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Semiconductors

Less than 40 years old, the semiconductors industry has expanded greatly. Due to rapid changes in this industry, manufacturing processes and their associated hazards may change completely every few years. These changes make hazard assessments more difficult to complete and require that they be conducted more often. Common hazards may include exposure to solvents, acid and caustic solutions, toxic metals, and radiation.

Semiconductor hazards are addressed in specific standards for the general industry.

Standards

This section highlights OSHA standards and national consensus standards related to semiconductors.

OSHA

Note: Twenty-five states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have OSHA-approved State Plans and have adopted their own standards and enforcement policies. For the most part, these States adopt standards that are identical to Federal OSHA. However, some States have adopted different standards applicable to this topic or may have different enforcement policies.

Frequently Cited Standards

OSHA maintains a listing of the most frequently cited standards for specified 6-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes. Please refer to OSHA's Frequently Cited OSHA Standards page for additional information. For Semiconductor and Related Device Manufacturing use NAICS code 334413 in the NAICS search box.

Other Highlighted Standards

General Industry (29 CFR 1910)

National Consensus

Note: These are NOT OSHA regulations. However, they do provide guidance from their originating organizations related to worker protection.

Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI)

  • Safety Guidelines
    • SEMI S1-0701, Safety Guidelines for Equipment Safety Labels
    • SEMI S2-1102, Safety Guidelines for Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment
    • SEMI S3-91, Safety Guidelines for Heated Chemical Baths
    • SEMI S4-92, Safety Guideline for the Segregation/Separation of Gas Cylinders Contained in Cabinets
    • SEMI S5-93, Safety Guideline for Flow Limiting Devices
    • SEMI S6-93, Safety Guideline for Ventilation
    • SEMI S7-96, Safety Guideline for Environmental, Safety, and Health (ESH) Evaluation of Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment
    • SEMI S8-0701, Safety Guidelines for Ergonomics Engineering of Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment
    • SEMI S9-1101, Safety Guidelines for Electrical Design Verification Tests for Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment
    • SEMI S10-1296, Safety Guideline for Risk Assessment
    • SEMI S11-1296, Environmental, Safety, and Health Guidelines for Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment Minienvironments
    • SEMI S12-0298, Guidelines for Equipment Decontamination
    • SEMI S13-0298, Safety Guidelines for Operation and Maintenance Manuals Used with Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment
    • SEMI S15-0200, Safety Guideline for the Evaluation of Toxic and Flammable Gas Detection Systems
    • SEMI F1-96, Specification for Leak Integrity of High-Purity Gas Piping Systems and Components
    • SEMI F2-94, Specification for 316L Stainless Steel Tubing for General Purpose Semiconductor Manufacturing Applications
    • SEMI F3-94, Guide for Welding Stainless Steel Tubing for Semiconductor Manufacturing Applications
    • SEMI F4-1000, Specification for Pneumatically Actuated Cylinder Valves
    • SEMI F5-1101, Guide for Gaseous Effluent Handling
    • SEMI F6-92, Guide for Secondary Containment of Hazardous Gas Piping Systems
    • SEMI F7-92, Test Method to Determine the Tensile Strength of Tube Fitting Connections Made of Fluorocarbon Materials
    • SEMI F8-0998, Test Method for Evaluating the Sealing Capabilities of Tube Fitting Connections Made of Fluorocarbon Materials When Subjected to Tensile Forces
    • SEMI F9-0998, Test Method to Determine the Leakage Characteristics of Tube Fitting Connections Made of Fluorocarbon Materials When Subjected to a Side Load Condition
    • SEMI F10-0698, Test Method to Determine the Internal Pressure Required to Produce a Failure of a Tube Fitting Connection Made of Fluorocarbon Materials
    • SEMI F11-0998, Test Method to Obtain an Indication of the Thermal Characteristics of Tube Fitting Connections Made of Fluorocarbon Materials
    • SEMI F12-0998, Test Method to Determine the Sealing Capabilities of Fittings, Made of Fluorocarbon Material, after Being Subjected to a Heat Cycle
    • SEMI F13-1101, Guide for Gas Source Control Equipment
    • SEMI F14-93, Guide for the Design of Gas Source Equipment Enclosures
    • SEMI F15-93, Test Method for Enclosures Using Sulfur Hexafluoride Tracer Gas and Gas Chromatography
    • SEMI F16-94, Specification for 316L Stainless Steel Tubing Which Is to Be Finished and Electropolished for High Purity Semiconductor Manufacturing Applications
    • SEMI F17-95, Specification for High Purity Quality Electropolished 316L Stainless Steel Tubing, Component Tube Stubs, and Fittings Made from Tubing
    • SEMI F18-95, Guide for Determining the Hydrostatic Strength of, and Design Basis for, Thermoplastic Pipe and Tubing
    • SEMI F19-95, Specification for the Finish of the Wetted Surfaces of Electropolished 316L Stainless Steel Components
    • SEMI F20-0997, Specification for 316L Stainless Steel Bar, Extruded Shapes, Plate, and Investment Castings for Components Used in the High Purity Semiconductor Manufacturing Applications
    • SEMI F21-1102, Classification of Airborne Molecular Contaminant Levels in Clean Environments
    • SEMI F22-1102, Guide for Gas Distribution Systems
    • SEMI F23-0697, Particle Specification for Grade 10/0.2 Flammable Specialty Gases
    • SEMI F24-0697, Particle Specification for Grade 10/0.2 Inert Specialty Gases
    • SEMI F30-0298, Start-Up and Verification of Purifier Performance Testing for Trace Gas Impurities and Particles at an Installation Site
    • SEMI F31-0698, Guide for Bulk Chemical Distribution Systems
    • SEMI F32-0998, Test Method for Determination of Flow Coefficient for High Purity Shutoff Valves
    • SEMI F33-0998, Method for Calibration of Atmospheric Pressure Ionization Mass Spectrometer (APIMS)
    • SEMI F34-0998, Guide for Liquid Chemical Pipe Labeling
    • SEMI F35-0998, Test Method for Ultra-High Purity Gas Distribution System Integration Verification Using Non-Invasive Oxygen Measurement
    • SEMI F36-0299, Guide for Dimensions and Connections of Gas Distribution Components
    • SEMI F37-0299, Method for Determination of Surface Roughness Parameters for Gas Distribution System Components
    • SEMI F38-0699, Test Method for Efficiency Qualification of Point-of-Use Gas Filters
    • SEMI F39-0699, Guideline for Chemical Blending Systems
    • SEMI F40-0699, Practice for Preparing Liquid Chemical Distribution Components for Chemical Testing
    • SEMI F41-0699, Guide for Qualification of a Bulk Chemical Distribution System Used in Semiconductor Processing
    • SEMI F42-0600, Test Method for Semiconductor Processing Equipment Voltage Sag Immunity
    • SEMI F43-0699, Test Method for Determination of Particle Contribution by Point-of-Use Purifiers
    • SEMI F44-0699, Guideline for Standardization of Machined Stainless Steel Weld Fittings
    • SEMI F45-0699, Guideline for Standardization of Machined Stainless Steel Reducing Weld Fittings
    • SEMI F46-0999, Guide for On-Site Chemical Generation (OSCG) Systems
    • SEMI F47-0200, Specification for Semiconductor Processing Equipment Voltage Sag Immunity
    • SEMI F48-0600, Test Method for Determining Trace Metals in Polymer Materials
    • SEMI F49-0200, Guide for Semiconductor Factory Systems Voltage Sag Immunity
    • SEMI F50-0200, Guide for Electric Utility Voltage Sag Performance for Semiconductor Factories
    • SEMI PR3-0699E, Proposed Specification for Surface Mount Interface of Gas Distribution Components
    • SEMI E16-90, Guideline for Determining and Describing Mass Flow Controller Leak Rates
    • SEMI E51-0200, Guide for Typical Facilities Services and Termination Matrix
    • SEMI E76-0299, Guide for 300 mm Process Equipment Points of Connection to Facility Services
    • SEMI E80-0299, Test Method for Determining Attitude Sensitivity of Mass Flow Controllers (Mounting Position)

International Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology (SEMATECH)

  • ESH Documentation for Suppliers. Provides a list of guidance documents including guidelines for factory design, user requirements, software requirements, and equipment performance.

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

  • 318, Standard for the Protection of Semiconductor Fabrication Facilities. (2009).

Hazards and Possible Solutions

Many high-technology workers in the semiconductor industry risk exposure to a variety of hazardous substances and operations. The following references aid in recognizing and controlling hazards in the workplace.

Silicon Device Manufacturing

  • Silicon Device Manufacturing. OSHA reviews the processes, potential hazards, and possible solutions involved in silicon device manufacturing.

Gallium Arsenide Device Manufacturing

Semiconductor Industry

  • Profile of the Electronics and Computer Industry [1 MB PDF, 151 pages]. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Sector Notebook Publication No. EPA/310-R-95-002, (1995, September). Contains detailed descriptions of the semiconductor industry, including information on industrial processes, chemical emissions, pollution prevention, and other related environmental concerns. Find updated data on this industry in the Sector Notebooks Data Refresh, which allows users to select an industry sector in order to obtain the most current emissions data from the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) and compliance and enforcement data.

  • Williams ME, Baldwin DG. Semiconductor industrial hygiene handbook. Park Ridge (NY): Noyes Publications; 1995.

  • Hazardous materials toxicology: clinical principles of environmental health. Sullivan JB Jr, Krieger GR, eds. Baltimore (MD): Williams & Wilkins; 1992 Jan. 1242 p.
    • Harrison M. Semiconductor manufacturing hazards.

Additional Information

Related Safety and Health Topics Pages

Other Resources

  • Semiconductor Manufacturing. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Workplace Safety and Health Topic.

  • ESH Documentation for Suppliers. International Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology (SEMATECH). SEMATECH is a non-profit technology development consortium of semiconductor manufacturers. Their work encompasses essential areas of semiconductor science, including lithography, interconnect, front end processes, advanced technology, manufacturing methods, and environment, safety and health.

  • Occupational Health Guidelines for Chemical Hazards. US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 81-123, (1981, January). Provides a table of contents of guidelines for many hazardous chemicals. The files provide technical chemical information, including chemical and physical properties, health effects, exposure limits, and recommendations for medical monitoring, personal protective equipment (PPE), and control procedures.

Trade Associations

  • Semiconductor Environmental, Safety & Health Association (SESHA). Promotes safety and health in the semiconductor industry.

  • Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). Represents the computer chip industry.

  • Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI). Serves the semiconductor and flat panel display industries.

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