Chemical Safety

Florida Institute of Technology (Florida Tech) is legally and ethically required to provide a safe working environment for all its employees and students under General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970; employers are required to provide their employees with a place of employment that is ‘free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.’  Since Florida Tech employs workers engaged in the use of hazardous chemicals, Florida Tech will comply with the provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard: "29 CFR§1910.1450, Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories." 

Chemical Hygiene Plan

Florida Institute of Technology (Florida Tech) is legally and ethically required to provide a safe working environment for all its employees and students under the General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are required to provide their employees with a place of employment that is ‘free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.’  Since Florida Tech employs workers engaged in the use of hazardous chemicals, Florida Tech will comply with the provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard: "29 CFR§1910.1450, Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories."  This standard is commonly referred to as "the Laboratory Standard."  It was developed to provide increased protection to laboratory employees beyond that which is provided in the General Industry Standards (29 CFR§1910). ‘The Laboratory Standard’ is also a "performance oriented standard."  This means OSHA establishes the minimum requirements, but the methods for achieving these requirements are left up to the employer.  The backbone of ‘the Laboratory Standard’ is its requirement for employers to develop and carry out the provisions of a written Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP), which requires development of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for work with hazardous chemicals in laboratories/shops.

 

Hazard Communication Plan

Hazardous chemicals, and products containing hazardous chemicals, are used at all Florida Institute of Technology (Florida Tech) locations.  To protect the safety and health of employees that may be exposed to hazardous chemicals under normal conditions, or in foreseeable emergencies, Florida Tech will comply with 29 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) 1910.1200: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS).  

To ensure safety in the workplace, information about the identities and hazards of the chemicals must be available and understandable to workers. OSHA's HCS requires the development and dissemination of such information: All employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces must have labels and safety data sheets for their exposed workers, and train them to handle the chemicals appropriately.

Florida Tech’s Hazard Communication Plan requires personnel to provide information to employees regarding hazardous chemicals in the workplace and the hazardous properties of those chemicals. The information must be conveyed through a combination of a written hazard communication plan, hazardous chemical inventories, container labeling, safety data sheets, and employee training. This document constitutes Florida Tech’s written Hazard Communication Plan, and it applies to all operating units (Divisions, Departments, Agencies and/or Offices) on campus and off-site locations.  Florida Tech Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) is responsible for the development, implementation and periodic review of this plan.

Hazard Communication Plan

 

Chemical fume hoods

The fume hood is often the primary control device for protecting laboratory workers when working with flammable and/or toxic chemicals. OSHA’s Laboratory standard (29 CFR 1910.1450) requires that fume hoods be maintained and function properly when used.

Before using a fume hood:

  • Make sure that you understand how the hood works.
  • You should be trained to use it properly.
  • Know the hazards of the chemical you are working with; refer to the chemical’s Safety Data Sheet if you are unsure.
  • Ensure that the hood is on.
  • Make sure that the sash is open to the proper operating level, which is usually indicated by arrows on the frame.
  • Make sure that the air gauge indicates that the air flow is within the required range.

When using a fume hood:

  • Never allow your head to enter the plane of the hood opening. For example, for vertical rising sashes, keep the sash below your face; for horizontal sliding sashes, keep the sash positioned in front of you and work around the side of the sash.
  • Use appropriate eye protection.
  • Be sure that nothing blocks the airflow through the baffles or through the baffle exhaust slots.
  • Elevate large equipment (e.g., a centrifuge) at least two inches off the base of the hood interior.
  • Keep all materials inside the hood at least six inches from the sash opening. When not working in the hood, close the sash.
  • Do not permanently store any chemicals inside the hood.
  • Promptly report any hood that is not functioning properly to your supervisor. The sash should be closed, and the hood “tagged” and taken out of service until repairs can be completed.
  • When using extremely hazardous chemicals, understand your laboratory’s action plan in case an emergency, such as a power failure, occurs.