The OSHA Laboratory Standard and the Chemical Hygiene Plan
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) administers the workplace safety and health regulations in the United States. The OSHA regulation entitled “Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories” (29 CFR 1910.1450, commonly referred to as the “Laboratory Standard”) supersedes most general industry health standards for UNC laboratories. The Laboratory Standard requires the development of a “Chemical Hygiene Plan” which states how the University will implement the requirements of the Laboratory Standard to provide a safe and healthful work environment for its employees. The Laboratory Standard provides additional recommendations in its non-mandatory appendices extracted fromPrudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Disposal of Chemicals. OSHA cites this book because members of the laboratory community prepared it through sponsorship of the National Research Council, and it is widely distributed and accepted.
Although the Laboratory Standard provides some compliance flexibility, the Chemical Hygiene Plan must address specific areas. These areas include exposure monitoring, employee information and training, medical consultations and examinations, hazard identification, use of personal protective equipment, and recordkeeping.
To comply with the Laboratory Standard, your lab must have access to this Laboratory Safety Manual within the lab space, as well as a Laboratory Safety Plan that is specific for your lab operations. Chapter 2 provides detailed instructions for creating a Laboratory Safety Plan. The Laboratory Safety Plan plus the Laboratory Safety Manual equals the Chemical Hygiene Plan required by OSHA.