Crest for Policies

Policy E7
Policy Name: Laboratory Safety
Responsibility for Maintenance:  Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety

I. Policy Statement 

Onondaga Community College employees working in laboratories have the potential to be exposed to hazardous chemicals in the course of their work activities. The College strives to ensure compliance with all applicable environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, including those related to potential use and exposure to hazardous chemicals.

II. Reason for Policy 

The College is required to comply with applicable requirements of the OSHA Laboratory standard set forth at 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 1910.1450.1  This policy and the related documents are intended to ensure that Laboratory Employees who may work with or otherwise be exposed to Hazardous Chemicals are protected in accordance with applicable regulations.

III. Applicability of the Policy 

Any Employees engaged in the Laboratory Use of Hazardous Chemicals in their work activities.

IV. Related Documents 

  • 29 CFR Part 1910.1450 – Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories
  • Onondaga Community College Laboratory Safety Program and Chemical Hygiene Plan

V. Contacts 

 Subject  Office Name  Title or Position Telephone Number Email/URL 
Laboratory Safety Coordination
Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety
Director (315) 498-2847 
Laboratory Safety Implementation Chemistry/Physical Sciences Department Chair 

(315) 498-2722

(315) 498-2433

[email protected]

[email protected] 

VI. Definitions 

 Term    Definition
Chemical Hygiene Plan  A written program developed and implemented by the employer which sets forth procedures, equipment, personal protective equipment and work practices that (i) are capable of protecting Employees from the health hazards presented by Hazardous Chemicals used in that particular workplace and (ii) meets the specific requirements for such a Chemical Hygiene Plan in the OSHA Laboratory Standard. 
Employee An individual employed in a Laboratory who may be exposed to Hazardous Chemicals in the course of work assignments.
Hazardous Chemical  A chemical for which there is statistically significant evidence based on at least one study conducted in accordance with established scientific principles that acute or chronic health effects may occur in exposed Employees.
Laboratory  A facility where the “Laboratory Use of Hazardous Chemicals” occurs. It is a workplace where relatively small quantities of Hazardous Chemicals are used on a non-production basis.
  Work with substances in which the containers used for reactions, transfers, and other handling of substances are designed to be easily and safely manipulated by one person
Laboratory Use of
Hazardous Chemicals
Handling or use of chemicals in which all of the following conditions are met:
(i) Chemical manipulations are carried out on a Laboratory Scale;
(ii) Multiple chemical procedures or chemicals are used;
(iii) The procedures involved are not part of a production process, nor in any way simulate a production process; and
(iv) Protective laboratory practices and equipment are available and in common use to minimize the potential for Employee exposure to Hazardous Chemicals.

VII. Procedures 

Applicability: OSHA’s Laboratory Standard applies to all laboratories that use Hazardous Chemicals, and supersedes the provisions of certain other health standards, but not permissible exposure limits which OSHA has promulgated with respect to specific air contaminants.

Implementation Requirements: Laboratory supervisors at the College must formulate and implement a chemical hygiene program containing required work procedures and policies to ensure that Laboratory Employees are protected from all potentially Hazardous Chemicals used in their work areas. Among other requirements, the OSHA Laboratory Standard provides for Employee training and information, hazard identification, respirator use, record keeping, and when appropriate, medical consultation and examinations.

Chemical Hygiene Plan Requirements: As indicated in Section IV above, the College has established a Laboratory Safety Program and Chemical Hygiene Plan (Plan) which is intended to comply with the OSHA Laboratory Standard. Laboratory supervisors are encouraged to adopt the Plan as their chemical hygiene program for compliance. However, Laboratory supervisors may change, modify or revise the Plan to meet their individual needs as long as all required aspects of the OSHA Laboratory Standard are met. When they elect to use a modified or alternate plan, a copy of such plan must be provided to the Office of Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety. Copies of the Plan are maintained in each Laboratory where Hazardous Chemicals are used.

All laboratory chemical hygiene programs must be in writing. A program in its simplest form may be a memorandum adopting the Plan as the Laboratory’s program. It is recommended that Laboratory supervisors obtain a copy of the latest edition of the National Academy of Science’s Prudent Practices for Handling Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories, which is an excellent reference source related to Laboratory safety.

Training: Laboratory supervisors will provide information and training regarding both physical and health hazards associated with the Hazardous Chemicals used in the Laboratory. Employees must receive training before assignments involving Hazardous Chemicals, or prior to assignments involving potential new exposure situations. Appropriate training records must be maintained.

The Office of Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety will evaluate Laboratory compliance two times per year, with follow-up evaluations occurring as necessary. All noted safety violations must be corrected within a reasonable time. Laboratory supervisors must notify the Office of Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety when they suspect that exposure levels to a Hazardous Chemical may routinely exceed the action levels or permissible exposure limit. In such cases, personal monitoring may be required to assure Employee safety.


1 The OSHA Laboratory Standard has been adopted by the New York State Commissioner of Labor as an applicable standard for the health and safety of public employees.


Approved by OCC Board of Trustees April 3, 2006