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Introduction The Environmental Health & Safety Office (EH&S) supports The University in its quest to excel in research and teaching. EH&S has prepared a Laboratory Safety Manual to promote safe practices in laboratories and to provide information to faculty, researchers, and students to assist them in meeting their goals. We have included information concerning safe practices, the use of personal protective equipment, emergency procedures, use and storage of chemicals, and the proper methods of waste disposal. This information is intended to help those in the laboratory minimize the hazards to themselves and their colleagues. We promote the idea of providing information to laboratory personnel regarding the requirements under the Texas Hazard Communication Act. These requirements include chemical labeling, employee education, and access to Material Safety Data Sheets. Because laboratories involve numerous chemicals, procedures, and operations, they require extensive safety precautions. Laboratory safety involves chemical safety, fire safety, electrical safety, and other safety issues. Below is a brief discussion of Laboratory Safety Biological Safety Chemical Safety Hazard Communications Program Hazardous Waste Disposal Page 11-2 11-5 11-7 11-10 11-11
All of these subjects are covered in detail in the Laboratory Safety Manual which has been distributed to all laboratories and to all Principal Investigators on this campus. At the end of this section is a Table of Contents listing the subjects covered in this manual. Please contact Environmental Health & Safety, Ext. 2185, if you need a copy. The Laboratory Safety Manual is available on the Environmental Health & Safety web page at http://www.uta.edu/ehsafety/main.htm
animals. However. repetitive motion Controlling Laboratory Risks Administrative and engineering controls can help minimize laboratory risks. noise. and reactives Biological hazards: Microbes. corrosives. fire. safety conscious workers using good laboratory practices are the most important component of laboratory safety. and genetically modified agents Radiation hazards: Ionizing and nonionizing radiation Physical hazards: Heating devices. devices. dust.LABORATORY SAFETY This section discusses the following: Common laboratory hazards Controlling laboratory risks Safe laboratory practices Equipment safety Common Laboratory Hazards Examples of common hazards include the following: Chemical hazards: Toxins. Electrical hazards: Fire and shock Mechanical hazards: Moving machinery Airborne hazardous materials: Vapors. etc. projectiles. Ergonomic factors: Standing. and instruments Page 11-2 . cold. flammables. machines. etc. plants. The following factors are important for safe laboratory operations: Adequate facilities: Proper ventilation Nonslip surfaces Hand washing facilities Available and appropriate safety equipment: Personal protective equipment Laboratory equipment Safety devices on laboratory equipment.
Ensure that ovens are clearly labeled to indicate their function. (Chronic exposure to mercury can result from Page 11-3 . drink. respondents need to know the names and telephone numbers of the people responsible for laboratory operations. and workplace accidents. contamination. washing hands) Knowledgeable workers: Experienced Trained All laboratory doors should be labeled with emergency contact information. Use extreme care when working with needles. Emergency contact labels are available from the Environmental Health & Safety Office. Avoid working alone in a laboratory. Properly trained and experienced workers have the greatest ability to control laboratory risks. fumes. Avoid contaminating equipment with mercury. Dedicate microwave ovens and other heating devices exclusively for food or for laboratory operations. Wear personal protective equipment. as appropriate.Appropriate emergency equipment: Fire extinguishers Emergency showers Eye wash stations Appropriate procedures: Good housekeeping Personal hygiene (e. and glass. or other hazardous materials. workers can minimize hazards. Follow safe practices for working with chemicals.. exposure. Clean contaminated equipment and spills immediately. Protect unattended operations from utility failures and other potential problems that could lead to overheating or other hazardous events. Do not wear contact lenses around chemicals. follow safe laboratory practices. Clean mercury spills immediately. Safe Laboratory Practices To ensure laboratory safety.g. blades. Avoid producing aerosols. Keep this information current and accurate. or use tobacco products in the laboratory. Know how to read and interpret MSDS. Do not eat. Do not mouth pipet. dust particles. By using good laboratory practices. including the following: Know about the chemicals and hazards associated with your laboratory. Know what to do in different emergency situations.) Ice from a laboratory ice machine should not be used for human consumption. If an incident occurs during off-hours. (Refer to the Chemical Safety chapter for more information.
