Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Chemical Hygiene Plan-2013
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Laboratory Assistants
Standard Operating Procedures for Laboratory Chemicals
Chemical Procurement
Chemical Storage
Chemical Handling
Laboratory Equipment and Glassware
Personal Protective Equipment
Personal Work Practices
Criteria for Implementation of Control Measures
Fume Hood Management
Employee Information and Training
Required Notification and Approvals
Medical Consultation and Examination
Additional Protection
Emergency Response/Chemical Spills
Program Evaluation and Review
Suggested Chemical Storage Pattern
13.1 Inorganic
13.2 Organic
13.3 Additional Suggestions
Chapter 6D from Prudent Practices in the Laboratory, National Academy Press, 2011
This Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) sets forth policies, procedures, equipment, personal protective equipment
and work practices that are capable of protecting employees from the health hazards presented by hazardous
chemicals used in laboratories. This CHP is intended to meet the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.1450,
Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories, including the non-mandatory Appendix A.
See for the recent technical amendment to the Appendix.
This CHP applies to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Laboratories. The objective of this program is to provide guidance to all laboratory employees who use
hazardous chemicals, so that they can perform their work safely.
Laboratory Employee—This CHP applies to UW-L employees who work with hazardous chemicals in a
laboratory scale, where multiple procedures or chemicals are in use.
Frequenter—This standard does not apply to frequenters. Frequenters include students, UW-L employees and
others who have studies or work to perform in a laboratory. UW-L is required to provide a safe working or
learning environment for all frequenters. See also the Hazards Communication Program of UW-L.
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Laura Roessler has been selected as the Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO) for the CHP for the Department
of Chemistry and Biochemistry and will provide continued direction for the CHP for the next two fiscal
years (June 2013 through June 2015).
The Chemical Hygiene Officer shall:
1. Work with administrators, departmental faculty/staff through the Department of Chemistry and
Biochemistry Safety Committee to develop and implement acceptable, appropriate chemical
hygiene policies and practices,
2. Monitor procurement and use of chemicals in the lab, determining that laboratory facilities and
training levels are adequate for chemicals in use,
3. Participate in regular, formal chemical hygiene and housekeeping inspections that include
inspections of emergency equipment, personal protective equipment and engineering controls.
4. Direct the maintenance of a current chemical inventory of chemicals present within the UW-L
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry,
5. In consultation with the departmental safety committee and other faculty, review and improve the
CHP on an annual basis,
6. Encourage department faculty and staff to fulfill their responsibilities for the safe operation of the
Chemistry and Biochemistry Laboratories,
7. Work with the department safety committee to communicate and encourage laboratory employees
to meet the requirements of this CHP,
8. Work with department faculty/staff to ensure the proper selection level of personal protective
9. Work with department faculty/staff to ensure that the appropriate training has been provided to
10. Monitor the waste disposal program,
11. Manage access to lab spaces and chemical storage (keys, weekend use, etc.).
Supervisors are directly responsible for chemical hygiene in the laboratory. All laboratory instructors are
considered supervisors for the laboratory sections they teach. Principal Investigators (PIs) are responsible
for their own research labs. The supervisor/PI is required to ensure that provisions of the CHP are being
followed in the laboratory. Some teaching laboratories have a coordinator who will assist instructors in
ensuring that provisions of the CHP are being followed.
Student Laboratory Employees/Researchers
Laboratory teaching assistants, student workers who prepare chemicals and supplies for teaching
laboratories, and students who work in the stockroom are expected to be familiar with the CHP and
operate within its policies. This requirement also applies to any students who work in a Department of
Chemistry and Biochemistry research laboratory under the direction of a PI. A training program shall be in
place for these persons, which must be completed before work is started.
Standard Operating Procedures for Laboratory Chemicals
Chemical Procurement
The CHO should be informed of the decision to procure a chemical. A commitment of safe handling and
use of the chemical from initial receipt to ultimate disposal is expected.
UW-L’s policy is to regularly evaluate current chemical inventory and properly dispose of outdated or
waste hazardous chemicals.
Information on proper handling, storage and disposal shall be identified by the purchaser prior to
procurement of a chemical. In addition, chemicals used in the laboratory shall be those which are
appropriate for the ventilation system. See the Laboratory Safety and Chemical Disposal Guide of the
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, 2002, for further information. A copy of this guide shall be physically
present in the close vicinity of each laboratory. Copies can be obtained by contacting Dan Sweetman in
the Environmental Health and Safety office.
All chemicals to be used in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry must either be delivered to the
stockroom, or the CHO (or designee) should be notified that a Supervisor or PI has taken receipt.
Compressed gas cylinders are to be delivered to the separate storage area in Cowley Hall designed
specifically for such cylinders, except that flammable gases are to be delivered straight to their point of
use. The CHO will coordinate this.
When chemicals are received in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, the pertinent instructor
will be notified and a decision made as to whether the chemical should stay in the stockroom storage area
or be moved to one of the laboratories for storage.
Chemical containers shall not be accepted without accompanying labels. If a Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
previously called a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), is not already available for the chemical, one shall
be obtained. All containers of chemicals should be dated when received and dated again when opened.
Chemical Storage
Received chemicals shall be promptly moved to the designated Chemical Storage area by an instructor or
trained assistant. Large glass containers shall either remain in their original shipping container or be
placed in carrying containers (e.g., rubber "boots") during transportation.
All chemical storage areas shall be well-illuminated, with storage maintained at or below eye level.
Flammables in excess of 10 gallons total per laboratory will be stowed in a flammable storage cabinet or in
the specially designed flammable storage room within the chemistry and biochemistry stockroom.
Chemicals must be segregated by hazard classification and compatibility in a well-identified area, with
good general exhaust ventilation.
Mineral acids should be segregated from flammable and combustible materials. Separation is defined by
NFPA 49 as storage within the same fire area but separated by as much space as practicable or by
intervening storage from incompatible materials.
