Chemical and Laboratory Safety

SEM helps educates the University community with the environmental and health risks posed by the chemicals, reduces use of toxic materials, facilitates activities to comply and exceed its regulatory obligations. SEM also develops procedures to minimize the impact of chemical use. SEM inspects University work environments to anticipate, recognize, evaluate, and control personnel exposures to chemical and physical hazards in the laboratories.

To request a waste pickup, please fill out the Online Chemical Pickup Request Form, or you can download and fill out the Spent/used Chemicals Pickup Form (PDF) and fax/deliver it to SEM office.

Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) from Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is to ensure hazards of all chemicals produced or imported are classified, and that information concerning the classified hazards is transmitted to employers and employees.  It is recently updated to be aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Initial and annual refresher Hazard Communication Training for GU employee who's job duties including chemicals usage are required.  A HAZCOM and the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) Training Module has been developed by SEM.

OSHA Laboratory standard requires completion and annual updates of Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP).  The template can be downloaded here. OSHA Laboratory Standard (29 CFR 1910.1450).

In conjunction with the CHP, SEM provides Guidance on Handling Chemical Spill which may occur in laboraties.  Some chemicals require specific additional measures that must be specified in standard operating procedures.

Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standard (CFATS) was created by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to prevent the intentional misuse of listed materials. CFATS requires laboratories and some non-laboratory facilities to inventory the types and quantities of chemicals contained within the DHS Chemicals of Interest (COI) list (excel). The regulation requires that every laboratory review the COI list. If it is determined that there is a chemical in your laboratory on the COI list present, please contact SEM with the names and quantities of these chemicals so that we can evaluate whether a security issue exists.

Online resources for Safety Data Sheet (SDS) information can be found here.

Particularly hazardous substances (PHS) are those chemicals with special acute or chronic hazards. The OSHA laboratory Standard (29 CFR § 1910.1450) defines PHSs as select carcinogens, reproductive toxins, or substances which have a high degree of acute toxicity.

"One of the greatest exposure routes for lab workers and housekeeping staff is injection. Exercising Sharps Safety practices is critical in preventing these exposures.