) Keep laboratory doors closed. (2) know how to operate the equipment. If you are unsure about what you are doing. heating devices. and exit ways must be kept clear. or procedures alone. if necessary). remove. vacuums. equipment.) Dry ice mixed with isopropanol or ethanol may cause frost bite. Decontaminate all affected equipment. Equipment Safety There are four fundamental elements of equipment safety: (1) use the correct equipment. corridors. Do not modify or adapt equipment without guidance from the equipment manufacturer or the Environmental Health & Safety Office. To ensure equipment safety. Working in a laboratory requires various types of equipment. Hallways. Page 11-4 . Do not use unfamiliar chemicals. Avoid using dry ice in enclosed areas. IMPORTANT: Never underestimate the hazards associated with a laboratory.a few drops left uncleaned. etc. Use equipment for its intended purpose only. (3) inspect the equipment. Location is safe (and well-ventilated. such as fume hoods. (It is a violation of state law for a child to be unattended in a place that presents a risk of harm. you must be familiar with the following: Equipment operation Applicable safeguards Maintenance requirements Always inspect equipment before using it. IMPORTANT: Disconnect any equipment that is unsafe or does not work properly. and (4) use the equipment properly. Notify other users of the problem.) Do not allow children in the laboratory. Refer to the Laboratory Safety Manual for specific information on operating laboratory equipment. Do not defeat. Equipment works properly. get assistance. Do not locate (even temporarily) laboratory equipment or supplies in these areas. Ensure that the equipment meets the following requirements: Controls and safeguards are adequate and functional. or override equipment safety devices. (Dry ice can produce elevated carbon dioxide levels. and remove it from service.
Primary and Secondary Containment There are two levels of biological containment: primary and secondary. or applying cosmetics . Good microbial techniques and safety equipment provide sufficient primary containment. enclosed containers. and other contaminated protective clothing . and airlocks.Before eating. General Biosafety Guidelines Biohazardous materials require special safety precautions and procedures. employees must assess the hazards associated with their work and determine how to apply the biosafety principle appropriately. smoking. and safety centrifuge cups. such as lab coats and gloves may act as the primary barrier between personnel and infectious materials. decontamination facilities. safety equipment.BIOLOGICAL SAFETY Biosafety Principle The primary principle of biological safety (i. Primary containment protects people and the immediate laboratory environment from exposure to infectious agents.. To ensure minimal exposure. Examples of secondary barriers include work areas that are separate from public areas. Occasionally. The term containment refers to a series of safe methods for managing infectious agents in the laboratory.After removing gloves. when it is impractical to work in biological safety cabinets. Good facility design and operational practices provide secondary containment. personal protective equipment. IMPORTANT: Employees working with infectious agents or potentially infectious materials must be aware of the hazards associated with their work. special ventilation systems. as indicated below: . Secondary containment protects the environment external to the laboratory from exposure to infectious materials.After working with any biohazard . and facility design. Elements of Containment Ultimately. Examples of primary barriers include safety equipment such as biological safety cabinets. laboratory coat. biosafety) is containment. Follow these guidelines when working with infectious agents: Personal Hygiene Guidelines: Wash your hands thoroughly. handwashing facilities. These workers must be trained and proficient in biosafety procedures and techniques. drinking. The purpose of containment is to reduce or eliminate human and environmental exposure to potentially harmful agents. the three key elements of biological containment are laboratory practices.Before leaving the laboratory area Page 11-5 .e.
