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||Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories (Non-Mandatory Appendix); Technical Amendment
[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 14 (Tuesday, January 22, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-00788]
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
29 CFR Part 1910
Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories
(Non-Mandatory Appendix); Technical Amendment
AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.
ACTION: Technical amendment.
SUMMARY: This document updates a non-mandatory appendix in OSHA's
Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories Standard.
The non-mandatory appendix is being updated to include the contents of
the latest National Academy of Sciences publication entitled, "Prudent
Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Management of Chemical
Hazards," 2011 edition. All revisions being made are minor and non-
DATES: The effective date of this technical amendment to the standard
is January 22, 2013.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Press inquiries: Frank Meilinger, Director, Office of
Communications, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3647, 200
Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-
General and technical information: Andrew Levinson, OSHA
Directorate of Standards and Guidance, Office of Biological Hazards,
Room N-3718, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW.,
Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-1950.
When the OSHA Laboratory Standard was published in 1990, the non-
mandatory Appendix A was based on the 1981 edition of "Prudent
Practices for Handling Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories" and the
1983 edition of "Prudent Practices for Disposal of Chemicals from
Laboratories," both published by National Academy Press. Since then,
there have been many changes in the culture of safety in laboratories.
The National Academies of Science (NAS) recognized these changes and
has revised and updated its earlier "Prudent Practices," reflected in
the 2011 edition of "Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and
Management of Chemical Hazards" (National Academies Press). The 2011
edition of "Prudent Practices" is being used by OSHA as the basis for
non-mandatory Appendix A because of its wide distribution and
acceptance and because of its preparation by recognized authorities in
the laboratory community. OSHA has reviewed the 2011 edition and
collaborated with the NAS to revise non-mandatory Appendix A. This new
revision addresses current laboratory practices, security, and
emergency response, as well as promoting safe handling of highly toxic
and explosive chemicals and their waste products.
Inapplicability of Public Notice and Delayed Effective Date
Section 553 of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C.
553(b)(3)(B), provides that, when an Agency for good cause finds that
notice and public procedure are impracticable, unnecessary or contrary
to the public interest, the Agency may issue a final rule without
providing notice and an opportunity for public comment. OSHA has
determined that there is good cause, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B),
Section 6(b) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29
U.S.C. 655(b)), and 29 CFR 1911.5, for making this technical amendment
final without prior proposal and opportunity for comment because the
amendment does not modify or revoke existing rights or obligations, and
does not establish new rights or obligations. Its revisions are non-
mandatory and disseminated for informational purposes only. For the
same reasons, the Agency finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to
make the amendments effective upon publication.
List of Subjects in 29 CFR Part 1910
Occupational safety and health, Laboratories.
Authority and Signature
David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for
Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Labor, 200
Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210, authorized the
preparation of this document.
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
Accordingly, OSHA is amending 29 CFR part 1910 by making the
following technical amendment:
PART 1910--OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH STANDARDS
1. The authority citation for Part 1910 Subpart Z continues to read as
Authority: Sections 4, 6, and 8 of the Occupational Safety and
Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657); Secretary of Labor's
Order No. 12-71 (36 FR 8754), 8-76 (41 FR 25059), 9-83 (48 FR
35736), 1-90 (55 FR 9033), 6-96 (62 FR 111), 3-2000 (65 FR 50017),
or 5-2007 (72 FR 31159), 4-2010 (75 FR 55355) or 1-2012 (77 FR
3912), as applicable; and 29 CFR part 1911.
All of subpart Z issued under section 6(b) of the Occupational
Safety and Health Act of 1970, except those substances that have
exposure limits listed in Tables Z-1, Z-2, and Z-3 of 29 CFR
1910.1000. The latter were issued under section 6(a) (29 U.S.C.
Section 1910.1000, Tables Z-1, Z-2 and Z-3 also issued under 5
U.S.C. 553, but not under 29 CFR part 1911 except for the arsenic
(organic compounds), benzene, cotton dust, and chromium (VI)
Section 1910.1001 also issued under section 107 of the Contract
Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (40 U.S.C. 3704) and 5 U.S.C.
Section 1910.1002 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 553, but not under
29 U.S.C. 655 or 29 CFR part 1911.
Sections 1910.1018, 1910.1029, and 1910.1200 also issued under
29 U.S.C. 653.
Section 1910.1030 also issued under Pub. L. 106-430, 114 Stat.
Section 1910.1201 also issued under 49 U.S.C. 1801-1819 and 5
2. Amend Sec. 1910.1450 by revising Appendix A to read as follows:
Sec. 1910.1450 Occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals in
* * * * *
APPENDIX A TO Sec. 1910.1450--NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
RECOMMENDATIONS CONCERNING CHEMICAL HYGIENE IN LABORATORIES (NON-
To assist employers in developing an appropriate laboratory
Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP), the following non-mandatory
recommendations were based on the National Research Council's (NRC)
2011 edition of "Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and
Management of Chemical Hazards." This reference, henceforth
referred to as "Prudent Practices," is available from the National
Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street NW., Washington DC 20001
(www.nap.edu). "Prudent Practices" is cited because of its wide
distribution and acceptance and because of its preparation by
recognized authorities in the laboratory community through the
sponsorship of the NRC. However, these recommendations do not modify
any requirements of the OSHA Laboratory standard. This appendix
presents pertinent recommendations from "Prudent Practices,"
organized into a form convenient for quick reference during
operation of a laboratory and during development and application of
a CHP. For a detailed explanation and justification for each
recommendation, consult "Prudent Practices."
