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Contact Information
Office of
Public Safety
Westmont College
955 La Paz Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93108
805.565.6043
safe@westmont.edu

Chemical Hygiene Plan

Appendix A. General Safety Rules

A.1.0 General Laboratory Rules

  • Do not work alone without prior approval.
  • Develop safe work practices and avoiding careless actions or horseplay.
  • Be alert to unsafe conditions and immediately notify the Laboratory Supervisor of unsafe conditions.
  • Become familiar with the laboratory's emergency equipment (e.g., eyewash, safety shower, and fire extinguisher).
  • Adhere to the intent and procedures of the University Laboratory Health and Safety Programs.

A.2.0 Chemical Handling

A.2.1 General:

  • Before handling chemicals, become familiar with hazards, signs and symptoms of exposure, and precautions for preventing exposure.
  • Do not underestimate hazard risks associated with chemicals or mixtures.
  • If the chemical mixture toxicity is unknown, assume any chemical mixture is as toxic as its most toxic component.
  • Assume substances of unknown toxicity are toxic.

A.2.2 Exposure Limits:

  • When handling chemicals, do not exceed the Cal/OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) or American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Values (TLVs).

A.2.3 Oral Pipetting:

  • Prohibited -- use mechanical pipetting aids for all pipetting procedures.

A.2.4 Hypodermic Needles:

  • Use only if no other feasible substitution is available.

A.2.5 Glassware:

  • Handle and store with care to avoid damage.
  • Do not use broken or damaged glassware.
  • Shield or wrap evacuated glass apparatus to contain chemicals and fragments should implosion occur.

A.2.6 Laboratory Transport:

  • Place storage vessels in unbreakable outer container for transport.
  • Place contaminated materials in an impermeable, sealed primary container (plastic bag).
  • Label outer containers appropriately.

A.2.7 Housekeeping:

  • Keep work area clean and uncluttered.
  • Clean up operations at the end of the day.
  • Use wet mop or HEPA-filtered vacuum (do not dry sweep or mop).

A.2.8 Decontamination of Work Surfaces/Equipment:

  • Protect work surfaces (e.g., bench tops, hood surfaces, and floors), as appropriate, from contamination (i.e., cover with stainless steel or plastic trays, dry absorbent plastic backed paper or other impervious material).
  • Decontaminate or dispose of contaminated items used to protect work surfaces from contamination.
  • Refer to specific SOPs for more information.

A.3.0 Hygiene Practices

A.3.1 Personal Hygiene:

  • Keep hands away from mouth, nose, eyes and face.
  • Confine long hair and loose clothing.
  • Wear only non-absorbent, closed-toe shoes

A.3.2 Work Practices:

  • Do not eat, drink, smoke, chew gum or tobacco, or apply cosmetics in the lab.
  • Do not smell or taste chemicals.

A.3.3 Decontamination:

  • Wash areas of exposed skin before leaving the laboratory.
  • A hand washing facility must be available within the work area, but not necessarily used exclusively for handwashing.
  • Use liquid soap, whenever possible.

A.4.0 Eyewash and Safety Shower

  • Ensure properly functioning eyewash and safety shower are accessible within 10 seconds, per 8CCR5162(c), to all employees who handle hazardous chemicals.
  • Keep the area around the eyewash and safety shower clear at all times.
  • The Plumbing Shop performs monthly tests on eyewashes and safety showers in accordance with Section 7.0, Engineering Controls Criteria and Verification.

A.5.0 Chemical Storage

  • Store stock quantities of hazardous chemicals in a secured area.
  • Keep working quantities of chemicals to a minimum.
  • Maintain quantities to less than the amounts required for use in one week, except amounts stored in a specific chemical storage area or cabinet that is located within the laboratory work area.
  • Affix appropriate labels to storage vessels containing working quantities.

A.6.0 Use of Laboratory Fume Hoods

  • A laboratory fume hood is a primary control, which protect users and building occupants from hazardous materials. The laboratory fume hood encloses an operation by providing a physical barrier between the user and other room occupants from hazardous gases and vapors, as well as providing protection from a possible chemical spill, release, or explosion.
  • Prior to using a fume hood, become familiar with the location of the nearest exit, emergency shower, eyewash, and fire extinguisher. Make sure the pathways to these areas are unobstructed.
  • Verify that the exhaust system is operating properly before working in the hood. Check the date on the certification. Only use the hood if it is current, i.e., certified within the last year.
  • The sash is also designated for use as a safety shield in case of a spill. Adjust the sash at or below the point indicated on the certification. Use an appropriate barricade if there is a chance of an explosion or eruption.
  • Keep head out of hood.
  • Avoid rapid movements at hood face when sash is open because it may create sufficient turbulence to disrupt the face velocity and cause contaminants to reenter the room.
  • Keep laboratory doors closed (unless laboratory's design required the lab doors to be open.)
  • Do not place waste into the hood for evaporation. Waste chemicals shall be accumulated for disposal, not evaporated in the hood.
  • Do not place containers or equipment near the hood exhaust. Blocking the exhaust may reduce airflow to unacceptable levels and/or cause turbulence.
  • Raise hot plates, ovens, and other bulky apparatus one to two inches above the work surface to allow air to flow underneath them.
  • Keep all apparatus at least 6 inches behind the face and from the rear of the hood. A stripe on the bench surface is a good reminder.
  • Do not store chemicals, apparatus, or containers in hood. Store hazardous chemicals and hazardous waste in approved safety cabinet. Materials stored in hood disturb the air flow pattern (especially when blocking baffles) and reduce available working space.
  • Avoid high velocities and cross-drafts because they may increase contamination and dust loading.
  • If possible, operations requiring large amounts of wet digestion and volatilized acid or solvent treatment should be confined to one group of hoods and the handling of dry materials in others.
  • The volume of air withdrawn from the hood must be greater than the volume of contaminated gases, fumes or dusts created in the hood.

A.7.0 Compressed Gas Cylinders

  • Secure cylinders in place with restraints at 1/3 to 2/3 of cylinder height.
  • Do not expose cylinders to temperatures greater than 50 degrees C (122 degrees F).
  • Do not lubricate, modify, force or tamper with cylinder valves.
  • Use only the correct fittings and connections to ensure compatibility.
  • Rapid release of compressed gases can cause the hose to whip dangerously and build up a static charge that could ignite a combustible gas.
  • Leave a small amount of the contents in the cylinder to avoid contamination.
  • Wear safety glasses when handling compressed gases.