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Environmental Health and Safety

Laboratory safety

Chemical hygiene program

Occupational Exposures to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories

Last Reviewed: November 15, 2017

  1. Introduction

    1. The purpose of this rule 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 patternedafter 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 Federal OSHA has no authority on campus. 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. 
    2. This rule does not apply in those laboratory uses of hazardous chemicals which provide no potential for employee exposure. Examples are: the use of "Dip and Read" test where a reagent strip is dipped into the specimen and the results are interpreted by comparing the color reaction to a color chart; and the use of completely self-contained commercially prepared kits. 
  2. Responsibilities

    1. The Department of Environmental Health and Safety will designate an employee as the university's Chemical Hygiene Officer. 
    2. The Chemical Hygiene Officer will provide technical guidance and assistance for the implementation of the Chemical Hygiene Plan. This individual will work with departments to ensure proper compliance with the safety rules of Kansas State University. These rules include but are not limited to the rules in the LABORATORY SAFETY MANUAL, the SAFETY WITH CHEMICAL CARCINOGENS IN RESEARCH AND TEACHING, the RADIATION SAFETY MANUAL, the RESPIRATOR PROGRAM, and the HAZARD COMMUNICATION PROGRAM. The written Chemical Hygiene Plan is contained in this CHEMICAL HYGIENE PROGRAM OF KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY. 
    3. Each Department Head is required:
      1. to ensure that the Chemical Hygiene Officer gets the cooperation of all laboratory workers in the department; 
      2. to limit employee chemical exposures to the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) threshold limit value (TLV) calculated as an 8-hour time weighted average for those hazardous chemicals encountered in the laboratory; 
      3. to provide the proper engineering controls or personal protective equipment which prohibits eye and skin contact of hazardous chemicals; 
      4. to provide employee exposure monitoring and medical surveillance in the event that the ACGIH TLV is routinely exceeded; 
      5. to implement the Chemical Hygiene Plan; and 
      6. may delegate these duties to the respective laboratory supervisor, manager, or department authority. 
  3. Employee Exposure Monitoring

    1. Initial Monitoring. The Department Head will provide adequate employee monitoring for substances that are regulated by a health standard that require monitoring, such as formaldehyde or ethylene oxide, if there is reason to believe that exposure levels routinely exceed the TLV. 
    2. Periodic Monitoring. If initial monitoring discloses employee exposure above the TLV, the Department Head will comply with the exposure monitoring provisions of the relevant standard. 
    3. Employee Notification of Monitoring Results.
      1. The Chemical Hygiene Officer will notify the Department Head within 15 working days after the receipt of any monitoring results. 
      2. The Department Head will notify the employee(s) in writing either individually or by posting results within 15 working days after the receipt of any monitoring results. 
  4. Chemical Hygiene Plan

    1. University Laboratory Safety Rules. The Department Head will ensure that employees comply with published campus Laboratory Safety Manual, Safety with Chemical Carcinogens in Research and Teaching, Radiation Safety Manual, Hazard Communication Program, the Respirator Program, this Chemical Hygiene Program and any other rules set as policy by the Environmental Health and Safety Committee. 
    2. Department Standard Operating Procedures. The Department Head will ensure that employees comply with written standard operating procedures that may be provided by the department. 
    3. Training. The Department Head will ensure that employees are trained to understand the hazards of the laboratory they work in and the hazards of the materials they work with. Training shall include appropriate work practices, emergency procedures, and personal protective equipment to be used. 
    4. Medical Consultation and Examinations.
      1. The Department Head will provide all employees covered by this Chemical Hygiene Program an opportunity to receive medical attention which an examining physician determines to be necessary whenever:
        1. an employee develops signs or symptoms associated with a hazardous chemical to which the employee may have been exposed in the laboratory; 
        2. environmental monitoring reveals an exposure level above the TLV; or 
        3. a chemical spill, leak, explosion or other event takes place which results in the likelihood of a hazardous chemical exposure. 
      2. All medical examinations and consultations should be performed by or under the direct supervision of a licensed physician and should be provided without cost to the employee, without loss of pay, and at a reasonable time and place. 
      3. The Department Head will provide the following information to the physician:
        1. the hazardous chemical(s) to which the employee may have been exposed; 
        2. the exposure conditions including any quantitative data; and 
        3. any signs or symptoms exhibited by the employee. 
      4. The physician's written opinion.
        1. The examining physician will submit to the Department Head a written opinion which includes the following:
          1. any recommendation for further medical follow-up; 
          2. the results of the medical examination and any associated tests; 
          3. any medical condition which may be revealed in the course of the examination which may place the employee at increased risk as a result of exposure to a hazardous chemical found in the work place; and 
          4. a statement that the employee has been informed by the physician of the results of the consultation, medical examination or treatment. 
        2. The written opinion shall not reveal specific findings of diagnoses unrelated to occupational exposure. 
      5. Where respirator use is necessary to maintain exposure below the TLV, the Department Head will provide, at no cost to the employee, the proper respiratory equipment. Respirators shall be selected and used in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.134 as adopted by K.S.A. 44-636 and -637, and the Respirator Program at Kansas State University. Every effort will be made by the Department Head to provide the necessary engineering controls to relieve the need for respirators. 
      6. Recordkeeping.
        1. The university shall establish and maintain for each laboratory employee an accurate record of any measurement taken to monitor employee exposures and any medical consultation and examination including tests or written opinions required by this standard. 
        2. 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. 
  5. Appendices

    1. APPENDIX A, 29 CFR 1910.1450 - National Research Council Recommendations Concerning Chemical Hygiene in Laboratories. 
    2. APPENDIX B, 29 CFR 1910.1450 - References.