Research Safety

Site-Specific Chemical Hygiene Program

This page provides information and general procedures to be followed while conducting research and teaching in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Rochester.

Responsibilities of the Laboratory Employee

Training

Anyone working with chemicals or scientific equipment needs to participate in training regarding the safe use of these items. At the University, the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) provides mandatory Chemical Hygiene Program (CHP) training, which is offered on a regular basis.

The schedule for Chemical Hygiene Plan training is available on the EH&S Industrial Hygiene web page as well as from EH&S, and the department chemical hygiene officer (DCHO) Ken Simolo, (585) 275-4256.

It is the responsibility of the teaching or research laboratory employee to attend the first available training after their arrival at the University. This training must be repeated every year.

Chemical Hygiene Plan

Laboratory employees must familiarize themselves with the Chemical Hygiene Plan. The policies and procedures of the Chemical Hygiene Plan supersede any policies and procedures included in this document.

Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)

Laboratory employees will look up the appropriate Material Safety Data Sheet prior to using any chemicals with which they do not know the health risks, chemical reactivity, safe handling practices, or proper disposal procedures.

Procedures

Prior to using any experimental apparatus or procedure with which they do not know the potential risks or proper safety practices, the laboratory employee will refer to the Chemical Hygiene Plan, procedures in the literature, and safety references such as "Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Disposal of Chemicals" and "CRC Handbook of Laboratory Safety."

The laboratory employee will then discuss these procedures with their advisor or other faculty member.

Spills

Laboratory employees must familiarize themselves with the correct response for chemical spills contained in the Chemical Hygiene Plan. The laboratory employee may clean up any minor spills which do not place the employee at risk of unsafe chemical exposure. The employee should use the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

For major spills, pull the fire alarm if evacuation of the building is required. For major spills not requiring evacuation, Public Safety should be notified at ext. 13 or (585) 275-3333). In addition, ask the chemistry main office at (585) 275-4231 to page Ken Simolo.

Fires

Laboratory employees should familiarize themselves with proper procedures for handling fires and know the location(s) and proper use of fire extinguishers.

When a fire extinguisher has been used to put out a run-away reaction, immediately call Public Safety at ext. 13 or (585) 275-3333. Notify Public Safety that an extinguisher has been discharged but that there is no fire. This will prevent the building from being evacuated!

For actual fires that are out of control, pull the nearest fire alarm and evacuate the building.

Hazardous Waste

Follow the proper disposal procedures contained in the Chemical Hygiene Plan. Ensure that all hazardous chemical containers are closed, labeled, clean on the outside, and placed in secondary containment.

Chemical Containers

All chemical containers that will be used for more than one day must be legibly labeled with the full names of the compounds contained within the vessel. Chemical formulas and abbreviations are not acceptable.

Workspace

It is the responsibility of the employee to maintain a clean and safe work environment. The employee is not allowed to work alone. Someone else must be present in the lab.

Chemical Inventory

Assist in maintaining an accurate and current chemical inventory. A copy should be kept in the lab and a copy should be given to the departmental chemical hygiene officer.

Responsibilities of the Principal Investigator and/or Supervisor

Chemical Hygiene Plan

The PI/supervisor must familiarize themselves with the Chemical Hygiene Plan. The policies and procedures of the Chemical Hygiene Plan supersede any policies and procedures included in this document.

Training

The PI/supervisor must ensure that all laboratory employees have received the mandatory Chemical Hygiene Plan training and are familiar with the proper procedures for working in your laboratories.

As part of normal interactions with laboratory employees, train them in the safe and proper practices for the procedures they use. Hold regular trainings and keep documentation that includes the date and names of those attending. It is part of the PI's/supervisor's responsibility to increase the laboratory employee's level of knowledge regarding safe practices.

Workspace

It is the responsibility of the PI/supervisor to create a work environment where safety is taken seriously.

Chemical Inventory

It is the responsibility of the PI/supervisor to maintain an accurate and current chemical inventory. A copy should be kept in the laboratory and a copy should be given to the department chemical hygiene officer.

Responsibilities of the Department Chemical Hygiene Officer

Chemical Hygiene Plan 

The department chemical hygiene officer must familiarize themselves with the Chemical Hygiene Plan. The policies and procedures of the Chemical Hygiene Plan supersede any policies and procedures included in this document.

Training

The department chemical hygiene officer must maintain centralized records documenting the mandatory Chemical Hygiene Plan training. Provide access to the schedules for Chemical Hygiene Plan training.

Chemical Inventory

The department chemical hygiene officer must provide a centralized location for chemical inventories provided by the PIs/supervisors. Currently, chemical inventories are located in a portable, black hanging file cabinet located in the storeroom (room 406) next to the main office.

Liaison

The department chemical hygiene officer must serve as liaison with EH&S, Facilities, and Public Safety to assist with providing a safe work environment.

Site-Specific Chemical Hygiene Program Training

Department of Chemistry, University of Rochester

By signing below, I acknowledge that I have been shown the proper procedures for working in Hutchison Hall. In particular, I have read the Site-Specific Chemical Hygiene Plan and will follow the policies and procedures contained within the Site-Specific Chemical Hygiene Plan.

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