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General Laboratory Safety

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  1. Part II General Laboratory Safety

  2. Chemical Exposure Chemicals enter the body through one of the following exposures • Inhalation* • Skin absorption* • Ingestion • Injection *Most common pathways for exposure

  3. Control Chemical Exposure Exposure is minimized by using: • Engineering Controls • Administrative Controls • Personal Protective Equipment

  4. Engineering Controls Engineering controls are an important method to exposure minimization. • These controls include: • Laboratory Hood • Splash Shield • Local Exhaust Ventilation

  5. Engineering ControlsLab Hoods • The hoods need to be available for use and functioning efficiently at all times. • Volatile chemicals need to be used in the lab hood when feasible. Note: Laboratory Hoods are not a place to store chemicals or equipment. Laboratory Hoods are not designed to collect particulates

  6. Prior to Using a Laboratory Hood • Check the hood certification sticker on the front of the hood to ensure that the air flow was between 80 and 120 fpm when tested. • Check visual alarms to ensure that the hood is functioning properly. • Hold a Kimwipe or tissue at the face of the hood to ensure air is flowing into the hood when the laboratory hood is turned on. Doing these ensures that the Lab hood is functioning properly Contact Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning or Risk Management & Safety if your hood is not functioning properly. It will need to be repaired ASAP.

  7. Check baffles to be sure slots are open and unobstructed by equipment or containers. Ensure that all chemicals and equipment are at least 6 inches behind sash. Elevate equipment with blocks or racks to maintain efficient airflow. Keep sash as low as possible (closed when not in use). Decrease turbulence by opening / closing sash slowly; avoid swift movements inside / outside of the hood. Perchloric acid must be used in a downwash hood, which is designed for such use. Hydrofluoric acid needs to be used in an acid hood designed for such purpose. Verify the hood is functioning properly. Lab Hood: Prior and During Use Note: A video is available for viewing at the Learning Resource Center (LRC) titled, “Using Chemical Hoods – A Laboratory Safety Test”. Ask for it at the LRC desk.

  8. Administrative Controls(Work Practice Controls) • Definition: Procedural actions taken (e.g., safety policies, rules, supervision, and training) in order to reduce the duration, frequency, and severity of exposure to hazardous chemicals or situations Examples • Posting hazard signs on laboratory doors • Minimizing exposure time when working with hazardous chemicals • Restricting access to areas where hazardous chemicals are used • Working with highly odorous chemicals during non-office hours • Adoption of standard operating procedures

  9. Administrative Controls Children, Pets, and Food are Not Allowed in Labs • Children (younger than 12 yrs) and pets are not allowed in laboratories. • Food must not be consumed in a laboratory, nor stored in a refrigerator used for storage of toxic materials, biohazards, or radioisotopes. Note: teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18 years cannot enter a laboratory unless prior approval is granted by Risk Management & Safety (case by case basis).

  10. Administrative Controls Clothing Requirements • No sandals or open-toed shoes are permitted in lab • Do not wear loose clothing • No shorts in lab- long pants must be worn • Do not wear clothing that exposes any skin other than your arms or face • Use appropriate personal protective equipment

  11. Personal Protective Equipment(PPE) Includes: • Gloves • Splash Goggles • Lab Apron • Arm and foot protection

  12. (PPE) Gloves • The type of glove (material) used is dependent upon the chemical being handled • When using corrosive or toxic chemicals the gloves should be long enough to protect the forearm • Long gloves can be cuffed at the bottom to help prevent chemicals from running down the arm To select the proper gloves please reference the glove manufacturers’ testing information. Various manufacturer information can be accessed online at

  13. (PPE) Splash Goggles and Face Shields • Splash Goggles must be worn whenever lab workers are using liquid chemicals that could injure the eyes (including heated liquids) • Splash goggles must be worn in conjunction with a full-face shield if lab workers are using chemicals that could splash and corrode or burn the face • (or) when using toxic chemicals that could be splashed and absorbed through the skin.

