacuate the building.
- Local - occupants of a specific area must evacuate that area.
The General Evacuation routes for the rooms associated with this lab are marked on the Evacuation Plan map (fire egress). Building occupants should gather outside at a clearly designated location and await further instruction. Occupants will be advised by Public Safety when it is safe to return. Whenever possible, turn off all power and gas lines before evacuating.
Local Evacuations do not require exit from the building. Occupants of the lab should gather outside the lab entrance and await further direction. Avoid hindering any emergency operations in progress.
In any evacuation, do not leave the designated meeting area. Your absence will be interpreted that you are still in the danger area and one or more persons may risk their lives looking for you.
When to Evacuate:
- Fire of any nature. Activate pull station and proceed with general evacuation of building.
Phone Sewanee Police Department (ext. 1111) from other building immediately.
- Chemical spill. Since generally small quantities of chemicals are handled in the lab, spills
are likely to be relatively small in volume, and may not require evacuation. Spills of fuming
acids, such as concentrated hydrochloric, may require local evacuation, with re-entry
when spill is properly contained and cleaned up. (See Spill Plan section of this Safety Plan.)
- Gas leak from cylinders or gas line. Scale of evacuation will depend on seriousness of
leak and nature of gas. Minor gas leaks from cylinders may not require evacuation, but
rather simple removal of cylinder to outdoors for pick-up. Cylinder rupture or valve
breakage, or gas line rupture dictate evacuation. Open windows if possible. If the gas
is reactive, corrosive or highly flammable, general evacuation should proceed. Less
reactive gases may dictate local evacuation. In the event of any gas leak, notify the lab
- Power interruption. If fume hood blowers are not functioning due to a power interruption,
open windows, make sure switches to fume hoods are left ON, and immediately proceed with local evacuation. Close the lab entrance door. Do not enter room after power is
restored; wait until notified by Sewanee Police Department that it is safe to return.
12-c Eyewash Fountains and Safety Showers
About Sinks, Showers and Eyewash Stations
The water supply for laboratory sinks should be separate from that used for toilets, drinking water and emergency showers or eyewashes. This is necessary to prevent possible contamination of the potable water supply. Back siphonage or back pressure can suck sink water into the potable water system through hoses or other apparatus.
Eyewash Fountains and Safety Showers
- All laboratories must be equipped with eyewashes and safety showers located so they
can be reached from any point in the laboratory as specified in ANSI Z358.1.
- The functioning of eyewash fountains and safety showers shall be checked and water
flow shall be measured at intervals specified in ANSI Z358.1; facilities not meeting the
water flow requirements of ANSI Z358.1 shall be promptly repaired.
- Access to eyewash fountains and safety showers shall not be restricted or
blocked by temporary storage of objects or in any other way.
Emergency eyewash and shower equipment are located no more than 10 seconds in time nor greater than 100 feet in distance from the hazard. The eyewash and shower area must be readily accessible, be kept clear of obstructions, and be clearly labeled. The showers are adjusted to dispense at least 30 gallons of water per minutes. Eyewash fountains are designed so that the hands are not required to maintain the water flow and both should be used for a minimum of 15 minutes for any rinse procedure.
OSHA regulations specify that in any laboratory which is being used on a regular basis the eyewash and shower stations shall be flushed (tested) once per week. As a good practice, the eyewash stations should be flushed for 2-3 minutes at the beginning of the lab period. This is necessary in order to clean the water pipes of amoeba, rust, and other contaminants which may build up while not in use. The shower stations should be flushed once per month. These test must be recorded on a monitor check list and later entered into the computer file designated for such testing.
12-d Fire Extinguishers
The four types of extinguishers most commonly used are classified by the type of fire for which they are suitable.
- Water extinguishers are effective against burning paper and trash (Class A fires). These should not be used for extinguishing electrical, liquid, or metal fires.
- Carbon dioxide extinguishers are effective against burning liquids, such as hydrocarbons or paint, and electrical fires (Class B and C fires). They are recommended for fires involving delicate instruments and optical systems because they do not damage such equipment. They are less effective against paper and trash or metal fires and should not be used against lithium aluminum hydride fires.
- Dry powder extinguishers, which contain sodium bicarbonate, are effective against burning liquids and electrical fires (Class B and C fires). They are less effective against paper and trash or metal fires. They are not recommended for fires involving delicate instruments or optical systems due to the clean up this creates.
- Met-L-X extinguishers and others that have special granular formulations are effective against burning metal (Class D fires). Included in this category are fires involving magnesium, lithium, sodium, and potassium; alloys of reactive metals; and metal hydrides, metal alkyls and other organometallics. These extinguishers are less effective against paper and trash, liquid, or electrical fires.
Multipurpose dry chemical extinguishers release a stream of mono-ammonium phosphate and are often preferred.
12-e Fire Prevention Guidelines for Laboratories
The best way to fight a fire is to prevent it. Fires can be prevented and their severity considerably reduced by proper housekeeping and by careful attention to what you are doing. This includes prompt removal of waste, separation of flammable liquids from combustible material such as cardboard boxes and paper towels, storage only of limited quantities of flammable material, and unobstructed aisles and exits. The following questions can be asked: "Are there any frayed wires? Is a sparking motor stirrer being used to stir a flammable liquid? Are those bottles too close to the edge of the bench? Is the work space cluttered? Do I understand each of the potential hazards in what I am about to do? Am I prepared in advance to take preventive steps?"