"Prudent Practices" deals with both general laboratory safety
and many types of chemical hazards, while the Laboratory standard is
concerned primarily with chemical health hazards as a result of
chemical exposures. The recommendations from "Prudent Practices"
have been paraphrased, combined, or otherwise reorganized in order
to adapt them for this purpose. However, their sense has not been
Section F contains information from the U.S. Chemical Safety
Board's (CSB) Fiscal Year 2011 Annual Performance and Accountability
report and Section F contains recommendations extracted from the
CSB's 2011 case study, "Texas Tech University Laboratory
Explosion," available from: http://www.csb.gov/.
Culture of Safety
With the promulgation of the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) Laboratory standard (29 CFR 1910.1450), a
culture of safety consciousness, accountability, organization, and
education has developed in industrial, governmental, and academic
laboratories. Safety and training programs have been implemented to
promote the safe handling of chemicals from ordering to disposal,
and to train laboratory personnel in safe practices. Laboratory
personnel must realize that the welfare and safety of each
individual depends on clearly defined attitudes of teamwork and
personal responsibility. Learning to participate in this culture of
habitual risk assessment, experiment planning, and consideration of
worst-case possibilities--for oneself and one's fellow workers--is
as much part of a scientific education as learning the theoretical
background of experiments or the step-by-step protocols for doing
them in a professional manner. A crucial component of chemical
education for all personnel is to nurture basic attitudes and habits
of prudent behavior so that safety is a valued and inseparable part
of all laboratory activities throughout their career.
Over the years, special techniques have been developed for
handling chemicals safely. Local, state, and federal regulations
hold institutions that sponsor chemical laboratories accountable for
providing safe working environments. Beyond regulation, employers
and scientists also hold themselves personally responsible for their
own safety, the safety of their colleagues and the safety of the
general public. A sound safety organization that is respected by all
requires the participation and support of laboratory administrators,
workers, and students. A successful health and safety program
requires a daily commitment from everyone in the organization. To be
most effective, safety and health must be balanced with, and
incorporated into, laboratory processes. A strong safety and health
culture is the result of positive workplace attitudes--from the
chief executive officer to the newest hire; involvement and buy-in
of all members of the workforce; mutual, meaningful, and measurable
safety and health improvement goals; and policies and procedures
that serve as reference tools, rather than obscure rules.
In order to perform their work in a prudent manner, laboratory
personnel must consider the health, physical, and environmental
hazards of the chemicals they plan to use in an experiment. However,
the ability to accurately identify and assess laboratory hazards
must be taught and encouraged through training and ongoing
organizational support. This training must be at the core of every
good health and safety program. For management to lead, personnel to
assess worksite hazards, and hazards to be eliminated or controlled,
everyone involved must be trained.
A. General Principles
1. Minimize All Chemical Exposures and Risks
Because few laboratory chemicals are without hazards, general
precautions for handling all laboratory chemicals should be adopted.
In addition to these general guidelines, specific guidelines for
chemicals that are used frequently or are particularly hazardous
should be adopted.
Laboratory personnel should conduct their work under conditions
that minimize the risks from both known and unknown hazardous
substances. Before beginning any laboratory work, the hazards and
risks associated with an experiment or activity should be determined
and the necessary safety precautions implemented. Every laboratory
should develop facility-specific policies and procedures for the
highest-risk materials and procedures used in their laboratory. To
identify these, consideration should be given to past accidents,
process conditions, chemicals used in large volumes, and
particularly hazardous chemicals.
Perform Risk Assessments for Hazardous Chemicals and Procedures
Prior to Laboratory Work:
(a) Identify chemicals to be used, amounts required, and
circumstances of use in the experiment. Consider any special
employee or laboratory conditions that could create or increase a
hazard. Consult sources of safety and health information and
experienced scientists to ensure that those conducting the risk
assessment have sufficient expertise.
(b) Evaluate the hazards posed by the chemicals and the
The evaluation should cover toxic, physical, reactive, flammable,
explosive, radiation, and biological hazards, as well as any other
potential hazards posed by the chemicals.
(c) For a variety of physical and chemical reasons, reaction
scale-ups pose special risks, which merit additional prior review
(d) Select appropriate controls to minimize risk, including use
of engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal
protective equipment (PPE) to protect workers from hazards. The
controls must ensure that OSHA's Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs)
are not exceeded. Prepare for contingencies and be aware of the
institutional procedures in the event of emergencies and accidents.
One sample approach to risk assessment is to answer these five
(a) What are the hazards?
(b) What is the worst thing that could happen?
(c) What can be done to prevent this from happening?
(d) What can be done to protect from these hazards?
(e) What should be done if something goes wrong?
2. Avoid Underestimation of Risk
Even for substances of no known significant hazard, exposure
should be minimized; when working with substances that present
special hazards, special precautions should be taken. Reference
should be made to the safety data sheet (SDS) that is provided for
each chemical. Unless otherwise known, one should assume that any
mixture will be more toxic than its most toxic component and that
all substances of unknown toxicity are toxic.
Determine the physical and health hazards associated with
chemicals before working with them. This determination may involve
consulting literature references, laboratory chemical safety
summaries (LCSSs), SDSs, or other reference materials. Consider how
the chemicals will be processed and determine whether the changing
states or forms will change the nature of the hazard. Review your
plan, operating limits, chemical evaluations and detailed risk
assessment with other chemists, especially those with experience
with similar materials and protocols.