2. Do not wear potentially contaminated clothing outside the laboratory area. Add disinfectant to water baths for infectious substances. Ensure that vacuum lines have a suitable filter trap. 5. Remove gloves by peeling them from the inside out. Work Area: Keep laboratory doors shut when experiments are in progress. follow these steps: 1. Wear gloves over gown cuffs. Use trunnion cups with screw caps for centrifuging procedures. Place used syringes into a pan of disinfectant without removing the needles. Take care not to stick yourself with a used needle. 4. To remove contaminated clothing. drink. inoculated petri dishes. These signs should include the universal biohazard symbol and the approved biosafety level for the laboratory. Remove the gown by slipping your finger under the sleeve cuff of the gown. Use secondary leak-proof containers when transporting samples. or apply cosmetics in the work area Clothing Guidelines: Always wear a wrap-around gown or scrub suit. minimize your chances of exposure by following these guidelines: Use a needle-locking or disposable needle unit. Minimize aerosol production. smoke. Handling Procedures: Use mechanical pipetting devices. Ensure that warning signs are posted on laboratory doors. and other containers of biohazardous materials. Inspect the tubes before use. Never wear contact lenses around infectious agents. and a surgical mask when working with infectious agents or infected animals. gloves. Dispose of needles in an approved sharps container. Syringes: Avoid using syringes and needles whenever possible. Do not recap used needles. Remove head covering from the peak. Remove booties from the back. Page 11-6 . Do not place used syringes in pans containing pipettes or other glassware that require sorting. Decontaminate all potentially contaminated equipment. Decontaminate work surfaces daily and after each spill.- Do not touch your face when handling biological material Never eat. 3. Limit access to laboratory areas when experiments involve biohazardous agents. cultures. If a syringe is necessary. Untie gown while wearing gloves.
an extremely toxic chemical such as strychnine cannot cause poisoning if it is in a sealed container and does not contact the handler. . explosion) and/or health hazards (toxicity. Many of these materials have properties that make them hazardous: they can create physical (fire. Risk minimization depends on safe practices. the proper use of personnel protective equipment. Knowledge + Common Sense + Caution = Chemical Safety Page 11-7 . chemical burns). these specimens may contain infectious agents. The two components together determine risk (the likelihood or probability that a chemical will cause harm). fire safety.. Consider all specimens to be infectious and treat these materials as potentially hazardous. Chemical safety is inherently linked to other safety issues including laboratory procedures. In contrast. To minimize exposure. etc. and (2) the ease with which the chemical can come into contact with a person or other object of concern.e. The two terms are sometimes used as synonyms. The hazardous properties of the material and intended use will dictate the precautions to be taken. there are many ways to work with chemicals which can both reduce the probability of an accident to a negligible level and reduce the consequences to minimum levels should an accident occur. ask "What would happen if . Thus. Universal Precautions: Clinical and diagnostic laboratories often handle specimens without full knowledge of the material's diagnosis. CHEMICAL SAFETY General Safety Guidelines Almost everyone works with or around chemicals and chemical products every day. The hazard presented by a chemical has two components: (1) its inherent capacity to do harm by virtue of its toxicity.?" The answer to this question requires an understanding of the hazards associated with the chemicals. observe universal precautions when handling any biological specimen. In fact. . a chemical that is not highly toxic can be lethal if a large amount is ingested. electrical safety. and hazardous waste disposal. flammability. the use of the least quantity of material necessary. journals. equipment and procedures involved.) away from contaminated areas. books.Transport contaminated materials in leak-proof containers. Another important distinction is the difference between hazard and risk. corrosiveness. appropriate engineering controls for chemical containment. Refer to other chapters in this manual for more information on these topics. personal protective equipment.. etc. Keep miscellaneous material (i. and substitution of a less hazardous chemical for the more hazardous one. However. explosiveness. hazard is a much more complex concept because it includes conditions of use. Before beginning an operation. Completely decontaminate equipment before having maintenance or repair work done.