Nitric acid will be stored in a secondary container large enough to hold the entire container contents. Acid
resistant trays shall be placed under bottles of mineral acids.
Acid sensitive materials, such as cyanides and sulfides shall be separated from acids or protected from
contact with acids and water.
Highly toxic chemicals or other chemicals whose containers have been compromised shall be stored in
unbreakable secondary containers.
All flammable chemicals that should be refrigerated must be stored in a refrigerator/freezer which is rated
for flammable storage. Ethers and other peroxide forming solvents should not be stored in a refrigerator.
A separate section in the compressed gas cylinder storage area shall be used for empty and full cylinders
with appropriate signage. Cylinders should be used in rotation as received from the supplier. The storage
area should be set up to permit proper inventory rotation. A special cart shall be provided to move the
cylinders into their storage lanes and a separate cart provided to move a cylinder to its point of use and to
move empty cylinders back to the main storage area. The valve-protection cap should be left on each
cylinder until it has been secured against a wall or bench or placed in a cylinder stand, and is ready to be
used. Avoid dragging, rolling, or sliding cylinders, even for a short distance. They should be moved by
using a suitable hand truck.
Storage of chemicals at the lab bench or other work area shall be limited to those amounts necessary for
one operation or shift. The amount of chemicals at the lab bench shall be as small as practicable.
Laboratory exhaust hoods should not be used to store chemicals that are not being immediately used in
the procedure at hand.
Containers of chemicals should be kept closed when not in use.
The floor shall not be used to store chemicals.
Stored chemicals shall be examined at least annually by the CHO or a trained assistant for container
integrity and/or deterioration. The inspection should determine whether any corrosion, deterioration, or
damage has occurred to the storage facility as a result of leaking chemicals.
Periodic inventories of chemicals outside the chemistry stockroom area shall be conducted under the
supervision of the Chemical Hygiene Officer. Unneeded items shall be properly discarded or returned to
the chemistry stockroom storage area.
Chemical Handling
Each laboratory employee or student employee (with the training, education, and resources provided by
supervision), shall develop work habits consistent with requirements of the UW-L Department of Chemistry
and Biochemistry CHP to minimize potential personal and coworker exposure to chemicals. Based on the
realization that all chemicals inherently present hazards in certain conditions, exposure to all chemicals
shall be minimized.
General precautions which shall be followed for the handling and use of all chemicals are:
1. Skin contact with chemicals shall be avoided.
2. Employees shall wash all areas of exposed skin prior to leaving the laboratory. Hand soap is
provided in each laboratory.
3. Mouth suction for pipetting or starting a siphon is prohibited.
4. Eating, drinking, smoking, chewing gum, or application of cosmetics in the laboratory is prohibited.
5. Storage of food or beverages is not allowed in storage areas or refrigerators used for laboratory
6. Chemical mixtures which contain toxic component(s) shall be assumed to be toxic.
7. Substances of unknown toxicity shall be assumed to be toxic.
8. Laboratory employees/student employees shall be familiar with the symptoms of exposure for the
chemicals which they work with and the precautions necessary to prevent exposure.
9. The intent and procedures of this CHP shall be continually adhered to.
10. For chemicals which have a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) from OSHA, engineering controls,
followed by personal protective equipment shall be used to minimize any chance that these limits
might be exceeded. The same standard applies to the Threshold Limit Values (TLV’s) set by the
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). A CD of these values is
available in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Stockroom. This additional requirement is part of the
technical amendment of Appendix A of the OSHA Laboratory Standard and can be accessed
11. Engineering controls and safety equipment in the laboratory shall be utilized and inspected in
accordance with guidelines established in the CHP.
12. An inspection log which documents eyewash/shower function will be maintained next to each
installation. Eyewashes and showers will be tested at least once per month.
13. Specific precautions based on the toxicological characteristics of individual chemicals shall be
implemented as deemed necessary by the CHO.
Laboratory Equipment and Glassware
Each employee/student employee shall keep the work area sufficiently clean and uncluttered as to prevent
personal contamination from touching the outside of a container or the lab bench or knocking over of
containers due to reaching or walking through the workspace.
Exits shall not be blocked on either side with furniture or equipment.
All chemicals shall be properly labeled, in accordance with UW-L’s CHP guidelines.
At the completion of each work day or operation, the work area shall be thoroughly cleaned and if
practical, equipment cleaned and stowed.
In addition, the following procedures shall apply to the use of laboratory equipment:
1. All laboratory equipment shall be used only for its intended purpose.
2. All glassware will be handled and stored with care to minimize breakage; all broken glassware will
be immediately disposed of in the broken glass container.
3. All evacuated glass apparatus shall be shielded to contain chemicals and glass fragments should
implosion occur.
4. Labels shall be attached to all chemical containers, identifying the contents and related hazards.
5. Waste receptacles shall be labeled as such.
6. All laboratory equipment shall be inspected on a periodic basis and replaced or repaired as
necessary. Malfunctioning laboratory equipment shall not be used.
Personal Protective Equipment
Chemical splash goggles meeting ANSI Z87.1 are required for employees and frequenters to the
laboratory and will be worn at all times when corrosive or injurious chemicals are being used or
manipulated in the laboratory. A full face shield in addition to chemical splash goggles shall be worn
during certain chemical transfer and handling as procedures dictate. Such conditions exist but are not
limited to when handling corrosive, skin absorptive, cryogenic or pyrophoric hazardous chemicals.
Chemical resistant aprons or lab coats are strongly encouraged in the laboratory. Lab coats and goggles
will be supplied to employees. They should be removed immediately upon discovery of significant
contamination. Clean re–usable gloves after use to reduce permeation and degradation. Used gloves shall
be inspected prior to use and replaced if damaged or deteriorated.
Thermal resistant gloves shall be worn for operations involving the handling of heated materials and
exothermic reaction vessels. Thermal resistant gloves shall be non-asbestos and shall be replaced when
damaged or deteriorated.
This CHP proscribes work that would require a respirator until such time as UW-L adopts a Respiratory
Protection Plan. Dust masks can be used for comfort but the wearer must be informed of their limitations.