Before working with chemicals, know your facility's policies and
procedures for how to handle an accidental spill or fire. Emergency
telephone numbers should be posted in a prominent area. Know the
location of all safety equipment and the nearest fire alarm and
3. Adhere to the Hierarchy of Controls
The hierarchy of controls prioritizes intervention strategies
based on the premise that the best way to control a hazard is to
systematically remove it from the workplace, rather than relying on
employees to reduce their exposure. The types of measures that may
be used to protect employees (listed from most effective to least
effective) are: engineering controls, administrative controls, work
practices, and PPE. Engineering controls, such as chemical hoods,
physically separate the employee from the hazard. Administrative
controls, such as employee scheduling, are established by management
to help minimize the employees' exposure time to hazardous
chemicals. Work practice controls are tasks that are performed in a
designated way to minimize or eliminate hazards. Personal protective
equipment and apparel are additional protection provided under
special circumstances and when exposure is unavoidable.
Face and eye protection is necessary to prevent ingestion and
skin absorption of hazardous chemicals. At a minimum, safety
glasses, with side shields, should be used for all laboratory work.
Chemical splash goggles are more appropriate than regular safety
glasses to protect against hazards such as projectiles, as well as
when working with glassware under reduced or elevated pressures
(e.g., sealed tube reactions), when handling potentially explosive
compounds (particularly during distillations), and when using
glassware in high-temperature operations. Do not allow laboratory
chemicals to come in contact with skin. 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.
Lab coats and gloves should be worn when working with hazardous
materials in a laboratory. Wear closed-toe shoes and long pants or
other clothing that covers the legs when in a laboratory where
hazardous chemicals are used. Additional protective clothing should
be used when there is significant potential for skin-contact
exposure to chemicals. The protective characteristics of this
clothing must be matched to the hazard. Never wear gloves or
laboratory coats outside the laboratory or into areas where food is
stored and consumed.
4. Provide Laboratory Ventilation
The best way to prevent exposure to airborne substances is to
prevent their escape into the working atmosphere by the use of hoods
and other ventilation devices. To determine the best choice for
laboratory ventilation using engineering controls for personal
protection, employers are referred to Table 9.3 of the 2011 edition
of "Prudent Practices." Laboratory chemical hoods are the most
important components used to protect laboratory personnel from
exposure to hazardous chemicals.
(a) Toxic or corrosive chemicals that require vented storage
should be stored in vented cabinets instead of in a chemical hood.
(b) Chemical waste should not be disposed of by evaporation in a
(c) Keep chemical hood areas clean and free of debris at all
(d) Solid objects and materials, such as paper, should be
prevented from entering the exhaust ducts as they can reduce the air
(e) Chemical hoods should be maintained, monitored and routinely
tested for proper performance.
A laboratory ventilation system should include the following
characteristics and practices:
(a) Heating and cooling should be adequate for the comfort of
workers and operation of equipment. Before modification of any
building HVAC, the impact on laboratory or hood ventilation should
be considered, as well as how laboratory ventilation changes may
affect the building HVAC.
(b) A negative pressure differential should exist between the
amount of air exhausted from the laboratory and the amount supplied
to the laboratory to prevent uncontrolled chemical vapors from
leaving the laboratory.
(c) Local exhaust ventilation devices should be appropriate to
the materials and operations in the laboratory.
(d) The air in chemical laboratories should be continuously
replaced so that concentrations of odoriferous or toxic substances
do not increase during the workday.
(e) Laboratory air should not be recirculated but exhausted
(f) Air pressure should be negative with respect to the rest of
the building. Local capture equipment and systems should be designed
only by an experienced engineer or industrial hygienist.
(g) Ventilation systems should be inspected and maintained on a
regular basis. There should be no areas where air remains static or
areas that have unusually high airflow velocities.
Before work begins, laboratory workers should be provided with
proper training that includes how to use the ventilation equipment,
how to ensure that it is functioning properly, the consequences of
improper use, what to do in the event of a system failure or power
outage, special considerations, and the importance of signage and
5. Institute a Chemical Hygiene Program
A comprehensive chemical hygiene program is required. It should
be designed to minimize exposures, injuries, illnesses and
incidents. There should be a regular, continuing effort that
includes program oversight, safe facilities, chemical hygiene
planning, training, emergency preparedness and chemical security.
The chemical hygiene program must be reviewed annually and updated
as necessary whenever new processes, chemicals, or equipment is
implemented. Its recommendations should be followed in all
6. Observe the PELs and TLVs
OSHA's Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) must not be exceeded.
The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists'
Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) should also not be exceeded.
Persons responsible for chemical hygiene include, but are not
limited to, the following:
1. Chemical Hygiene Officer
(a) Establishes, maintains, and revises the chemical hygiene
(b) Creates and revises safety rules and regulations.
(c) Monitors procurement, use, storage, and disposal of
(d) Conducts regular inspections of the laboratories,
preparations rooms, and chemical storage rooms, and submits detailed
laboratory inspection reports to administration.
(e) Maintains inspection, personnel training, and inventory
(f) Assists laboratory supervisors in developing and maintaining
(g) Seeks ways to improve the chemical hygiene program.
2. Department Chairperson or Director
(a) Assumes responsibility for personnel engaged in the
laboratory use of hazardous chemicals.
(b) Provides the chemical hygiene officer (CHO) with the support
necessary to implement and maintain the CHP.
(c) After receipt of laboratory inspection report from the CHO,
meets with laboratory supervisors to discuss cited violations and to
ensure timely actions to protect trained laboratory personnel and
facilities and to ensure that the department remains in compliance
with all applicable federal, state, university, local and
departmental codes and regulations.
