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Kansas State University


Following an EPA inspection in the fall of 2002, responsibility for inspection of laboratories at k-state has changed. Under current policies, each college has an eh&s committee to oversee safety issues and other inspection requirements. the department of environmental health and safety assists in the education and auditing of federal, state, and university safety regulations and guidelines.

Chemical Hygiene program

Emergency Spill Response Plan (PDF)

Prudent Practices in Laboratory Safety (PDF)

LASER Safety manual (PDF)

Radiation Safety manual (PDF)

How to Store Flammables (PDF)

Good laboratory safety practices

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 proc edures for a spill response cart.

Basic Principles When Working With Laboratory Chemicals

  1. minimize all chemical exposures;
  2. avoid underestimating the risk;
  3. provide adequate ventilation;
  4. observe the Threshold Limit Values (TLV's);
  5. institute a Chemical Hygiene Program;
  6. do not pipet by mouth;
  7. do not smoke in laboratories;
  8. do not store or consume food and beverages in laboratories; and
  9. 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.

Safety with chemical 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.

Fume Hoods

Fume hoods are exhaust cabinets, which protect the workers from chemical vapors and fumes. These fume hoods are present primarily in laboratories but they may also be present in some maintenance shops. Each fume hood is tested by the Department of Environmental Health and Safety annually for proper face velocities and directional air flow. Proper face velocity is dependent on the hazard of the materials placed in the hood. These velocities are:

  • 80 feet per minute (fpm) for low hazard materials such as noxious odors, nuisance dusts, and fumes.
  • 100 fpm for moderate hazard materials and trace quantities of radioisotopes.
  • 125-150 fpm for high hazard materials such as radioisotopes, perchloric acid and carcinogens.

Departments which have poor performing or non functioning fume hoods should contact Facilities Maintenance for repairs. Laboratory personnel are required to empty out and clean fume hoods prior to repairs by Facilities staff