In labs, respirators are not used because laboratory exhaust hoods and other engineering controls are
preferentially installed and used.
Personal Work Practices
Laboratory supervision must ensure that each student knows and follows laboratory-specific rules and
procedures established by this plan.
All employees/students shall remain vigilant to unsafe practices and conditions in the laboratory and shall
immediately report such practices and/or conditions to the laboratory supervisor. The supervisor must
PROMPTLY correct unsafe practices or conditions.
Long hair or loose-fitting clothing shall be confined close to the body to avoid contact with chemicals or
being caught in moving machine/equipment parts.
Only those hazardous chemicals appropriate for the ventilation system shall be used.
Avoid unnecessary exposure to all hazardous chemicals by any route.
Do not smell or taste any hazardous chemicals.
Encourage safe work practices for coworkers by setting the proper example. Rowdy behavior is strictly
Seek information and advice from knowledgeable persons. Check standards and codes about the hazards
present in the laboratory. Plan operations, equipment, and protective measures accordingly.
Use engineering controls in accordance with CHP procedures.
Inspect personal protective equipment prior to use, and wear appropriate protective equipment as
procedures dictate and when necessary to avoid exposure.
All containers not for the immediate use of an individual shall be labeled. This includes chemical
containers and waste containers. The labels shall be informative and durable, and at a minimum, will
identify contents, source, date of acquisition, and indication of hazard.
Peel and stick labels are available in the chemistry stockroom to be used for waste containers and for
portable containers filled from commercial bottles. Blank NFPA diamonds are printed on the labels used
for portable containers. The blanks should be filled in if possible using the information in the small
booklets that are available in each lab or from the information available in the chemistry stockroom.
Exemptions for labeling requirements shall be made for chemical transfers from a labeled container into a
container which is intended only for the immediate use of the employee or student who performed the
Research samples whose identities are in question are also exempted from detailed labeling but must
have a label that includes some reference to the method of preparation as designated by the PI.
Small student samples, unknown samples, etc. in teaching laboratories may be labeled using a code
designated by the instructor but the instructor’s name should also be on the label.
The labeling program shall be periodically inspected by the Chemical Hygiene Officer to ensure that labels
have not been defaced or removed.
Criteria for Implementation of Control Measures
A. When to use laboratory exhaust hoods:
Hoods should be used WHENEVER POSSIBLE to contain and exhaust hazardous dusts and volatile
materials or other toxic or offensive materials. Processes that have potential for generating hazardous
airborne chemical concentrations should be carried out within the fume hood.
B. When to use safety shields or other containment devices:
Safety shields must be used where the possibility exists for laboratory scale detonation or conflagration on
exposure to air. Protective devices, such as long and short-handled tongs for holding or manipulating
hazardous items should be used WHENEVER POSSIBLE.
C. When to use personal protective equipment—see section 4.5
D. When to institute special work practices:
Special work practices must be approved by the laboratory supervisor and the CHO. If particularly
hazardous chemicals are to be used (e.g. carcinogens, reproductive toxins, teratogens, or acutely toxic
chemicals), specific work practices and work locations must be designated. It is up to the laboratory
supervisor to check the MSDS or other sources to determine if a particular chemical fits into this group. As
a rule of thumb, if the LD50 is known, an acutely toxic chemical (ingestion) would be one with LD50 for rats
≤ 50 mg/kg body weight or if the LC50 is known (inhalation) an LC50 of ≤ 100 ppm . See for useful information on toxicity. See section 7.0 for
other sources of information.
Laboratory Exhaust Hood Management
A. Frequency and type of monitoring - all local exhaust hoods used for primary containment control are
continuously monitored for airflow.
B. Acceptable operating range - Face velocities between 85 and 120 linear fpm must be maintained for
each hood. Face velocities outside these limits will cause an alarm to go off in the hood. If the face
velocity cannot be adjusted to silence the alarm by adjusting the sash height while maintaining a usable
opening then maintenance personnel must be contacted to repair or upgrade the hood.
C. Maintenance schedule - Maintenance of local exhausts or fume hoods will be completed on an "as
needed" basis. Flow rate is to be inspected annually, with service coordinated by Facilities Planning
and Management but paid by the local Department or College.
Employee Information and Training
A. Information
1. A copy of the OSHA Laboratory Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1450 is hereby referenced.
2. References to information on recommended exposure limits for other hazardous chemicals and
signs and symptoms associated with exposures to hazardous chemicals, material safety data
sheets, and other information on the hazards, safe handling, storage and disposal of hazardous
chemicals can be found in the Laboratory Safety and Chemical Disposal Guide, January 2002 found
in each chemistry and biochemistry laboratory. A copy can be obtained by contacting Dan
Sweetman in the Environmental Health and Safety office.
3. See for information on OSHA standards,
directives (instructions for compliance officers), and standard interpretations (official letters of
interpretation of the standards) related to carcinogens.
4. Also see the Report on Carcinogens, Twelfth Edition, 2011 from the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services, the Public Health Service and the National Toxicology Program:
B. Training
1. Student researchers and all students who work in chemistry and biochemistry laboratories will be
provided with training to ensure that they are apprised of the hazards of chemicals present in their
work area. Such training will be provided at the time of their initial assignment to a work area where
hazardous chemicals are present. Additional training will be provided as needed by supervisors.
Initial training documentation, including the results of the required quiz will be collected and
maintained by the Chemical Hygiene Officer or their designee.
a. Initial Student training will include:
General Information: emergency contacts, resource information, legalities, regulatory
b. Preventative Activities including attitude and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
c. Chemical storage and disposal, including labeling and gas cylinders
d. Documentation including reference books, SDS (MSDS) and the CHP
e. Emergencies
2. Students in chemistry laboratory courses will receive safety training in conjunction with the course
curriculum, as provided by the instructor. Documentation of this training will be maintained by the
instructor or a Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry designee.