(d) Provides budgetary arrangements to ensure the health and
safety of the departmental personnel, visitors, and students.
3. Departmental Safety Committee reviews accident reports and
makes appropriate recommendations to the department chairperson
regarding proposed changes in the laboratory procedures.
4. Laboratory Supervisor or Principal Investigator has overall
responsibility for chemical hygiene in the laboratory, including
(a) Ensure that laboratory personnel comply with the
departmental CHP and do not operate equipment or handle hazardous
chemicals without proper training and authorization.
(b) Always wear personal protective equipment (PPE) that is
compatible to the degree of hazard of the chemical.
(c) Follow all pertinent safety rules when working in the
laboratory to set an example.
(d) Review laboratory procedures for potential safety problems
before assigning to other laboratory personnel.
(e) Ensure that visitors follow the laboratory rules and assumes
responsibility for laboratory visitors.
(f) Ensure that PPE is available and properly used by each
laboratory employee and visitor.
(g) Maintain and implement safe laboratory practices.
(h) Provide regular, formal chemical hygiene and housekeeping
inspections, including routine inspections of emergency equipment;
(i) Monitor the facilities and the chemical fume hoods to ensure
that they are maintained and function properly. Contact the
appropriate person, as designated by the department chairperson, to
report problems with the facilities or the chemical fume hoods.
5. Laboratory Personnel
(a) Read, understand, and follow all safety rules and
regulations that apply to the work area;
(b) Plan and conduct each operation in accordance with the
institutional chemical hygiene procedures;
(c) Promote good housekeeping practices in the laboratory or
(d) Notify the supervisor of any hazardous conditions or unsafe
work practices in the work area.
(e) Use PPE as appropriate for each procedure that involves
C. The Laboratory Facility
General Laboratory Design Considerations
Wet chemical spaces and those with a higher degree of hazard
should be separated from other spaces by a wall or protective
barrier wherever possible. If the areas cannot be separated, then
workers in lower hazard spaces may require additional protection
from the hazards in connected spaces.
1. Laboratory Layout and Furnishing
(a) Work surfaces should be chemically resistant, smooth, and
easy to clean.
(b) Hand washing sinks for hazardous materials may require
elbow, foot, or electronic controls for safe operation.
(c) Wet laboratory areas should have chemically resistant,
impermeable, slip-resistant flooring.
(d) Walls should be finished with a material that is easy to
clean and maintain.
(e) Doors should have view panels to prevent accidents and
should open in the direction of egress.
(f) Operable windows should not be present in laboratories,
particularly if there are chemical hoods or other local ventilation
2. Safety Equipment and Utilities
(a) An adequate number and placement of safety showers, eyewash
units, and fire extinguishers should be provided for the laboratory.
(b) Use of water sprinkler systems is resisted by some
laboratories because of the presence of electrical equipment or
water-reactive materials, but it is still generally safer to have
sprinkler systems installed. A fire large enough to trigger the
sprinkler system would have the potential to cause far more
destruction than the local water damage.
D. Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP)
The OSHA Laboratory standard defines a CHP as "a written
program developed and implemented by the employer which sets forth
procedures, equipment, personal protective equipment and work
practices that are capable of protecting employees from the health
hazards presented by hazardous chemicals used in that particular
workplace." (29 CFR 1910.1450(b)). The Laboratory Standard requires
a CHP: "Where hazardous chemicals as defined by this standard are
used in the workplace, the employer shall develop and carry out the
provisions of a written Chemical Hygiene Plan." (29 CFR
1910.1450(e)(1)). The CHP is the foundation of the laboratory safety
program and must be reviewed and updated, as needed, and at least on
an annual basis to reflect changes in policies and personnel. A CHP
should be facility specific and can assist in promoting a culture of
safety to protect workers from exposure to hazardous materials.
1. The Laboratory's CHP must be readily available to workers and
capable of protecting workers from health hazards and minimizing
exposure. Include the following topics in the CHP:
(a) Individual chemical hygiene responsibilities;
(b) Standard operating procedures;
(c) Personal protective equipment, engineering controls and
(d) Laboratory equipment;
(e) Safety equipment;
(f) Chemical management;
(h) Emergency procedures for accidents and spills;
(i) Chemical waste;
(k) Safety rules and regulations;
(l) Laboratory design and ventilation;
(m) Exposure monitoring;
(n) Compressed gas safety;
(o) Medical consultation and examination.
It should be noted that the nature of laboratory work may
necessitate addressing biological safety, radiation safety and
2. Chemical Procurement, Distribution, and Storage
Prudent chemical management includes the following processes:
(a) Information on proper handling, storage, and disposal should
be known to those who will be involved before a substance is
(b) Only containers with adequate identifying labels should be
(c) Ideally, a central location should be used for receiving all
(d) Shipments with breakage or leakage should be refused or
opened in a chemical hood.
(e) Only the minimum amount of the chemical needed to perform
the planned work should be ordered.
(f) Purchases of high risk chemicals should be reviewed and
approved by the CHO.
(g) Proper protective equipment and handling and storage
procedures should be in place before receiving a shipment.
(a) Chemicals should be separated and stored according to hazard
category and compatibility.
(b) SDS and label information should be followed for storage
(c) Maintain existing labels on incoming containers of chemicals
and other materials.