Dealing with a Fire
When a fire occurs, the following actions should be taken:
- A fire contained in a small vessel can usually be suffocated by covering the vessel. Do not
pick up the vessel. Do not cover with dry towels or cloths. Remove nearby flammable
materials to avoid spread of the fire.
- If the fire is burning over an area too large for the fire to be suffocated quickly and simply,
all persons should evacuate the area except those trained and equipped to fight
structural fires. Do not use elevators to leave the building; use the stairs.
- Activate the fire alarm. Notify co-workers and the instructor. Call the fire department. As
much as possible, follow procedures that have been established and practiced during fire drills.
- If you have been trained in the use of a fire extinguisher, fight the fire from a position from
which you can escape, and only if you are confident that you will be successful. Small
fires just starting often can be extinguished, but not always. If not extinguished, a fire can
quickly threaten your life and that of your co-workers. Remember, it is easy to
underestimate a fire.
- Toxic gases and smoke may be present during a fire and those persons trying to contain
the fire must avoid breathing gases and smoke. These fires should be fought only by
properly trained and equipped personnel.
- Smother fires involving very reactive metals with powdered graphite or with a fire
extinguisher designed for metal fires. Carbon dioxide and the usual dry chemical fire
extinguishers will intensify fires of alkali, alkaline earth, and certain other metals, including
aluminum, magnesium, zirconium, hafnium, thorium and uranium.
- Fire fighters should be informed what chemicals are involved, or which chemicals may
become involved. A current inventory list is required and a copy should be readily
available outside the work area. Laboratories should be posted with the National Fire
Protection Association diamond which provided much emergency information.
- Fire involving chemicals increase the possibility of explosions. Special care should be taken to keep fire or excessive heat from volatile solvents, compressed gas cylinders,
reactive metals and explosive compounds.
- Immediately after the fire, all extinguishers that were used should be recharged or
replaced with full ones.
12-f First Aid
Personal Injuries Involving Fires
If a person's clothing is on fire:
- Use the safety shower to extinguish fire
- Douse the individual with water, wrap the person in a coat or blanket and roll the victim on
the floor. Fire blankets must be used with caution because wrapping the body can send
flames toward the face and neck.
- Quickly remove any clothing contaminated with chemicals. Use caution when removing pullover shirts or sweaters to prevent contamination of the eyes.
- Douse with water to remove heat and place clean, wet, cold cloths on burned areas. Wrap
the injured person to avoid shock and exposure.
- Get medical attention promptly.
Chemical Spills on Personnel
For small chemical spills covering small amount of skin:
- 1. Immediately flush with flowing water for no less than 15 minutes.
- 2. If no visible burn exists, wash with warm water and soap, removing any jewelry to facilitate
removal of any residual materials.
- 3. Check the MSDS to see if any delayed effects should be expected.
- 4. It is advisable to seek medical attention for even minor chemical burns.
For Spills on Clothes
- 1. Do not attempt to wipe the clothes. Quickly remove all contaminated clothing, shoes and jewelry while using the safety shower. Seconds count, and no time should be wasted
because of modesty.
- 2. Use caution when removing pullover shirts or sweaters to prevent contamination of the
eyes. It may be better to cut the garments off.
- 3. After the clothing is removed Immediately flood the affected body area with tempered
water for at least 15 minutes. Resume if pain returns. Do not use creams, lotions or salve.
- 4. Get medical attention as soon as possible.
Other Accidents Involving Personal Injury
- Anyone overcome with smoke or fumes should be removed to uncontaminated air and
treated for shock. Remember to evaluate the possibility of harm to the rescuer before
entering or continuing to remain in a toxic environment.
- If hazardous chemicals are ingested, follow the first aid treatment shown on the label or in
- Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person.
- Attempt to learn exactly what substances were ingested and inform instructor and medical staff.
- If the person is not breathing, give mouth-to-mouth if you trained in first aid and CPR.
- If a person is bleeding, give first aid if you are trained in first aid.
- Do not touch a person in contact with a live electrical circuit. Disconnect the power first or
the rescuer may be seriously injured.
- Always contact the Instructor when there has been and accident and help the instructor fill
out an accident report form. Also report near misses or any type of hazard found.
13-a The following hazards are associated with Cryogenics:
- 1. Asphyxiation due to displacement of oxygen (does not apply to liquid air and oxygen).
- 2. Cracking of materials from cold.
- 3. Frost bite.
- 4. Explosion due to pressure build-up (i.e. in a cold tap).
- 5. Condensation of oxygen and fuel (e.g. hydrocarbons) resulting in
13-b Precautions for handling cryogens:
- Always wear a full face shield, impervious gloves and proper protective clothing.
- Use cryogens only in approved containers that are capable of with-standing the extreme
cold without becoming brittle.
- Use and store in well ventilated areas.
- Properly label cryogenic material.
- Keep reactive cryogens away from sparks and flames.
Appendix A: Records and Record Keeping
Appendix B: Employee Information and Training
Appendix C: Exposure Assessments, Medical Consultations and Examinations
Appendix D: Emergency Procedure Plan
Appendix E: Safety Equipment List
Appendix F: Potentially Incompatible Wastes
This Chemical Hygiene Plan was ratified by the University of the South Chemical Hygiene Committee on July 9, 1998.
Frank Lankewicz, Director of Environmental Health and Safety
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Marvin Pate, Director of Physical Plant Services
Dr. Fred Croom, Provost
Dr. John Bordley, Chair of Chemistry Department
Dr. John Palisano, Chair of Biology Department
Dr. Randolph Peterson, Chair of Physics Department
LAST REVISION August 7, 1998
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND SAFETY OFFICE
The University of the South