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Back to Policy Section VI: General Administration
Section VI: General Administration

Policy Number: VI-13.00(A)

University of Maryland, College Park Policy on Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories

(Approved by the President )

I. Purpose

This is a statement of official University policy to establish the process for compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulation "Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories."

II. Policy

The University is dedicated to providing safe and healthy laboratory facilities for students and employees, and complying with federal and state occupational health and safety standards. Laboratory administrators, managers, faculty, staff and students all share responsibility for minimizing their exposure to hazardous chemical substances which, for purposes of this policy, shall be defined as chemicals which are carcinogens, toxic or highly toxic agents, reproductive toxins, irritants, corrosives, sensitizers, hepatotoxins, nephrotoxins, neurotoxins, agents which act on the hematopoietic systems, and agents which damage the lungs, skin, eyes or mucous membranes.

The Chemical Hygiene Plan shall be implemented for all facilities at the University of Maryland at College Park where the referenced hazardous chemicals are handled or used under all of the following conditions: (i) chemical manipulations are performed in containers designed to be easily and safely manipulated by one person; (ii) multiple chemical procedures or chemicals are used; and (iii) demonstrably effective laboratory practices and equipment are available and in common use to minimize the potential for employee exposure to hazardous chemicals.

The Chemical Hygiene Plan shall be reviewed and evaluated for its effectiveness at least annually, and updated as necessary.

III. Responsibilities

  1.  Department of Environmental Safety shall:
    1. Provide a Chemical Hygiene Officer to develop and coordinate administration of the UMCP Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP);
    2. Prepare the CHP with annual review and revisions as needed;
    3. Distribute CHP to each affected department for each Laboratory Supervisor or Principal Investigator (LS/PI);
    4. Provide consultation, worksite monitoring (sampling), advisory assistance and information concerning use of hazardous materials;
    5. Investigate, document and report to the BACH Committee, significant chemical exposure or contamination incidents; (
    6. Collect and dispose of hazardous, radioactive and other regulated wastes;
    7. Direct periodic laboratory safety audits to determine regulatory compliance, and recommend action to correct conditions generating release of toxic chemicals;
    8. Provide training to all laboratory workers concerning:
      1. Provisions of the Chemical Hygiene Plan;
      2. Physical and health hazards of chemicals in the work area;
      3. Measures to protect employees from chemical hazards;
      4. Signs and symptoms associated with hazardous chemical exposure;
      5. Location of reference materials on the hazards, safe handling, storage and disposal of laboratory chemicals;
      6. The contents of the OSHA standard and its appendices;
      7. The permissible exposure limits (PELs) for OSHA regulated substances or recommended exposure limits if no PEL is listed; and
      8. The methods and observations used to detect the presence or release of a hazardous chemical.
  2. Laboratory Supervisors/Principal Investigators (LS/PI) shall:
    1. Implement all provisions of the Chemical Hygiene Plan for laboratory facilities under their control;
    2. Prepare an alphabetized inventory of all hazardous chemical substances in laboratory facilities under their control;
    3. Prepare laboratory-specific Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to include work practices, protective equipment, engineering controls, emergency procedures and waste disposal procedures;
    4. Demarcate and indicate on SOP all areas designated for the use of select carcinogens, reproductive toxins and acute toxins;
    5. Train laboratory workers regarding the specific practices and provisions contained in the laboratory SOP; and
    6. Comply with necessary documentation requirements.
  3. Biological and Chemical Hygiene (BACH) Committee shall:Review and approve all aspects of the Chemical Hygiene Plan and provide technical guidance for implementation of campus policy concerning chemical and biological safety.
  4. University Health Center shall:
    1. Coordinate and direct all required or recommended medical surveillance programs;
    2. Provide medical consultations and examinations for laboratory workers who have been overexposed, or suspect overexposure, to hazardous chemical substances; and
    3. Maintain medical records relating to consultations, examinations, and medical surveillance as required by law.
  5. Individual Researchers and Laboratory Users shall:
    1. Adhere to the requirements of the Chemical Hygiene Plan and SOPs;
    2. Complete all safety training requirements and comply with documentation procedures; and
    3. Report all workplace injuries; chemical exposure incidents or unsafe conditions to their LS/PI as soon as possible.

IV. Information

Assistance will be provided by the Department of Environmental Safety to any Department requesting guidance or training to satisfy implementation of this policy.