(d) Labels on containers used for storing hazardous chemicals
must include the chemical identification and appropriate hazard
(e) The contents of all other chemical containers and transfer
vessels, including, but not limited to, beakers, flasks, reaction
vessels, and process equipment, should be properly identified.
(f) Chemical shipments should be dated upon receipt and stock
(g) Peroxide formers should be dated upon receipt, again dated
upon opening, and stored away from heat and light with tight-
fitting, nonmetal lids.
(h) Open shelves used for chemical storage should be secured to
the wall and contain \3/4\-inch lips. Secondary containment devices
should be used as necessary.
(i) Consult the SDS and keep incompatibles separate during
transport, storage, use, and disposal.
(j) Oxidizers, reducing agents, and fuels should be stored
separately to prevent contact in the event of an accident.
(k) Chemicals should not be stored in the chemical hood, on the
floor, in areas of egress, on the benchtop, or in areas near heat or
in direct sunlight.
(l) Laboratory-grade, flammable-rated refrigerators and freezers
should be used to store sealed chemical containers of flammable
liquids that require cool storage. Do not store food or beverages in
the laboratory refrigerator.
(m) Highly hazardous chemicals should be stored in a well-
ventilated and secure area designated for that purpose.
(n) Flammable chemicals should be stored in a spark-free
environment and in approved flammable-liquid containers and storage
cabinets. Grounding and bonding should be used to prevent static
charge buildups when dispensing solvents.
(o) Chemical storage and handling rooms should be controlled-
access areas. They should have proper ventilation, appropriate
signage, diked floors, and fire suppression systems.
(a) As described above, a risk assessment should be conducted
prior to beginning work with any hazardous chemical for the first
(b) All SDS and label information should be read before using a
chemical for the first time.
(c) Trained laboratory workers should ensure that proper
engineering controls (ventilation) and PPE are in place.
(a) Prudent management of chemicals in any laboratory is greatly
facilitated by keeping an accurate inventory of the chemicals
(b) Unneeded items should be discarded or returned to the
(a) Secondary containment devices should be used when
(b) When transporting chemicals outside of the laboratory or
between stockrooms and laboratories, the transport container should
(c) High-traffic areas should be avoided.
(a) Use adequate ventilation (such as a fume hood) when
transferring even a small amount of a particularly hazardous
(b) While drum storage is not appropriate for laboratories,
chemical stockrooms may purchase drum quantities of solvents used in
high volumes. Ground and bond the drum and receiving vessel when
transferring flammable liquids from a drum to prevent static charge
(c) If chemicals from commercial sources are repackaged into
transfer vessels, the new containers should be labeled with all
essential information on the original container.
Shipping Chemicals: Outgoing chemical shipments must meet all
applicable Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations and should
be authorized and handled by the institutional shipper.
3. Waste Management
A waste management plan should be in place before work begins on
any laboratory activity. The plan should utilize the following
hierarchy of practices:
(a) Reduce waste sources. The best approach to minimize waste
generation is by reducing the scale of operations, reducing its
formation during operations, and, if possible, substituting less
hazardous chemicals for a particular operation.
(b) Reuse surplus materials. Only the amount of material
necessary for an experiment should be purchased, and, if possible,
materials should be reused.
(c) Recycle waste. If waste cannot be prevented or minimized,
the organization should consider recycling chemicals that can be
safely recovered or used as fuel.
(d) Dispose of waste properly. Sink disposal may not be
appropriate. Proper waste disposal methods include incineration,
treatment, and land disposal. The organization's environmental
health and safety (EHS) office should be consulted in determining
which methods are appropriate for different types of waste.
Collection and Storage of Waste:
(a) Chemical waste should be accumulated at or near the point of
generation, under the control of laboratory workers.
(b) Each waste type should be stored in a compatible container
pending transfer or disposal. Waste containers should be clearly
labeled and kept sealed when not in use.
(c) Incompatible waste types should be kept separate to ensure
that heat generation, gas evolution, or another reaction does not
(d) Waste containers should be segregated by how they will be
managed. Waste containers should be stored in a designated location
that does not interfere with normal laboratory operations.
Ventilated storage and secondary containment may be appropriate for
certain waste types.
(e) Waste containers should be clearly labeled and kept sealed
when not in use. Labels should include the accumulation start date
and hazard warnings as appropriate.
(f) Non-explosive electrical systems, grounding and bonding
between floors and containers, and non-sparking conductive floors
and containers should be used in the central waste accumulation area
to minimize fire and explosion hazards. Fire suppression systems,
specialized ventilation systems, and dikes should be installed in
the central waste accumulation area. Waste management workers should
be trained in proper waste handling procedures as well as
contingency planning and emergency response. Trained laboratory
workers most familiar with the waste should be actively involved in
waste management decisions to ensure that the waste is managed
safely and efficiently. Engineering controls should be implemented
as necessary, and personal protective equipment should be worn by
workers involved in waste management.
4. Inspection Program
Maintenance and regular inspection of laboratory equipment are
essential parts of the laboratory safety program. Management should
participate in the design of a laboratory inspection program to
ensure that the facility is safe and healthy, workers are adequately
trained, and proper procedures are being followed.
Types of inspections: The program should include an appropriate
combination of routine inspections, self-audits, program audits,
peer inspections, EHS inspections, and inspections by external
Elements of an inspection:
(a) Inspectors should bring a checklist to ensure that all
issues are covered and a camera to document issues that require
(b) Conversations with workers should occur during the
inspection, as they can provide valuable information and allow
inspectors an opportunity to show workers how to fix problems.
(c) Issues resolved during the inspection should be noted.
