The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets standards for facilities to abide by to assure safe and healthy conditions in the working environment. While their mission is straightforward, sometimes organizations can overlook particular standards and not realize certain regulations exist or who they might affect.
One regulation, in particular, that causes confusion for many facilities is OSHA's Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories standard, 29 CFR 1910.1450, often referred to as the Laboratory standard. This regulation was put in place to protect laboratory workers from being harmed by hazardous chemicals, doing so by requiring laboratories to develop a Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP).
A CHP is a written program that protects lab employees through policies, procedures, and responsibilities regarding health hazards associated with hazardous chemicals used in a particular workplace. A CHP should be a reference guide to anyone who is new to or has any questions about laboratory safety procedures.
Standard Operating Procedures
Your facility's CHP must include safety and health standard operating procedures (SOPs) specific to your facility. For example, if you know that you have hazardous chemicals such as carcinogens or mutagens, your CHP should have SOPs for working with these specific chemicals.
Emergency Response Procedures
Your CHP should give specific details as to what to do during an emergency situation that could occur at your site. For example, if a carcinogenic chemical spill occurs at your site, there should be specific details as to how to limit spreading of the chemical and reduce the risk of chemical exposure.
Your CHP should reflect the specific chemical management procedures used at your particular site. It should go into great detail describing the hazard identification, labeling procedures, procurement, inventory, storage, disposal and shipping methods used at your particular site. Not every site has the same chemical procedures so it is important to be very specific about your methods.
Here at Triumvirate, we understand that OSHA’s standards are very detailed and can be confusing to navigate without assistance. That’s why we’re here to help! If you have any questions regarding this standard or need help putting together a CHP for your laboratory, please click the button below to contact us and one of our expert compliance advisors will work with you to solve all of your needs.