Required Notification and Approvals
If a laboratory supervisor or PI wishes to use a carcinogen, teratogen, mutagen, highly toxic or pyrophoric
chemical, the CHO must be notified and approve a written plan designed to protect laboratory personnel.
For pyrophoric chemicals, appropriate PPE must be provided to laboratory personnel. This would include a fire
resistant lab coat, fire resistant gloves and a face shield. These are available in the stockroom. An appropriate
fire extinguisher must be close at hand.
Medical Consultation and Examination
For specific State of Wisconsin regulations regarding the circumstances when exposure to hazardous
chemicals merits medical consultation and examination see the links below. Note the “department” is
defined as the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. These links are under the “Worker’s
Compensation Act. See and access “Text of
Worker’s Compensation Act” or click on the following link: and go to section
102.565, p. 92 and following.
A. Referencing these statutes, medical consultation and examination is appropriate for a laboratory
employee who works with hazardous chemicals and:
1. develops symptoms associated with a hazardous chemical to which the employee may have been
exposed in the laboratory
2. or is exposed to a hazardous chemical during a spill, leak, or explosion or other occurrence which
might have resulted in exposure above OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL)
Under these circumstances, the employee is entitled to medical attention including an examination and
follow-up exams as deemed necessary by the physician chosen by the employee.
3. To find PEL’s of hazardous chemicals see 29 CFR 1910.1000 of OSHA and subsequent sections
(tables Z-1, Z-2 and Z-3).
4. See the next sections (1910.1001 and 1910.1001 App A through App F) for specific rules and
PEL’s on asbestos, but primarily App G, H and I.
5. A later section (1910.1002) provides links regarding regulations of coal tar pitch volatiles.
6. See 1910.1003 at:
for the restrictive regulations applying to the use of the following 13 select carcinogens:
4-Nitrobiphenyl, Chemical Abstracts Service Register Number (CAS No.) 92933;
alpha-Naphthylamine, CAS No. 134327;
methyl chloromethyl ether, CAS No. 107302;
3,3'-Dichlorobenzidine (and its salts) CAS No. 91941;
bis-Chloromethyl ether, CAS No. 542881;
beta-Naphthylamine, CAS No. 91598;
Benzidine, CAS No. 92875;
4-Aminodiphenyl, CAS No. 92671;
Ethyleneimine, CAS No. 151564;
beta-Propiolactone, CAS No. 57578;
2-Acetylaminofluorene, CAS No. 53963;
4-Dimethylaminoazo-benzene, CAS No. 60117; and
N-Nitrosodimethylamine, CAS No. 62759.
B. Procedures to secure medical consultation and examination are as follows:
1. Report exposure to CHO.
2. Seek medical care at a health care center of the employee's choice. (Students are not covered by
this CHP but are encouraged to use Student Health Services.)
3. The employer or affected employee will provide the following information to the physician.
a. Identity of hazardous chemical
b. Description of conditions under which exposure occurred
c. Description of signs and symptoms employee or student is experiencing
4. A written opinion from the physician shall be provided to the employer including:
a. Recommendation for further medical follow-up
b. Results of medical exam and tests
c. Any medical condition revealed during the exam that places the employee or student at
increased risk
d. A statement that the employee or student has been informed by the physician of the results of
the exam and any medical condition that may require further treatment or examination
Additional Protection
A. Work with select carcinogens, reproductive toxins and substances that have a high degree of acute
toxicity may require additional employee or student protection. See Appendix D of the Laboratory Safety
and Chemical Disposal Guide, January 2002, for definitions of particularly hazardous substances. A
copy can be obtained by contacting Dan Sweetman in the Environmental Health and Safety office if
your laboratory does not have one. Specific consideration will be given to:
1. Use of containment devices such as laboratory exhaust hoods or glove boxes.
2. Procedures for safe removal of contaminated waste.
3. Decontamination procedures.
4. See CFR 1910.1003 and subsequent sections through 1910.1016 at:
for the restrictive regulations applying to the use of the following 13 select carcinogens:
4Nitrobiphenyl, Chemical Abstracts Service Register Number (CAS No.) 92933;
alpha-Naphthylamine, CAS No. 134327;
methyl chloromethyl ether, CAS No. 107302;
3,3'-Dichlorobenzidine (and its salts) CAS No. 91941;
bis-Chloromethyl ether, CAS No. 542881;
beta-Naphthylamine, CAS No. 91598;
Benzidine, CAS No. 92875;
4-Aminodiphenyl, CAS No. 92671;
Ethyleneimine, CAS No. 151564;
beta-Propiolactone, CAS No. 57578;
2-Acetylaminofluorene, CAS No. 53963;
4-Dimethylaminoazo-benzene, CAS No. 60117; and
N-Nitrosodimethylamine, CAS No. 62759.
Regulations for certain of these substances require respirator protection and decontamination of
external exhaust air. The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry does not have this capability
at the present time.
5. Section 1910.1017 and App A deals with the cancer hazards and regulations regarding vinyl
6. Section 1910.1018 and App A deals with cancer and other hazards and regulations regarding
inorganic arsenic.
7. Section 1910.1020 deals with the regulations regarding the right of employees to have access to
employee exposure or medical records.
8. Section 1910.1020 App A describes the Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS)
list from NIOSH which can be purchased. To quote an excerpt from this document:
"In this edition of the Registry, the editors intend to identify "all known toxic substances" which may
exist in the environment and to provide pertinent data on the toxic effects from known doses
entering an organism by any route described.(p xi)
"It must be reemphasized that the entry of a substance in the Registry does not automatically mean
that it must be avoided. A listing does mean, however, that the substance has the documented
potential of being harmful if misused, and care must be exercised to prevent tragic consequences.
Thus the Registry lists many substances that are common in everyday life and are in nearly every
household in the United States. One can name a variety of such dangerous substances: prescription
and non-prescription drugs; food additives; pesticide concentrates, sprays, and dusts; fungicides;
herbicides, paints; glazes, dyes; bleaches and other household cleaning agents; alkalis; and various
solvents and diluents. The list is extensive because chemicals have become an integral part of our
The RTECS printed edition may be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S.
Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402 (202-783-3238).
9. See for the NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards.
“The NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG) is intended as a source of general industrial
hygiene information on several hundred chemicals/classes for workers, employers, and occupational
health professionals. The NPG does not contain an analysis of all pertinent data, rather it presents
key information and data in abbreviated or tabular form for chemicals or substance groupings (e.g.
cyanides, fluorides, manganese compounds) that are found in the work environment. The
information found in the NPG should help users recognize and control occupational chemical
B. Operating procedures that are at least as protective as those described in chapter 5 D Prudent Practices
in the Laboratory, National Academy Press, 1995, (Working with Substances of High Toxicity), will be
employed for work with particularly hazardous substances. This section is excerpted as an Appendix
below. A free pdf copy of the 2011 version of this book is available at .
Emergency Response/Chemical Spills
All Chemistry and Biochemistry instructors should be familiar with the UW-L Emergency Response
and Preparedness Plan. See as well as section E of the
Laboratory Safety and Chemical Disposal Guide, January 2002 found in each chemistry and
biochemistry laboratory. A copy can be obtained by contacting Dan Sweetman in the Environmental
Health and Safety office.
When chemical spills occur within the Laboratory, the following procedures are followed to prevent
injury or property loss: This information is also found in section E of the Laboratory Safety and
Chemical Disposal Guide, January 2002 found in each chemistry and biochemistry laboratory. A
copy can be obtained by contacting Dan Sweetman in the Environmental Health and Safety office.
See especially the UW-L Hazardous Material Spill Response Decision Chart, section E, p. 9.
A. Spill Procedures
1. Notify area occupants and supervisor of the spill. All spills must be reported to a supervisor no
matter how small. An incident report should be filled out after the incident is dealt with.
2. If the spill is larger than the amount normally worked with, spreads rapidly or endangers people or
property except by direct contact do not attempt cleanup but evacuate the laboratory and get help.
You may contact a supervisor or the Chemical Hygiene Officer but for a possibly life threatening
situation call University Police at 608-789-9999 or 911. The La Crosse Fire Department’s
Hazardous Materials Response Team can provide help if needed.
3. Even a small amount of spilled flammable liquid or reactive substance presents a significant fire
hazard. There are many spark sources in laboratories. Do not hesitate to evacuate, notify 911 or
University Police and pull the fire alarm if you are unsure of the spill’s fire potential.
4. Check for personal contamination and if trained, provide any first aid necessary to affected
personnel. Liberally use eyewash station and/or safety shower to flush affected areas. Industry
standard recommendations include flushing affected area for AT LEAST 15 minutes. The use of the
eyewash or safety shower merits follow up consultation with a physician. Depending on the severity
of contamination students may use Student Health Services or a 911 call may be needed. Other
employees may use their own physicians or the emergency room associated with their health
coverage. Again, a 911 call may be advisable.
5. Any uncontained chemical that can disperse fumes, gases or dusts may be hazardous to your
health and the health of those around you. If you suspect that the spilled or released chemical is
toxic, evacuate the area. If others in the area could be exposed to the chemical, evacuate the area
or building. University Police can activate an evacuation alarm.
Avoid all contact with spilled material. If the spill is small enough to attempt clean up, use protective
gloves, lab coat or apron and chemical splash goggles.
Always refer to MSDS for special precautions or spill cleanup requirements.
Obtain supplies from Chemical Spill Clean-Up Kit.
Contain collected materials and label container with name of contents and also as Hazardous
B. Liquid Spills
1. Confine spill to small area as practical.
2. For small quantities of acids or bases, use the neutralizing agent from the chemical spill clean-up kit.
An absorbent material specially prepared for acid/base spills may also be used.
3. For small quantities of other materials, such as organic solvents, utilize an absorbent material to
clean-up spill. There are “spill pillows” available in the spill kit for this. An example of an absorbent
material which may be used is a clay-type kitty litter.
4. For large quantities of inorganic acids and bases consult the CHO or a supervisor.
5. Carefully pick up and decontaminate any bottles, broken glass, and/or other containers.
Decontaminate over the bucket or pail to collect contaminated wash.
6. Avoid using any shop vacuum which is not rated for chemical clean-up. A potential exists for
atomizing hazardous wastes and creating a potential human inhalation exposure.
7. If the spill is extremely volatile (high vapor pressure) AND THERE ARE NO IGNITION SOURCES IN
THE LAB, allow the spill to evaporate and exhaust out the laboratory exhaust (e.g., laboratory
exhaust hood).
8. Properly containerize, label, store and/or dispose of collected hazardous waste. (See waste disposal
section G of the UW-L Laboratory and Chemical Disposal Guide for methods).
C. Solid Spills
If possible, sweep solid spills of low toxicity into a designated, easily decontaminated, dust pan and place
in a labeled container for storage and/or disposal.
D. Additional Spills
Mercury -- Clean-up with pre-purchased spill clean-up kit. Collect Hg in a sealed container to
prevent exposure to Hg vapors. Large spills or spills that render some Hg unavailable for clean-up
(e.g., Hg in floor cracks or beneath lab benches), an airborne evaluation of Hg vapor content may be
required. Elemental mercury has been nearly eliminated from the UW-L campus. Report the
continued possession of mercury-containing equipment to the CHO and to Dan Sweetman in the
Environmental Health and Safety office.
E. Compressed Gas Cylinders
Any compressed gas cylinders used in chemistry and biochemistry laboratories must be strapped down
during use and in storage. They must be transported with the cylinder cap in place while strapped to a
F. Incident Report
An incident investigation should take place after each spill and/or accident. The Risk Management office
should be notified any time an incident occurs that results in any of the following:
Property damage or personal injury to any individual on UW-L property.
Property damage or personal injury to any individual in connection with an event or activity
sponsored or organized by UW-L or any UW-L department or organization, regardless of location.