read the container label and the appropriate Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). and a reactive.Flammability . 3. perchloric acid is a corrosive.Boiling point . including the following: . The following sections provide general guidelines for chemical safety. Container labels and MSDS are good sources of information for chemical safety. Minimize your exposure to any chemical. Examples of nonhazardous chemicals include buffers. Minimize your exposure to any chemical. Follow all chemical safety instructions precisely. Know all the hazards of the chemicals with which you work.Not all chemicals are considered as hazardous. 5. Treat all chemicals as if they were hazardous. Never underestimate the potential hazard of any chemical or combination of chemicals. For example. They provide the following information: Hazardous ingredients Exposure limits Physical and chemical characteristics. Avoid repeated exposure to any chemical.Explosiveness . as appropriate. Use common sense at all times. Consider any mixture to be at least as hazardous as its most hazardous component.Vapor pressure Physical hazards. The five prudent practices of chemical safety sum up these safety guidelines: 1. agar. Never use any substance that is not properly labeled. and carcinogenic. 2. Use personal protective equipment. Assume that a mixture or reaction product is more hazardous than any component or reactant. Benzene is an irritant that is also flammable. starches. Chemical Safety Guidelines Always follow these guidelines when working with chemicals: Assume that any unfamiliar chemical is hazardous. sugars. Material Safety Data Sheets Before using any chemical. toxic. including the following: . an oxidizer. and naturally occurring amino acids. regardless of its hazard rating.Reactivity Page 11-8 . 4.
Remove contaminated clothing immediately. Check stored chemicals for deterioration and broken containers. Keep the containers clearly marked and in a well-ventilated area. Do not pour hazardous chemicals down the sink. smoking. Learn how to dispose of chemicals safely and legally.Health hazards. Follow any special precautions for the chemicals in use. Hygiene and Chemical Safety Good personal hygiene will help minimize exposure to hazardous chemicals.Toxic . remember to do the following: Remove and use only the amount of chemicals needed for the immediate job at hand. Know what to do in an emergency. Do not transport unprotected chemicals between the work area and other areas. remember the following: Do not store chemicals near heat or sunlight or near substances which might initiate a danger ous reactio n. Do not use the clothing again until it has been properly decontaminated. including chemicals that are: . when working with chemicals. When working with chemicals. rack.Irritants First-aid procedures Proper leak. Always use a secondary container when transporting hazardous or highly odorous chemicals on an elevator. Also. Use a tray. Clean up spills and leaks immediately. Page 11-9 . wash hands before eating. and disposal techniques Proper storage and handling procedures Other special provisions Safe Handling Guidelines Employees should treat all chemicals and equipment with caution and respect. cart or rubber carrier. and store chemicals in appropriate containers. spill. follow these guidelines: Wash hands frequently and before leaving the laboratory.Carcinogens . drinking. or applying makeup. Follow UTA waste disposal requirements. label. Do not put fellow workers or yourself in danger. Properly seal. Likewise. When working with chemicals.
Do not use laboratory equipment to serve or store food or drinks. It requires the following: Employee training (including recognition of signs of exposure) Labeling procedures MSDS for chemicals at each workplace Instructions on how to read and interpret MSDS Chemical inventory reporting procedures Recordkeeping requirements Emergency response procedures Refer to the UTA Hazard Communication Program and other sections in this manual for detailed information on these topics. Everyone who works with hazardous chemicals should know how to read and interpret hazard information. especially corrosives or volatile solvents.In addition. smoke. follow these special precautions: Do not eat. The following is a detailed explanation of the NFPA hazard classification codes: Health (Blue): 4 Can cause death or major injury despite medical treatment 3 Can cause serious injury despite medical treatment 2 Can cause injury. alert employees to the known hazards in a particular location. Requires prompt medical treatment 1 Can cause irritation if not treated 0 No hazard Flammability (Red): 4 Very flammable gases or liquids 3 Can ignite at normal temperatures 2 Ignites with moderate heat 1 Ignites with considerable preheating 0 Will not burn Page 11-10 . An integral part of hazard communication is hazard identification. drink. Do not keep food or food containers anywhere near chemicals. Signs. This program is available from the Environmental Health & Safety Office. Do not sniff or taste chemicals. Do not wear contact lenses near chemicals. like the NFPA diamond. or apply makeup around chemicals. HAZARD COMMUNICATIONS PROGRAM UTA has a written program (UTA Hazard Communication Program) that complies with OSHA standards and the Texas Hazard Communication Act for hazardous chemicals.