  14. An adequate Lab Apron and Arm and Foot Protection must be used when exposed to a potential chemical splash that would result in skin corrosion or burns, or when using toxic chemicals that could be splashed onto and absorbed through the skin. (PPE) Lab Apron and Arm and Foot Protection Materials to protect arms and feet vary depending upon what chemicals are being used (selection is similar to glove selection). Lab aprons are typically made of neoprene or nitrile rubber

  15. (PPE) Storage Personal protective equipment (PPE) should be stored in a manner that protects the equipment from • Dust • Sunlight • Excess moisture • Extreme temperatures • Deformation • Chemical degradation Improper Storage We recommend storing personal protective equipment (PPE) in a designated cabinet that satisfies these requirements. If you are responsibe for selecting PPE for your laboratory Click here to review the PPE training module

  16. Clean Release / SpillsWhat Can and Cannot be Cleaned up • Some chemical releases can be cleaned up, whereas other releases create an emergency (evacuate). • Laboratories must determine what can and cannot be cleaned up should a release occur. • Materials used to clean-up chemical spills must be treated as hazardous waste, placed in the proper container*, labeled, and provided to Chemicals Management. • Do not place paper towels or other materials used for clean-up in the trash. • *Oily rags must be placed in a metal safety can that has a self closing lid until provided to chemicals management in a proper waste container. For help contact Risk Management and Safety (422-4468) or Chemicals Management (422-6156).

  17. Chemical Releases / SpillsBE PREPARED A spill kit, adequate with supplies needed to clean up materials that may spill, needs to be created and ready to use in the lab at all times. A basic spill kit generally consists of: • Spill Pillows • Inert Sorbent Material (sand will usually work) • Dust Pan & Broom • Splash Goggles • Pair of Chemical Resistant Nitrile Gloves • Pair of Booties • A Lab Apron • Properly Labeled Waste Disposal Bags

  18. Disposing of Chemical Waste • Use waste containers provided by Chemicals Management • Label waste containers with the proper labels (those provided by Chemicals Management) • When needed, place waste containers within adequate secondary containment to keep chemicals from entering the environment (i.e. place the container in a plastic tub if there is a floor drain) • Have waste containers removed from the lab as they are filled Contact Chemicals Management (422-6156) for waste disposal

  19. Other Safety Concerns • Emergency Equipment • Compressed Gas Cylinders • Housekeeping

  20. Emergency EquipmentEyewash/ Shower Suitable • Suitableeyewash/shower stations must be immediately accessible and usable to lab personnel that are using chemicals that could injure the eyes/skin. Not Suitable

  21. Do Not BlockEmergency Equipment Sprinklers (At Least 18” of Clearance) Fire Extinguishers Electrical cut-off switches (Such as circuit breakers) Pull Stations

  22. Compressed Gas Cylinders • In accordance with FEMA recommendations, compressed gas cylinders should be secured at roughly 1/3 and 2/3 high. Secure cylinders to stationary objects (like a wall). Chains are preferred over straps. • • Toxic gases must be stored within a properly ventilated gas cabinet. • Regulators must be removed and valve protection caps installed when cylinders are not in use. What’s Wrong?

  23. Housekeeping A well kept lab coincides with better research and a safe work environment • Dispose of trash when it is generated. Prevent accumulation of trash within the laboratory. • Don’t place empty bottles and other trip hazards in a walkway. • Keep chemicals and glassware away from the edge of counters. • Spills need to be cleaned up when generated. GoodHousekeeping Poor Housekeeping

  24. Specific Laboratory Training Specific lab training must include: • The physical and health hazards of the chemicals being used in the laboratory • How individuals can protect themselves while using the hazardous chemicals • How to detect a release of the chemicals • What to do if a chemical release occurs (clean-up or evacuate the lab/building?). This level of training is provided by those in charge of the lab and instruction is specific to the lab in use.

  25. Additional Training • HF training is mandatory for individuals who will use hydrofluoric acid. • Risk Management & Safety offers hydrofluoric acid (HF) training. • To sign up click on the Following link • Live training is available from Risk Management & Safety for the following: • Biohazards • Lasers • Contact Risk Management & Safety at (422-4468)

  26. End of Part IIDocument Your Training • Document and receive credit for your training by completing the General Laboratory Safety Part II Quiz and turning it into your supervisor. • All questions should be answered Correctly • Lab specific training must also be documented. Thank You!