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Chemical Safety

In compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (29 CFR 1910. 1450) and to prevent harm to lab participants, the following chemical hygiene plan has been purposed. This plan, developed by the Office of Research Compliance, Integrity & Safety and Laboratory Safety Committee, will provide a guideline of required policies for laboratory personnel and participants when engaging in work with Laboratory Sciences.

Hazardous chemicals are defined by Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards as the following:

  • Physical hazard means a chemical for which there is scientifically valid evidence that it is a combustible liquid, a compressed gas, explosive, flammable, an organic peroxide, an oxidizer, pyrophoric, unstable (reactive) or water-reactive.
  • Health hazard means a chemical for which there is statistically significant evidence based on at least one study conducted in accordance with established scientific principles that acute or chronic health effects may occur in exposed employees. The term "health hazard" includes chemicals which are carcinogens, toxic or highly toxic agents, reproductive toxins, irritants, corrosives, sensitizers, hepatotoxins, nephrotoxins, neurotoxins, agents which act on the hematopoietic system, and agents which damage the lungs, skin, eyes, or mucous membranes.

Therefore, in order to handle hazardous chemicals properly, inventory must be established and updated as chemicals are added or removed from the laboratory and shall be done in conformance with the Chemical Inventory Form

Laboratory equipment must be in working condition for the safety of operators and lab participants. Fume hoods should be clear of all materials except what is necessary for the current activity. Get more information about Fume Hood Maintenance.

Any chemical hazardous waste must be removed and disposed of according to the Hazardous Waste Disposal Form.

Safety Data Sheets must be obtained from the respective manufacturer(s). A copy shall be available to those working in the laboratory.

How to read a Safety Data Sheet from Flinn Scientific

 

Chemical Hygiene Officer: Jim Gable, jgable@niu.edu

Chemical Hygiene Officer Liaison: Each department that works with chemicals must appoint a Chemical Hygiene Officer Liaison. See Chemical Hygiene Officer Liaison: Role and Responsibilities