Specific Hazard (White): @ Oxidizer . Role of the Environmental Health & Safety Office The Environmental Health &Safety Office administers the Hazardous Waste Management Program at UTA.ALK @ Corrosive . Compliance with this program is very demanding: it requires full cooperation Page 11-11 . The Environmental Health & Safety Office will assist any department in determining its hazardous waste disposal needs. 0 Normally stable and not reactive with water. and air. The purpose of environmentally sound disposal methods is to prevent harm to the water.Reactivity (Yellow): 4 Readily detonates or explodes 3 May detonate or explode with strong initiating force or heat under confinement 2 Normally unstable. The University's generator permit applies to all of the UTA campus and ARRI. but will not detonate 1 Normally stable.COR @ Use No Water . individual generators may be personally liable.R HAZARDOUS WASTE DISPOSAL Hazardous Waste and UTA Hazardous waste disposal is governed by the EPA and the TNRCC through State and Federal regulations. Generators may be cited or fined for numerous types of violations. Violations range from improperly labeling a waste container to intentionally disposing of hazardous waste incorrectly. land.OX @ Acid . Unstable at high temperature and pressure. Permits and Requirements UTA is classified as a "Small Quantity Generator" of hazardous waste. In addition. Penalties of Noncompliance Noncompliance with any hazardous waste regulation may result in substantial fines and penalties for the University. UTA complies with hazardous waste disposal regulations by means of the Hazardous Waste Management Program.ACID @ Alkali .W @ Radioactive .
and stores hazardous waste until it is shipped for final disposal. commercial. deposit. The Environmental Health & Safety Office collects. Page 11-12 . any person who possesses municipal hazardous waste or industrial solid waste to be shipped to any other person. municipal. Subpart C or D or exhibiting the characteristics of ignitability. transports. refuse. or E. spilling. mining and agricultural operations. reactivity. including ground waters and the sanitary sewer. Definitions Central Accumulation Area Area(s) designated by the Environmental Health & Safety Office to be used for the storage of hazardous wastes prior to shipment to permitted disposal facilities. Part 261. or contained gaseous material resulting from industrial. and from community and institutional activities. who produces municipal hazardous waste or industrial solid waste. A listing and characteristics of hazardous wastes can be found in the Laboratory Safety Manual. or placing of any solid waste or hazardous waste (whether containerized or uncontainerized) into or on any land or water so that such solid waste or any constituent thereof may enter the environment or be emitted into the air or discharged into any water. Mixed Waste A radioactive waste that is also a hazardous waste. water treatment plant.P. Waste Any useless and valueless material that is to be discarded. The main focus of this program is chemical waste but it also includes the management of biological waste. toxicity also defined in Part 261. Generator Any person. by site. sludge from a waste treatment plant. or any person whose act first causes solid waste to become subject to regulation. Solid Waste Any garbage. liquid. Solid waste can be solid. Hazardous Waste Any solid waste material listed or identified in Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations. or air pollution control facility or other discarded material. The Office also maintains permanent records of all disposed waste. semi-solid. corrosivity.by all campus entities. dumping. Contact the EH&S for more information on hazardous waste disposal. Improper Disposal The discharge. injection.
