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Internal Audit Office

Kansas State University
5 Anderson Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-0118

 

785-532-7308
785-532-0186
internalaudit@k-state.edu

Laboratory Safety

Chapter 3730
Revised August 23, 2002

Table of Contents

.010 Safety with Carcinogens in Research and Teaching
.020 Chemical Hygiene Program
.030 Laboratory Safety Policy
.040 Radiation Safety Policy
.050 Questions

.010 Safety with Carcinogens in Research and Teaching

Every precaution should be taken to prevent inadvertent exposure of personnel and the environment to carcinogens. These rules have been prepared to protect laboratory workers and their experiments from inadvertent exposure to chemical carcinogens, as well as to minimize the hazard to the community. These rules set forth general safety principles that are to be followed in the handling, storage, and disposal of chemical carcinogens. These rules outline a safety and health plan for the handling of carcinogens or potential carcinogens. Facilities should be available for safe research with chemical carcinogens.

There are situations where the risk from chemical carcinogens is greater or less depending on the quantity, the chemical properties, or the intended operations. High risk situations are those that involve the use of a known highly potent chemical carcinogen, large quantities of chemical carcinogens, use of compounds with high vapor pressure, or complex procedures that have a high potential for aerosol production or contamination. Operations such as blending, preparation of dry feed mixtures, or manipulation of powders are high risk situations. In low risk situations, the minimum safeguards are strict adherence to good laboratory practices. Personnel whose medical condition, such as depressed immune response, or steroid/cytotoxic drug treatment, may make them unusually susceptible to the possible harmful effects of a carcinogen must be excluded from any area where accidental exposure might occur. Fertile men or women, or pregnant women may be at greater risk than others since many carcinogens are also mutagens or teratogens.

The guidelines for worker protection are published by the Division of Public Safety is available in hard copy from the Division. The guidelines include the requirements for personnel, routine and specific work practices, ventilation and facilities. The published guidelines include a bibliography of carcinogen standards and a list of chemicals that are considered carcinogens, potential carcinogens and tumor promoters.

.020 Chemical Hygiene Program

The purpose of this policy is to provide a safe and healthy work environment for all laboratory employees at Kansas State University. Laboratory workers includes classified and unclassified personnel, graduate students, and student employees but does not include students in a laboratory classroom situation. This occupational health rule is patterned after the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) 29 CFR 1910.1450 as adopted by the Kansas Department of Human Resources under K.S.A. 44-636 and -637. Kansas State University is subject to regulations promulgated by the Kansas Department of Human Resources and not OSHA. The university is voluntarily adopting this Federal standard as a means of providing safe laboratory practices on campus. This standard applies to all colleges on Kansas State University campuses that engage in the laboratory use of hazardous chemicals. This policy does not apply in those laboratory uses of hazardous chemicals which provide no potential for employee exposure.

The Division of Public Safety has designated the Director of Enviromental Health and Safety as the university's Chemical Hygiene Officer. Responsibilities of the Chemical Hygiene Officer and each department are outlined in the published Chemical Hygiene guideline and the Laboratory Safety Manual. Both are available in hard copy from the Division of Public Safety.

As a minimum each department must have a written Chemical Hygiene Plan, have written department Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), ensure compliance with the published guidelines, provide employee exposure monitoring and medical surveillance, and provide training. A Department Head may delegate these duties to the laboratory supervisor, manager, or department authority. Records must be maintained for each laboratory employee as required by this standard. The university shall assure that such records are kept, transferred, and made available in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.20 as adopted by K.S.A. 44-636 and -637.

.030 Laboratory Safety Policy

The Good Laboratory Safety Practices Policy is a step toward the achievement of a safe and healthful work and study environment on the Kansas State University campus. No reference point has been established as to what constitutes a truly safe and hazard free atmosphere in laboratories or elsewhere. It is impossible to remove all dangers from a research or teaching laboratory, therefore, we should strive to make the laboratory reasonably safe. The practices and procedures in the Laboratory Safety manual can be used by departments as a guide for upgrading the safety in their laboratories and other areas of responsibility. The Division of Public Safety can provide assistance in the pursuit of these goals. Specific safety measures and procedures can be found in the manual published by the Division of Public Safety. The manual is available in hard copy.