(d) An inspection report containing all findings and
recommendations should be prepared for management and other
(e) Management should follow-up on the inspection to ensure that
all corrections are implemented.
5. Medical Consultation and Examination
The employer must provide all employees who work with hazardous
chemicals an opportunity to receive medical attention, including any
follow-up examinations that the examining physician determines to be
necessary, whenever an employee develops signs or symptoms
associated with a hazardous chemical to which the employee may have
been exposed in the laboratory. If an employee encounters a spill,
leak, explosion or other occurrence resulting in the likelihood of a
hazardous exposure, the affected employee must be provided an
opportunity for a medical consultation by a licensed physician. All
medical examinations and consultations must be performed by or under
the direct supervision of a licensed physician and must be provided
without cost to the employee, without loss of pay and at a
reasonable time and place. The identity of the hazardous chemical, a
description of the incident, and any signs and symptoms that the
employee may experience must be relayed to the physician.
All accident, fatality, illness, injury, and medical records and
exposure monitoring records must be retained by the institution in
accordance with the requirements of state and federal regulations
(see 29 CFR part 1904 and Sec. 1910.1450(j)). Any exposure
monitoring results must be provided to affected laboratory staff
within 15 working days after receipt of the results (29 CFR
Prominent signs of the following types should be posted:
(a) Emergency telephone numbers of emergency personnel/
facilities, supervisors, and laboratory workers;
(b) Location signs for safety showers, eyewash stations, other
safety and first aid equipment, and exits; and
(c) Warnings at areas or equipment where special or unusual
8. Spills and Accidents
Before beginning an experiment, know your facility's policies
and procedures for how to handle an accidental release of a
hazardous substance, a spill or a fire. Emergency response planning
and training are especially important when working with highly toxic
compounds. Emergency telephone numbers should be posted in a
prominent area. Know the location of all safety equipment and the
nearest fire alarm and telephone. Know who to notify in the event of
an emergency. Be prepared to provide basic emergency treatment. Keep
your co-workers informed of your activities so they can respond
appropriately. Safety equipment, including spill control kits,
safety shields, fire safety equipment, PPE, safety showers and
eyewash units, and emergency equipment should be available in well-
marked highly visible locations in all chemical laboratories. The
laboratory supervisor or CHO is responsible for ensuring that all
personnel are aware of the locations of fire extinguishers and are
trained in their use. After an extinguisher has been used,
designated personnel must promptly recharge or replace it (29 CFR
1910.157(c)(4)). The laboratory supervisor or CHO is also
responsible for ensuring proper training and providing supplementary
equipment as needed.
Special care must be used when handling solutions of chemicals
in syringes with needles. Do not recap needles, especially when they
have been in contact with chemicals. Remove the needle and discard
it immediately after use in the appropriate sharps containers.
Blunt-tip needles are available from a number of commercial sources
and should be used unless a sharp needle is required to puncture
rubber septa or for subcutaneous injection.
For unattended operations, laboratory lights should be left on,
and signs should be posted to identify the nature of the experiment
and the hazardous substances in use. Arrangements should be made, if
possible, for other workers to periodically inspect the operation.
Information should be clearly posted indicating who to contact in
the event of an emergency. Depending on the nature of the hazard,
special rules, precautions, and alert systems may be necessary.
9. Training and Information
Personnel training at all levels within the organization, is
essential. Responsibility and accountability throughout the
organization are key elements in a strong safety and health program.
The employer is required to provide employees with information and
training to ensure that they are apprised of the hazards of
chemicals present in their work area (29 CFR 1910.1450(f)). This
information must be provided at the time of an employee's initial
assignment to a work area where hazardous chemicals are present and
prior to assignments involving new exposure situations. The
frequency of refresher information and training should be determined
by the employer. At a minimum, laboratory personnel should be
trained on their facility's specific CHP, methods and observations
that may be used to detect the presence or release of a hazardous
chemical (such as monitoring conducted by the employer, continuous
monitoring devices, visual appearance or odor of hazardous chemicals
when being released), the physical and health hazards of chemicals
in the work area and means to protect themselves from these hazards.
Trained laboratory personnel must know shut-off procedures in case
of an emergency. All SDSs must be made available to the employees.
E. General Procedures for Working With Chemicals
The risk of laboratory injuries can be reduced through adequate
training, improved engineering, good housekeeping, safe work
practice and personal behavior.
1. General Rules for Laboratory Work With Chemicals
(a) Assigned work schedules should be followed unless a
deviation is authorized by the laboratory supervisor.
(b) Unauthorized experiments should not be performed.
(c) Plan safety procedures before beginning any operation.
(d) Follow standard operating procedures at all times.
(e) Always read the SDS and label before using a chemical.
(f) Wear appropriate PPE at all times.
(g) To protect your skin from splashes, spills and drips, always
wear long pants and closed-toe shoes.
(h) Use appropriate ventilation when working with hazardous
(i) Pipetting should never be done by mouth.
(j) Hands should be washed with soap and water immediately after
working with any laboratory chemicals, even if gloves have been
(k) Eating, drinking, smoking, gum chewing, applying cosmetics,
and taking medicine in laboratories where hazardous chemicals are
used or stored should be strictly prohibited.
(l) Food, beverages, cups, and other drinking and eating
utensils should not be stored in areas where hazardous chemicals are
handled or stored.
(m) Laboratory refrigerators, ice chests, cold rooms, and ovens
should not be used for food storage or preparation.