. Refer to the Laboratory Safety Manual for list of regulated hazardous chemicals. poisons) Material is not excluded from regulations. An item is considered to be hazardous waste if it meets one or more of the following characteristics: A chemical component is listed in the Laboratory Safety Manual. and the words "Hazardous Waste". Filling Containers Hazardous waste collection containers must be in good condition. and extensive environmental exposure. Tags. IMPORTANT: Never overfill hazardous waste containers. Use a new label to identify the hazardous waste. Allow extra room in liquid containers to allow for contents expansion. must not leak. All containers must have suitable screw caps or other secure means of closure.. The shoulder of the container is the place where the container slopes in towards the neck. Do not fill jugs and bottles past the shoulder of the container. EPA regulations require that waste containers be labeled with the accumulation start date. Hazardous waste containers for liquids are generally rated by volume capacity. explosion. the identity of the contents. Page 11-13 . The Laboratory Safety Manual discusses these procedures in detail. heavy metals. explosives. contact the Environmental Health & Safety Office for assistance. If you are reusing a container to accumulate waste. pesticides. Containers. unstable chemicals) Corrosivity (ph < 4 or > 10) EP toxicity (e. cyanides. and must be compatible with their hazardous contents (e. do not use the disposal tag for this purpose. collection and disposal are essential to the success of the Hazardous Waste Program.Types of Hazardous Waste An item is considered waste when the owner determines that the material is no longer useful and needs to be discarded. water reactives. Expansion and excess weight can lead to spills. tagging. Material meets the definition of one of the following: Ignitability (flashpoint < 60o C or supports combustion) Reactivity (e. When large waste containers (greater than 10 gallons total volume) are warranted. and Collection Proper containment.g. destroy the original product label. Mixture contains a listed hazardous waste and a nonhazardous waste. Individual departments are responsible for properly identifying the hazardous waste they generate and for following University disposal procedures. do not use metal containers for corrosive waste or plastic containers for organic solvents).g.g..
TABLE OF CONTENTS UTA LABORATORY SAFETY MANUAL 1. Goals C. you may fill containers for solids within two inches of the closure. Emergency Equipment Hazard Communication Act A. Facilities Objectives General Safety Information A. Hazardous waste containers for solids are generally rated by their weight capacity and volume capacity.Fill closed head cans (5 gallons or less) to leave approximately two inches of space between the liquid level and the top of the container. Special Procedures for Biological Hazards D. Depending on weight requirements. Requirements 2. IMPORTANT: Keep all waste collection containers closed except when adding or removing material. Primary Emergency Procedures B. Organization B. Lab Protocol B. Special Procedures for Radioactive Hazards C. 4. Building Evacuation Procedures E. Introduction A. Take care not to exceed the weight capacity of a solid container. Recommended Lab Techniques Emergency Procedures and Equipment A. Page 11-14 . but it can be a problem for open head drums (larger than 5 gallons). Following is the Table of Contents of the Laboratory Safety Manual showing all subjects discussed in detail in the Manual. 3. Weight is generally not a problem for jars and open head cans (5 gallons or less). 5. Fill closed head drums (larger than 5 gallons) to leave approximately four inches of space. Key Responsibilities D.
. Site Security G. Waste Disposal E. Regulated Wastes C. Bloodborne Pathogens F.B. Emergency Procedures Radiation Hazards and Control Controlled Substances. Operational Security H. 9. Responsibility C. Laboratory Equipment C. Chemical Safety Equipment Biological Hazards and Control A. Security Procedures Governing Use of Controlled Items F. Laboratory Animals G. Surplus Property E. 6. Recommended Laboratory Practices B. Biosafety Levels Biosafety Level 1 Biosafety Level 2 Biosafety Level 3 H. 8. Personal Protective Clothing D. Material Safety Data Sheets Chemical Hazards and Control A. Personal Protective Clothing C. Inventory and Reporting of Loss I. Designation of a University Liaison Chemical Waste A. 10. Chemical Categories and Use and Storage Flammables Oxidizers Corrosives Reactives Compressed Gas Cylinders B. Gas Cylinders Page 11-15 7. Purchase Orders D. Precursor Chemicals and Chemical Laboratory Apparatus A. Hazardous Wastes B. List of Precursor Items B.
Pollution Prevention A.D. D. E.. E. H. Blood and Blood Products E. Pathological Waste F. F. General Information B. Special Options 4-15-98 Page 11-16 . 13. K. Microbiological Waste B. C. I. Sharps Disposal A. G. Sanitary Sewer Disposal Storm Sewer Disposal Containers Accumulation Container Labeling Request for Disposal 12. Animal Waste D. J. Containers Broken Glassware PCB Light Ballasts Batteries Used Oil and Filters Explosives Radioactive Waste Fluorescent Lamps Special Wastes A. F. Bedding of Animals Exposed to Pathogens C. B. 11.
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