The University of Arizona


Risk Management Services

Laboratory Chemical Safety Manual

Table of Contents

February 2012, version 1.3
This document replaces all previous versions of the UA Chemical Hygiene Plan


Getting Started


1. Introduction


1.1) Purpose: The purpose of this manual is to describe the proper use and handling practices and procedures to be followed by people working with hazardous chemicals in University of Arizona laboratories to protect them from potential health and physical hazards presented by chemicals used in the workplace, and to keep chemical exposures below specified limits. It was created by Risk Management Services (RMS) for the interim Chemical Safety Committee (iCSC). It has been approved by the iCSC, the Research Policy Committee of the Faculty Senate, the Faculty Senate and by the President's Cabinet. It is based on the recommendations of the National Research Council in their publication, "Prudent Practices in the Laboratory – Handling and Disposal of Chemicals" and constitutes the Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) required by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA) of 1970 and regulations of the U.S. Department of Labor including 29 CFR 1910.1450 "Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories."


1.2) Policy and Scope: It is the policy of the University of Arizona to provide a safe and healthful workplace in compliance with OSHA regulations including the "Laboratory Standard" referenced above. This manual applies to all "laboratories" as defined below, and all people working in these labs, and their line management. These Lab Workers must become knowledgeable in the applicable details of this manual and fulfill their responsibilities as outlined. All operations performed in a laboratory must be planned and executed in accordance with the enclosed procedures. In addition, each Lab Worker is expected to develop good personal chemical safety habits aimed at the reduction of chemical exposures to themselves, others, and the environment. All provisions of this manual become effective immediately. This document replaces all previous versions of the University of Arizona (UA) Chemical Hygiene Plan.


Definition of a "Laboratory:" "Laboratory" means a facility where the "laboratory use of hazardous chemicals" occurs. It is a workplace where relatively small quantities of "hazardous chemicals" are used on a non-production basis.


"Laboratory use of hazardous chemicals" means handling or use of such chemicals in which all of the following conditions are met: chemical manipulations are carried out on a "laboratory scale;" multiple chemical procedures or chemicals are used; the procedures involved are not part of a production process; and protective laboratory practices and equipment are available and in common use to minimize the potential for employee exposure to "hazardous chemicals." Laboratory procedures which provide no potential for personal chemical exposure are excluded. Examples of such procedures include: procedures using chemically-impregnated test media such as Dip-and-Read tests where a reagent strip is dipped into the specimen to be tested and the results are interpreted by comparing color reaction to a color chart supplied by the manufacturer of the test strip; and commercially prepared kits such as those used in performing pregnancy tests in which all of the reagents needed to conduct the test are contained in the kit.


"Hazardous chemicals" refers to any element, compound or mixture of elements and/or compounds which are a physical or health hazard (for a more detailed description, see Chemical Hazard Information – Chemical Hazards Overview).


"Laboratory scale" means work with substances in which the containers used for reactions, transfers, and other handling of substances are designed to be easily and safely manipulated by one person. "Laboratory scale" excludes those workplaces whose function is to produce commercial quantities of materials.


1.3) Manual Organization: Getting Started provides an overview of the information laboratory personnel need to know before using hazardous chemicals. It is designed to direct laboratory personnel to the relevant information they need before beginning their laboratory work. This part contains the purpose, policy and scope of the Manual and defines the roles and responsibilities for implementing the Manual. Requirements for training and chemical information available to personnel are also detailed here.


General Chemical Safety Practices contains the minimum required precautions and standard operating procedures for working with hazardous chemicals in UA laboratories. Environmental and medical surveillance and recordkeeping are also detailed here. The practices address broad classes of chemicals and are divided into three categories of chemical use or Chemical Safety Levels (CSLs):


three categories of use or chemical safety levels


All laboratories using hazardous chemicals must follow the general hazardous chemical use or CSL-1 practices (see below). These practices begin with pre-planning chemical use, which starts with researching and identifying the chemical hazards.


required practice chart


If particularly hazardous chemicals (select carcinogens, reproductive toxins, and highly toxic chemicals (as defined in:, Chemical Safety Information - Chemical Hazards Overview) are identified in the pre-planning, the laboratory is designated a CSL-2 laboratory and is subject to additional required practices (see below).


required practice 2


If extremely hazardous chemicals/activities (PDF format) (i.e., as listed by the interim Chemical Safety Committee or iCSC) are identified in the pre-planning, prior approval must be requested from the iCSC before conducting this work. Using these extremely hazardous chemicals or conducting these extremely hazardous activities makes a laboratory a CSL-3 laboratory and is subject to all applicable required practices in the Laboratory Chemical Safety Manual and any case-by-case additional safety practices required by the iCSC (see below).


required practice 3


The following table summarizes the safety practices for the three Chemical Safety Levels and identifies the section of the Manual that addresses each requirement. They are organized starting from the time one thinks about using hazardous chemicals at the University, through the time they dispose of the chemicals and leave the University.


required practice 4


Getting Help contains supportive information and tools to assist users in: understanding the Manual; assessing the risks of the specific chemicals they use and operations they conduct, and appropriately applying the Manual to minimize the risks. Checklists, lists, forms, signs, posters, charts and references to other applicable documents are also contained in this Part to simplify implementation of the Manual.


1.4) Great Place to Start: At first glance, the Laboratory Chemical Safety Manual might seem overwhelming. However, once the organization of the Manual is understood and the general contents are reviewed, it should become clear that the Manual makes good sense for safety and good science, and it is important for laboratory chemical users to know and follow it. A Laboratory Chemical Safety Self-Evaluation Checklist (PDF format) has been developed to help readers orient themselves with the Manual. The checklist is a series of statements that walk you through the important sections of the Manual. If you disagree with any statement on the checklist, it indicates a deficiency related to the Manual. Each section or question is followed by a reference to a location in the Manual which provides information on how to correct the deficiency. The self-evaluation (PDF format) is a great place to start by getting a general overview of the Manual.


Go to Getting Started Section Two