(n) Contact the laboratory supervisor, Principal Investigator,
CHO or EHS office with all safety questions or concerns.
(o) Know the location and proper use of safety equipment.
(p) Maintain situational awareness.
(q) Make others aware of special hazards associated with your
(r) Notify supervisors of chemical sensitivities or allergies.
(s) Report all injuries, accidents, incidents, and near misses.
(t) Unauthorized persons should not be allowed in the
(u) Report unsafe conditions to the laboratory supervisor or
(v) Properly dispose of chemical wastes.
Working Alone in the Laboratory
Working alone in a laboratory is dangerous and should be
strictly avoided. There have been many tragic accidents that
illustrate this danger. Accidents are unexpected by definition,
which is why coworkers should always be present. Workers should
coordinate schedules to avoid working alone.
Housekeeping can help reduce or eliminate a number of laboratory
hazards. Proper housekeeping includes appropriate labeling and
storage of chemicals, safe and regular cleaning of the facility, and
proper arrangement of laboratory equipment.
2. Nanoparticles and Nanomaterials
Nanoparticles and nanomaterials have different reactivities and
interactions with biological systems than bulk materials, and
understanding and exploiting these differences is an active area of
research. However, these differences also mean that the risks and
hazards associated with exposure to engineered nanomaterials are not
well known. Because this is an area of ongoing research, consult
trusted sources for the most up to date information available. Note
that the higher reactivity of many nanoscale materials suggests that
they should be treated as potential sources of ignition,
accelerants, and fuel that could result in fire or explosion. Easily
dispersed dry nanomaterials may pose the greatest health hazard
because of the risk of inhalation. Operations involving these
nanomaterials deserve more attention and more stringent controls
than those where the nanomaterials are embedded in solid or
suspended in liquid matrixes.
Consideration should be given to all possible routes of exposure
to nanomaterials including inhalation, ingestion, injection, and
dermal contact (including eye and mucous membranes). Avoid handling
nanomaterials in the open air in a free-particle state. Whenever
possible, handle and store dispersible nanomaterials, whether
suspended in liquids or in a dry particle form, in closed (tightly-
sealed) containers. Unless cutting or grinding occurs, nanomaterials
that are not in a free form (encapsulated in a solid or a
nanocomposite) typically will not require engineering controls. If a
synthesis is being performed to create nanomaterials, it is not
enough to only consider the final material in the risk assessment,
but consider the hazardous properties of the precursor materials as
To minimize laboratory personnel exposure, conduct any work that
could generate engineered nanoparticles in an enclosure that
operates at a negative pressure differential compared to the
laboratory personnel breathing zone. Limited data exist regarding
the efficacy of PPE and ventilation systems against exposure to
nanoparticles. However, until further information is available, it
is prudent to follow standard chemical hygiene practices. Conduct a
hazard evaluation to determine PPE appropriate for the level of
hazard according to the requirements set forth in OSHA's Personal
Protective Equipment standard (29 CFR 1910.132).
3. Highly Toxic and Explosive/Reactive Chemicals/Materials
The use of highly toxic and explosive/reactive chemicals and
materials has been an area of growing concern. The frequency of
academic laboratory incidents in the U.S. is an area of significant
concern for the Chemical Safety Board (CSB). The CSB issued a case
study on an explosion at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas,
which severely injured a graduate student handling a high-energy
metal compound. Since 2001, the CSB has gathered preliminary
information on 120 different university laboratory incidents that
resulted in 87 evacuations, 96 injuries, and three deaths.
It is recommended that each facility keep a detailed inventory
of highly toxic chemicals and explosive/reactive materials. There
should be a record of the date of receipt, amount, location, and
responsible individual for all acquisitions, syntheses, and disposal
of these chemicals. A physical inventory should be performed
annually to verify active inventory records. There should be a
procedure in place to report security breaches, inventory
discrepancies, losses, diversions, or suspected thefts.
Procedures for disposal of highly toxic materials should be
established before any experiments begin, possibly even before the
chemicals are ordered. The procedures should address methods for
decontamination of any laboratory equipment that comes into contact
with highly toxic chemicals. All waste should be accumulated in
clearly labeled impervious containers that are stored in unbreakable
Highly reactive and explosive materials that may be used in the
laboratory require appropriate procedures and training. An explosion
can occur when a material undergoes a rapid reaction that results in
a violent release of energy. Such reactions can happen spontaneously
and can produce pressures, gases, and fumes that are hazardous. Some
reagents pose a risk on contact with the atmosphere. It is prudent
laboratory practice to use a safer alternative whenever possible.
If at all possible, substitutes for highly acute, chronic,
explosive, or reactive chemicals should be considered prior to
beginning work and used whenever possible.
4. Compressed Gas
Compressed gases expose laboratory personnel to both chemical
and physical hazards. It is essential that these are monitored for
leaks and have the proper labeling. By monitoring compressed gas
inventories and disposing of or returning gases for which there is
no immediate need, the laboratory can substantially reduce these
risks. Leaking gas cylinders can cause serious hazards that may
require an immediate evacuation of the area and activation of the
emergency response system. Only appropriately trained hazmat
responders may respond to stop a leaking gas cylinder under this
F. Safety Recommendations--Physical Hazards
Physical hazards in the laboratory include combustible liquids,
compressed gases, reactives, explosives and flammable chemicals, as
well as high pressure/energy procedures, sharp objects and moving
equipment. Injuries can result from bodily contact with rotating or
moving objects, including mechanical equipment, parts, and devices.
