3. Summary of the Laboratory Safety Standard

The Laboratory Standard contains the following elements.

  • Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP)— A written plan (this document) must be developed to control and minimize chemical exposure in laboratories. The CHP must be readily available to affected employees, who need to be oriented to its provisions and relevance to their health and safety. A CHP is required where hazardous chemicals, as defined by OSHA, are used in the workplace. The CHP must be:
    1. Capable of protecting employees from health hazards associated with hazardous chemicals…
    2. Capable of keeping exposures below OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits
  • Responsibilities— Personnel responsible for implementation of the CHP must be designated, including the appointment of a Chemical Hygiene Officer. [Sec. III.B]
  • Employee Information and Training— The employer shall provide employees with information and training to ensure that they are informed of the hazards in their work area and their avoidance. [Sec. III.C.1]
  • Standard Operating Procedures— SOPs must be developed for incorporation into the CHP relevant to safety and health when lab work involves the use of hazardous chemicals. [Secs. I and III.C.2]
  • Particularly Hazardous Substances— Provisions must be specified for additional employee protection for work with substances such as "select carcinogens", high acute toxicity substances and reproductive toxins. Provisions are generally incorporated into the SOPs [Secs. I and III.C.3]
  • Control Measures— Criteria must be established that the employer will use to determine, implement and adequately maintain control measures to reduce employee exposures, including lab ventilation, personal protective equipment. Control measures generally incorporated into SOPs. [Sec. III.C.4]
  • Maintenance of Engineering Controls, Personal Protective Equipment and Emergency Equipment – fume hoods must comply with Title 8 5154.1 and protective equipment function properly. [Sec. III.C.5]
  • Hazard Identification— Safety Data Sheets (formerly known as MSDS) and other reference materials need to be available. Labeling of chemicals is strictly regulated. [Sec. III.C.6.]
  • Prior Approval— Circumstances must be stipulated under which a particular laboratory operation requires prior approval from the lab supervisor. Generally incorporated into SOPs [Sec. III.C.7]
  • Employee Exposure Determination— As appropriate, measurements must be taken to verify that exposure limits are not exceeded. [Sec. III.C.9]
  • Medical Consultation and Examinations— Workers are entitled to medical attention when a significant chemical exposure is suspected. [Sec. III.C.8]