Breach of security or unauthorized access to any university property or assets (including electronic
systems or data).
Violation of law or monetary liability (actual or potential) on the part of the university or on the part
of any individual acting in the scope of their employment with the university.
The first step in this process is for the individual(s) with knowledge of the incident to complete an Incident
Report, using either the online form or the paper form, both of which are accessible using the links which
follow link. (If multiple people have independent knowledge of the incident, each one is requested to
complete their own incident report.)
No personal information submitted using either the online form or the written form will be used for any
purpose other than investigating the incident.
An Incident Report form may be obtained at:
and should be completed and given to the CHO.
A different form is required for employees who might be entitled to Workman’s Compensation. See for appropriate forms and procedures.
Program Evaluation and Review
The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department Safety Committee in cooperation with the Chemical
Hygiene Officer is responsible for annually reviewing this program, its effectiveness, and for updating
as needed.
This Program was adopted: May 1, 2013.
Suggested Chemical Storage Pattern
Strictly alphabetical storage of chemicals often leads to mutually incompatible or reactive chemicals
being stored in close proximity, increasing the potential for violent reaction in the event of breakage.
Inorganic, organized by compatibility classes
Metals, Hydrides
Acetates, Halides, Iodides, Sulfates, Sulfites, Halogens, Thiosulfates, Phosphates
Amides, Nitrates (except Ammonium Nitrate), Nitrites, Azides
Hydroxides, Oxides, Silicates, Carbonates, Carbon
Sufides, Selenides, Phosphides, Carbides, Nitrides
Bromates, Perchlorates, Perchloric Acid, Chlorites, Hypochlorites, Peroxides, Hydrogen Peroxide
7. Arsenates, Cyanides, Cyanates
8. Borates, Chromates, Manganates, Permanganates
9. Acids (except Nitric). Store acids in a designated cabinet. *Nitric Acid is isolated and stored by
10. Sulfur, Phosphorus, Arsenic, Phosphorus Pentoxide.
Organic, organized by compatibility classes
Acids, Anhydrides, Peracids
Alcohols, Glycols, Amines, Amides, Imines, Imides
Hydrocarbons, Esters, Aldehydes
Esters, Ketones, Ketenes, Halogenated Hydrocarbons, Ethylene Oxide
Epoxy Compounds, Iso-cyanates
Peroxides, Hydroperoxides, Azides
Sulfides, Polysulfides, Sulfoxides, Nitriles
Phenols, Cresols
Additional Suggestions
Avoid floor chemical storage (even temporary).
No hazardous chemical stored above eye level.
Shelf assemblies are firmly secured to walls. Avoid island shelf assemblies.
Provide anti-roll-off lips on all shelves.
Ideally shelving assemblies would be of wood construction.
Avoid metal, adjustable shelf supports and clips. Better fixed, wooden supports.
Store acids in dedicated acid cabinet(s). Store Nitric Acid in that same cabinet ONLY if isolated
from other acids. Store flammables in a dedicated flammables cabinet.
8. Store severe poisons in a dedicated poisons cabinet.
9. If you store Class A or Class B flammables in a refrigerator, the refrigerator must be rated for
flammable storage. The thermostat switch or light switch in a standard refrigerator may spark
and set off the volatile vapors in the refrigerator and cause an explosion.
Chapter 6D Prudent Practices in the Laboratory, National Academy Press, 2011
Individuals who work with highly toxic chemicals, as identified in Chapter 4 (see section 4.C, Tables 4.1,
4.2, and 4.3), should be thoroughly familiar with the general guidelines for the safe handling of chemicals
in laboratories (see section 6.C). They should also have acquired through training and experience the
knowledge, skill, and discipline to carry out safe laboratory practices consistently. However, these guidelines
alone are not sufficient when handling substances that are known to be highly toxic and chemicals that, when
combined in an experimental reaction, may generate highly toxic substances or produce new substances with
the potential for high toxicity. Additional precautions are needed to set up multiple lines of defense to minimize
the risks posed by these substances. As discussed in section 6.B, preparations for handling highly toxic
substances must include sound and thorough planning of the experiment, an understanding of the intrinsic
hazards of the substances and the risks of exposure inherent in the planned processes, selection of additional
precautions that may be necessary to minimize or eliminate these risks, and review of all emergency
procedures to ensure appropriate response to unexpected spills and accidents. Each experiment must be
evaluated individually because assessment of the level of risk depends on how the substance will be used.
Therefore, a prudent planner does not rely solely on a list of highly toxic chemicals to determine the level of the
risk; under certain conditions, chemicals not on these lists may react to form highly toxic substances. In
general, the guidelines in section 6.C reflect the minimum standards for handling hazardous substances and
should become standard practice when handling highly toxic substances. For example, although working alone
in laboratories should be avoided, it is essential that more than one person be present when highly toxic
materials are handled. All people working in the area must be familiar with the hazards of the experiments
being conducted and with the appropriate emergency response procedures. Use engineering controls to
minimize the possibility of exposure (see section 6.D.5). The use of appropriate PPE to safeguard the hands,
forearms, and face from exposure to chemicals is essential in handling highly toxic materials. Cleanliness,
order, and general good housekeeping practices create an intrinsically safer workplace. Compliance with safety
rules should be maintained scrupulously in areas where highly toxic substances are handled. Source reduction
is always a prudent practice, but in the case of highly toxic chemicals it may mean the difference between
working with toxicologically dangerous amounts of materials and working with quantities that can be handled
safely with routine practice. Emergency response planning and training are very important when working with
highly toxic compounds. Additional hazards from these materials (e.g., flammability and high vapor pressures)
can complicate the situation, making operational safety all the more important.