Personnel should not wear loose-fitting clothing, jewelry, or
unrestrained long hair around machinery with moving parts.
The Chemical Safety Board has identified the following key
lessons for laboratories that address both physical and other
(1) Ensure that research-specific hazards are evaluated and then
controlled by developing specific written protocols and training.
(2) Expand existing laboratory safety plans to ensure that all
safety hazards, including physical hazards of chemicals, are
(3) Ensure that the organization's EHS office reports directly
to an identified individual/office with organizational authority to
implement safety improvements.
(4) Develop a verification program that ensures that the safety
provisions of the CHP are communicated, followed, and enforced at
all levels within the organization.
(5) Document and communicate all laboratory near-misses and
previous incidents to track safety, provide opportunities for
education and improvement to drive safety changes at the university.
(6) Manage the hazards unique to laboratory chemical research in
the academic environment. Utilize available practice guidance that
identifies and describes methodologies to assess and control
(7) Written safety protocols and training are necessary to
manage laboratory risk.
G. Emergency Planning
In addition to laboratory safety issues, laboratory personnel
should be familiar with established facility policies and procedures
regarding emergency situations. Topics may include, but are not
(1) Evacuation procedures--when it is appropriate and alternate
(2) Emergency shutdown procedures--equipment shutdown and
materials that should be stored safely;
(3) Communications during an emergency--what to expect, how to
report, where to call or look for information;
(4) How and when to use a fire extinguisher;
(5) Security issues--preventing tailgating and unauthorized
(6) Protocol for absences due to travel restrictions or illness;
(7) Safe practices for power outage;
(8) Shelter in place--when it is appropriate;
(9) Handling suspicious mail or phone calls;
(10) Laboratory-specific protocols relating to emergency
planning and response;
(11) Handling violent behavior in the workplace; and
(12) First-aid and CPR training, including automated external
defibrillator training if available.
It is prudent that laboratory personnel are also trained in how
to respond to short-term, long-term and large-scale emergencies.
Laboratory security can play a role in reducing the likelihood of
some emergencies and assisting in preparation and response for
others. Every institution, department, and individual laboratory
should consider having an emergency preparedness plan. The level of
detail of the plan will vary depending on the function of the group
and institutional planning efforts already in place.
Emergency planning is a dynamic process. As personnel,
operations, and events change, plans will need to be updated and
modified. To determine the type and level of emergency planning
needed, laboratory personnel need to perform a vulnerability
assessment. Periodic drills to assist in training and evaluation of
the emergency plan are recommended as part of the training program.
H. Emergency Procedures
(1) Fire alarm policy. Most organizations use fire alarms
whenever a building needs to be evacuated--for any reason. When a
fire alarm sounds in the facility, evacuate immediately after
extinguishing all equipment flames. Check on and assist others who
may require help evacuating.
(2) Emergency safety equipment. The following safety elements
should be met:
a. A written emergency action plan has been provided to workers;
b. Fire extinguishers, eyewash units, and safety showers are
available and tested on a regular basis; and
c. Fire blankets, first-aid equipment, fire alarms, and
telephones are available and accessible.
(3) Chemical spills. Workers should contact the CHO or EHS
office for instructions before cleaning up a chemical spill. All SDS
and label instructions should be followed, and appropriate PPE
should be worn during spill cleanup.
(4) Accident procedures. In the event of an accident,
immediately notify appropriate personnel and local emergency
responders. Provide an SDS of any chemical involved to the attending
physician. Complete an accident report and submit it to the
appropriate office or individual within 24 hours.
(5) Employee safety training program. New workers should attend
safety training before they begin any activities. Additional
training should be provided when they advance in their duties or are
required to perform a task for the first time. Training documents
should be recorded and maintained. Training should include hands-on
instruction of how to use safety equipment appropriately.
(6) Conduct drills. Practice building evacuations, including the
use of alternate routes. Practice shelter-in-place, including plans
for extended stays. Walk the fastest route from your work area to
the nearest fire alarm, emergency eye wash and emergency shower.
Learn how each is activated. In the excitement of an actual
emergency, people rely on what they learned from drills, practice
(7) Contingency plans. All laboratories should have long-term
contingency plans in place (e.g., for pandemics). Scheduling,
workload, utilities and alternate work sites may need to be
I. Laboratory Security
Laboratory security has evolved in the past decade, reducing the
likelihood of some emergencies and assisting in preparation and
response for others. Most security measures are based on the
laboratory's vulnerability. Risks to laboratory security include,
but are not limited to:
(1) Theft or diversion of chemicals, biologicals, and
radioactive or proprietary materials, mission-critical or high-value
(2) Threats from activist groups;
(3) Intentional release of, or exposure to, hazardous materials;
(4) Sabotage or vandalism of chemicals or high-value equipment;
(5) Loss or release of sensitive information; and
(6) Rogue work or unauthorized laboratory experimentation.
Security systems in the laboratory are used to detect and respond to
a security breach, or a potential security breach, as well as to
delay criminal activity by imposing multiple layered barriers of
increasing stringency. A good laboratory security system will
increase overall safety for laboratory personnel and the public,
improve emergency preparedness by assisting with preplanning, and
lower the organization's liability by incorporating more rigorous
planning, staffing, training, and command systems and implementing
emergency communications protocols, drills, background checks, card
access systems, video surveillance, and other measures. The security
plan should clearly delineate response to security issues, including
the coordination of institution and laboratory personnel with both
internal and external responders.
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[FR Doc. 2013-00788 Filed 1-18-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-26-P