Does your facility have laboratories where hazardous chemicals are handled? If so, it is important to ensure that you are in compliance with applicable OSHA and NFPA standards in order to keep laboratory workers safe from the potential hazards associated with dangerous chemicals. CTI can assist you by inspecting your laboratories and evaluating laboratory procedures to ensure they conform with applicable OSHA and NFPA requirements.
What Standards Apply to Laboratories?
Laboratory personnel routinely handle hazardous chemicals. To ensure these employees are safe, it is important to comply with OSHA’s hazard communication standard 29 CFR 1910.1200 and with their laboratory safety standard 29 CFR 1910.1450. In addition to these regulations, OSHA often refers to consensus standards when conducting inspections. For laboratory safety, OSHA will often cite NFPA 45 – Standard on Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals. NFPA 45 includes information regarding fire protection requirements for laboratories, laboratory design, vent hood use, and safe quantities of flammable materials allowed to be stored and used in the laboratories.
What Requirements Should My Lab Comply With?
OSHA’s hazard communication standard requires all containers of hazardous chemicals to be properly labeled, and that associated Safety Data Sheets (SDS’s) are maintained, and that the facility has a Written Hazard Communication Program. All labels and SDS’s must align with the Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labeling of Hazardous Chemicals (GHS).
OSHA also requires that all facilities with laboratories must have a Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) to protect laboratory workers from harm due to improper handling of hazardous chemicals. Your CHP should include standard operating procedures that are relevant to safety and health considerations for each activity involving the use of hazardous chemicals. The plan should identify control measures used to reduce exposure to hazardous materials, such as engineering controls, use of PPE, and administrative controls. The plan should include permissible exposure limits (PEL’s) for OSHA-regulated substances and should identify where SDS’s are made available to laboratory employees.
Along with maintaining a CHP, you should ensure that your laboratory employees are trained in methods and observations to detect the presence or release of a hazardous chemical. Training should also identify the physical and health hazards associated with chemicals used in the laboratories, and measures that workers can use to protect themselves from these hazards.
How Can CTI Help?
CTI can help ensure that your laboratories are in compliance with required laboratory and chemical safety requirements with the following:
- Conducting NFPA 45 compliance reviews;
- Reviewing and/or preparing Written Hazard Communication Programs or Chemical Hygiene Plans.
- Testing indoor air quality in laboratories to ensure employees are not overexposed to airborne chemicals;
- Identifying compressed gases used by laboratories to determine the potential for an asphyxiation hazard; and
- Conducting employee training in chemical awareness and safe laboratory practice.
Click below to explore a number of the safety and health consulting service that CTI can tailor to your personal industry and business dynamic.
Confined Space Entry Procedures
Industrial Hygiene/Indoor Air Quality
Job Hazard Analysis (JHA)
Lockout/Tagout and Energy Control Procedures
Machine Guarding Risk Assessment And Evaluation
Noise Exposure Monitoring
OSHA Compliance Audits & Mock OSHA Inspections
OSHA Required Safety Training
Robot Risk Assessment & Safety
Safety Policies, Procedures, and Programs