6.D.1 Planning
Careful planning should precede any experiment involving a highly toxic substance whenever the substance is
to be used for the first time or whenever an experienced user carries out a new protocol that increases the risk
of exposure substantially. Planning should include consultations with colleagues who have experience in
handling the substance safely and in protocols of use. Experts in the institution’s EHS program are a valuable
source of information on the hazardous properties of chemicals and safe practice. They also need to be
consulted for guidance regarding those chemicals that are regulated by federal, state, and local agencies or by
institutional policy. Thoroughly review the wealth of information available in the MSDS, the literature, and
toxicological and safety references. When planning, always consider substituting less toxic substances for
highly toxic ones. Also, be sure to use the smallest amount of material that is practicable for the conduct of the
experiment. Other important factors to be considered in determining the need for additional safeguards are the
likelihood of exposure inherent in the proposed experimental process, the toxicological and physical properties
of the chemical substances being used, the concentrations and amounts involved, the duration of exposure,
and known toxicological effects. Plan for careful management of the substances throughout their life cycle—
from acquisition and storage through destruction or safe disposal. Document these plans, and review them
with personnel doing the work, as well as others in the laboratory. Finally, include a method for receiving
feedback that can be incorporated into policy revisions, allowing for continuous improvement of the procedures.
6.D.2 Experiment Protocols Involving Highly Toxic Chemicals
Before the experiment begins, prepare an experiment plan that describes the additional safeguards that will be
used for all phases of the experiment from acquisition of the chemical to its final safe disposal. The amounts of
materials used and the names of the people involved should be included in the written summary and recorded
in the laboratory notebook. The planning process may demonstrate that monitoring is necessary to ensure the
safety of the experimenters. Such a determination is made when there is reason to believe that exposure
levels for the substances planned to be used could exceed OSHA-established regulatory action levels, similar
guidelines established by other authoritative organizations, or when the exposure level is uncertain. People
who conduct the work should know the signs and symptoms of acute and chronic exposure, including delayed
effects. Arrange ready access to an occupational health physician, and consult with the physician to determine
if health screening or medical surveillance is appropriate.
6.D.3 Designated Areas
Experimental procedures involving highly toxic chemicals, including their transfer from storage containers to
reaction vessels, should be confined to a designated work area in the laboratory. This area, which may be a
laboratory chemical hood or glovebox, a portion of a laboratory, or the entire laboratory module, should be
recognized by everyone in the laboratory or institution as a place where special training, precautions, laboratory
skill, and safety discipline are required. Post signs conspicuously to indicate the designated areas. It may also
be prudent to post any relevant LCSS outside the laboratory door. The designated area may be used for other
purposes, as long as all laboratory personnel comply with training, safety, and security requirements, and they
are familiar with the emergency response protocols of the institution. In consultation with the institution’s EHS
experts, the laboratory supervisor should determine which procedures and highly toxic chemicals need to be
confined to designated areas. The general guidelines (section 6.C) for handling hazardous chemicals in
laboratories may be sufficient for procedures involving very low concentrations and small amounts of highly
toxic chemicals, depending on the experiment, the reagents, and their toxicological and physical properties.
6.D.4 Access Control
Restrict access to laboratories where highly toxic chemicals are in use to personnel who are authorized for this
laboratory work and trained in the special precautions that apply. Administrative procedures or even physical
barriers may be required to prevent unauthorized personnel from entering these laboratories. Keep laboratory
doors closed and locked to limit access to unattended areas where highly toxic materials are stored or routinely
handled. However, security measures must not prevent emergency exits from the laboratory. Be sure to make
special arrangements for emergency response, including after normal work hours. Use locks to secure
refrigerators, freezers, and other storage areas. Keep track of authorized personnel, and be sure to retrieve
keys and change locks and access when these people no longer work in the area. Keep a detailed inventory of
highly toxic chemicals. The date, amount, location, and responsible individual should be recorded for all
acquisitions, syntheses, access, use, transport, distribution to others, and disposal. Perform a physical
inventory every year to verify active inventory records. A procedure should be in place to report security
breaches, inventory discrepancies, losses, diversions, or suspected thefts. When long-term experiments
involving highly toxic compounds require unattended operations, securing the laboratory from access by
untrained personnel is essential. These operations should also include failsafe backup options such as shutoff
devices in case a reaction overheats or pressure builds up. Additionally, equipment should include interlocks
that shut down experiments by turning off devices such as heating baths or reagent pumps, or that close
solenoid valves if cooling water stops flowing through an apparatus or if airflow through a laboratory chemical
hood becomes restricted or stops. An interlock should be constructed in such a way that if a problem develops,
it places the experiment in a safer mode and will not reset even if the hazardous condition is reversed.
Protective devices should include alarms that indicate their activation. Security guards and untrained personnel
should never be asked or allowed to check on the status of unattended experiments involving highly toxic
materials. Warning signs on locked doors should list the trained laboratory personnel to be contacted in case
an alarm sounds within the laboratory.
6.D.5 Special Precautions for Minimizing Exposure to Highly Toxic Chemicals
The practices listed below help establish the necessary precautions to enable laboratory work with highly toxic
chemicals to be conducted safely: 1. Conduct procedures involving highly toxic chemicals that can generate
dust, vapors, or aerosols in a laboratory chemical hood, glovebox, or other suitable containment device. Check
hoods for acceptable operation prior to conducting experiments with toxic chemicals. If experiments are to be
ongoing over a significant period of time, the hood should be rechecked at least quarterly for proper operation
and be equipped with flow-sensing devices that show at a glance or by an audible signal whether they are
performing adequately. When toxic chemicals are used in a glovebox, it should be operated under negative
pressure, and the gloves should be checked for integrity and appropriate composition before use. Consider if
reactive or toxic effluents may be generated by the procedure. If so, scrubbing may be necessary. If dusts or
aerosols are generated, consider using high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters prior to discharge to the
atmosphere. Hoods should not be used as waste disposal devices, particularly when toxic substances are
involved. To offer maximum protection, they should be operated with sashes at their proper level whenever
possible. Monitoring equipment might include both active and passive devices to sample laboratory working
environments. The experimenter must ensure that the hood exhaust will not present a hazard to anyone outside
the immediate laboratory environment. For instance, rooftop access may need to be eliminated during certain
operations or, when rooftop access is required, work with highly toxic materials must not be allowed. (See
Chapter 9, section 9.C, for detailed discussion on laboratory chemical hoods and environmental control.) When
available, alarmed detection devices are another engineering control that should be used for highly toxic
materials. Air dispersion modeling may be necessary to determine if exhaust ventilation will affect nearby air
intakes or other sensitive receptors.