The Division of Public Safety develops and implements campus safety standards for the safety of the students, faculty and staff in research and teaching laboratories. A Department Safety Coordinator, appointed by each department head, is responsible for chemical safety, chemical spill notification, emergency contingency plans, general laboratory safety, hazardous waste disposal and liaison with the Division of Public Safety. The person in charge of a laboratory is responsible for training of employees and students in proper procedures and must notify the Department Safety Coordinator in case of accidents, chemical spills or hazardous waste disposal. Employees and students working in or using the laboratory facilities in the course of their employment or studies are responsible for knowing and following all safety procedures.

The guidelines found in the manual include emergency telephone numbers, general principles when working with laboratory chemicals, the chemical hygiene program, recommended safe laboratory practices, disposal of chemical waste and accident information. The recommended safe laboratory practices include general safety rules, personal protection and emergency equipment, electrical and mechanical protection, fume hoods, glove boxes, biohazard cabinets and general handling and storage of chemicals. In addition, guidelines for special laboratory hazards are included. Special chemical hazards include working with radioactive materials, lasers, ultraviolet radiation, recombinant DNA molecules, chemical carcinogens, biohazardous agents, compressed gas cylinders and cryogenic liquids. The guidelines include appendices concerning the National Research Council recommendations concerning chemical hygiene in laboratories, chemical compatibility, a suggested chemical storage plan, a chemical carcinogen list and procedures for a spill response cart.

Basic Principles When Working With Laboratory Chemicals

a. minimize all chemical exposures;
b. avoid underestimating the risk;
c. provide adequate ventilation;
d. observe the Threshold Limit Values (TLV's);
e. institute a Chemical Hygiene Program;
f. do not pipet by mouth;
g. do not smoke in laboratories;
h. do not store or consume food and beverages in laboratories; and

i. wear proper personal protective equipment. Kansas law (K.S.A. 72.5207) requires every student and teacher participating in vocational, technical or industrial arts shops or laboratories must wear eye protective devises suitable to protect against the hazards.

.040 Radiation Safety Policy

It is the goal of the Radiation Safety Program at Kansas State University to permit full utilization of radiation in a manner that will ensure the safety of all persons and to minimize equipment or time losses resulting from radioactive contamination. To this end, the President of Kansas State University has appointed a Radiation Safety Committee to establish operating practices which will, in conjunction with the State of Kansas Radiation Protection Regulations (K.A.R. 28-35-133 through 28-35-363), minimize hazard in the use of radioactive materials and radiation producing devices.

The use of radioactive materials at Kansas State University is strictly controlled. All individuals desiring to use any radioactive isotopes must have prior authorization from the Radiation Safety Committee before such materials are acquired. Application for authorization may be made through the Chair of the Committee, Division of Public Safety, Ward Hall.

All machines that produce ionizing radiation must be registered with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Registration for Kansas State University is handled by the Radiation Safety Office, Department of Campus Safety, Ward Hall. When an ionizing radiation producing device is to be obtained, the Radiation Safety Office must be notified for further details of registration.

The Kansas State University Radiation Safety Committee has prepared a Radiation Safety Manual as a guide toward achievement of safety in the utilization of radiation. The manual describes general procedures that apply specifically to KSU. Its recommendations and requirements should be supplemented by good judgment and an understanding of the radiation safety program's objectives. The manual is available from the Division of Public Safety, Ward Hall.

Training related to risk assessment, safe radiation laboratory practices, and specific procedures used at Kansas State University is available through the Radiation Safety Office at the beginning of every Fall Semester and at other times when sufficient interest exists. Contact the Radiation Safety Office (2-5856), for more information or for any other questions.

.050 Questions

Questions are to be directed to the Department of Enviromental Health and Safety, telephone number (785)532-5856.