2. Gloves must be worn when working with toxic liquids or solids to protect the hands and forearms. Select
gloves carefully to ensure that they are impervious to the chemicals being used and are of correct thickness to
allow reasonable dexterity while also ensuring adequate barrier protection. (See section 6.C.2.6.1 for more
information on gloves.)
3. Face and eye protection is necessary to prevent ingestion, inhalation, and skin absorption of toxic chemicals.
Safety glasses with side shields are a minimum standard for all laboratory work. When using toxic substances
that could generate vapors, aerosols, or dusts, additional levels of protection, including full-face shields and
respirators, are appropriate, depending on the degree of hazard represented. Transparent explosion shields in
hoods offer additional protection from splashes. Medical certification, training, and fittesting are required if
respirators are worn.
4. Equipment used for the handling of highly toxic chemicals should be isolated from the general laboratory
environment. Consider venting laboratory vacuum pumps used with these substances via high-efficiency
scrubbers or an exhaust hood. Motor-driven vacuum pumps are recommended because they are easy to
decontaminate (decontamination should be conducted in a designated hood).
5. Always practice good laboratory hygiene where highly toxic chemicals are handled. After using toxic
materials, trained laboratory personnel should wash their face, hands, neck, and arms. Equipment (including
PPE such as gloves) that might be contaminated must never be removed from the environment reserved for
handling toxic materials without complete decontamination. Choose laboratory equipment and glassware that
are easy to clean and decontaminate. Work surfaces should also be easy to decontaminate or covered with
appropriate protective material, which can be properly disposed of when the procedure is complete. Mixtures
that contain toxic chemicals or substances of unknown toxicity must never be smelled or tasted.
6. Carefully plan the transportation of very toxic chemicals. Handling these materials outside the specially
designated laboratory area should be minimized. When these materials are transported, the transporter should
wear the full complement of PPE appropriate to the chemicals and the type of shipping containers being
transported. Samples should be carried in unbreakable secondary containment. (See Chapter 5 for more
information about transporting laboratory chemicals.)
6.D.6 Preparing for Accidents with and Spills of Substances of High Toxicity
Be sure that emergency response procedures cover highly toxic substances. Spill control and appropriate
emergency response kits should be nearby, and laboratory personnel should be trained in their proper use.
These kits should be marked, contained, and sealed to avoid contamination and to be accessible in an
emergency. Essential contents include spill control absorbents, impermeable surface covers (to prevent the
spread of contamination while conducting emergency response), warning signs, emergency barriers, first-aid
supplies, and antidotes. Before starting experiments, the kit contents should be validated. Safety showers,
eyewash units, and fire extinguishers should be readily available nearby. Self-contained impermeable suits, a
self-contained breathing apparatus, and cartridge respirators may also be appropriate for spill response
preparedness, depending on the physical properties and toxicity of the materials being used (see section
6.C.2.4). Experiments conducted with highly toxic chemicals should be carried out in work areas designed to
contain accidental releases (see also section 6.D.3). Trays and other types of secondary containment should
be used to contain inadvertent spills. Careful technique must be observed to minimize the potential for spills
and releases. Prior to work, all toxicity and emergency response information should be posted outside the
immediate area to ensure accessibility in emergencies. All laboratory personnel who could potentially be
exposed must be properly trained on the appropriate response in the event of an emergency. Conducting
occasional emergency response drills is always a good idea. Such dry runs may involve medical personnel as
well as emergency cleanup crews. (See also sections 6.C.10.5 and 6.C.10.6.)
6.D.7 Storage and Waste Disposal
Use unbreakable secondary containment for the storage of highly toxic chemicals. If the materials are volatile
(or could react with moisture or air to form volatile toxic compounds), containers should be in a ventilated
storage area. All containers of highly toxic chemicals should be clearly labeled with chemical composition,
known hazards, and warnings for handling. Chemicals that can combine to make highly toxic materials (e.g.,
acids and inorganic cyanides, which can generate hydrogen cyanide) should not be stored in the same
secondary containment. A list of highly toxic compounds, their locations, and contingency plans for dealing with
spills should be displayed prominently at any storage facility. Highly toxic chemicals that have a limited shelf life
need to be tracked and monitored for deterioration in the storage facility. Those that require refrigeration should
be stored in a ventilated refrigeration facility. Procedures for disposal of highly toxic materials should be
established before experiments begin, preferably before the chemicals are ordered. The procedures should
address methods for decontamination of all laboratory equipment that comes into contact with highly toxic
chemicals. Waste should be accumulated in clearly labeled impervious containers that are stored in
unbreakable secondary containment. Volatile or reactive waste must always be covered to minimize release.
Follow procedures established by the institution’s EHS experts for commercial waste disposal. Alternatively,
consider the possibility of pretreatment of waste either before or during accumulation. In-laboratory destruction
may be the safest and most effective way of dealing with waste, but regulatory requirements may affect this
decision. (For further information about disposal of hazardous waste, see Chapter 8. For information about
regulatory requirements, see Chapter 11.)
6.D.8 Multihazardous Materials
Some highly toxic materials present additional hazards because of their flammability (see Chapter 4, section
4.D.1, and Chapter 6, section 6.F), volatility (see sections 6.F and 6.G.6), explosivity (see Chapter 4, section
4.D.3; see also section 6.G.4), or reactivity (see Chapter 4, section 4.D.2; see also section 6.G.2). These
materials warrant special attention to ensure that risks are minimized and that plans to deal effectively with all
potential hazards and emergency response are implemented. (Table 5.1 provides information regarding
incompatible chemicals and substances requiring extreme caution.)
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