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Health and Safety

in the Laboratory

This material was produced under grant number SH-17035-08-60-F-11 from the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. These
materials do not necessarily reflect views or policies of the U.S. Department of
Labor, nor does mention of any trade names, commercial products, or
organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

After this session, you will know:
• How to identify health and safety hazards of
school laboratory work
• Health and safety measures your lab
should have in place
• How best to protect yourself from
hazardous exposures
• The requirements of OSHA’s Laboratory Standard


Laboratories in the News

Two dozen fire departments responded
yesterday to Rocky Point High School after a
science teacher was burned when a chemical
reaction in a science lab touched off a small
explosion. The teacher, Anthony Nobre, 26,
of Medford, suffered burns over his arm, neck
and face. He was taken to University Hospital
in Stony Brook, where he was listed in
satisfactory condition, according to a
spokeswoman. The blast erupted as Nobre
put crystallized sodium into a container
holding a small amount of water. The
Brookhaven fire marshal was conducting an
investigation and recommended that the
building be closed today.

Detroit’s Miller Middle School
will be closed today and
possibly Wednesday while
health and environmental
officials finish cleaning up a
small amount of mercury that
students spilled in a science
class just before school was
dismissed Monday. Students
apparently were playing with
about an ounce of the toxic
substance in a sealed vial
when it spilled, said a district
spokesman Stan Childress.
About 30 students and a
teacher were present, he said.
There is a possibility that
students may have tracked
through the mercury
because some beads of
the substance were
found in the hallway,3
Childress said.

Why All the Fuss? Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals Can Result in acute or chronic health effects  Acute – occurring within hours or days of exposure  Chronic – occur after exposure over many years 4 .

e.: • Job Rotation • School Staff Training • Good Housekeeping 5 .: • • Local Ventilation (Fume Hoods) Chemical Substitutions Administrative: Procedures that Limit Contact with Hazard i.e.Engineering: Removes or Separates Hazard from Person i.

Face Shield. Minimum Recommended PPE: Chemical Resistant Gloves. and Rubber Apron when Necessary 6 . Splash Proof Goggles. Lab Coat.Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) PPE Should Be Considered Only After Administrative and Engineering Controls Have Been Applied.

7 . Find Out More about Glove Selection by Reviewing Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) or from Glove Supply Companies.PPE: Glove Selection Should be based upon: • the chemical composition of the substance you are working with • the properties of the glove material.

OSHA’s Laboratory Standard • Protects staff who use and handle hazardous chemicals in laboratories • Requires your School to: – Determine staff exposure to any substances regulated by the standard – Conduct initial training & additional training if a new hazard is introduced into the lab – Develop a Chemical Hygiene Plan 8 .

refrigerators & other engineering controls •Waste Handling and Spill Response •Chemical waste handling & disposal procedures •Location & availability of spill kits & emergency checklists •Spill response procedures 9 . storage cabinets.Training Requirements Labs are required to supplement course material with sitespecific information & training including: •Specific Work Practices •Chemical hygiene plan/lab manual •Location & availability of MSDSs •Specific lab safety work practices or SOPs •Training whenever new hazards are used in the lab •Personal Protective Equipment •Instruction on appropriate PPE & how to use it •Location & availability of PPE & maintenance of reusable PPE •Lab Equipment •Location & operation of eyewash &/or shower stations •Use of fume hoods.

Chemical Hygiene Plan • Must Include: • Designation of a Chemical Hygiene Officer • Exposure control measures • Measures to ensure properly functioning fume hoods & equipment • Staff training on hazard awareness & measures available to protect themselves • Provisions for medical consultation & examination • Respiratory protection program • Recordkeeping procedure • Hazard identification system 10 .

react with the container.Safe Practice: Maintain a Chemical Inventory! Conduct a yearly inventory of chemicals and update the file of material safety data sheets (MSDS) to prevent the accumulation of orphaned chemicals Some of these chemicals become unstable. slowly degrade or evaporate 11 .

PA 1-800-555-1212 12 .You Have the Right to Know! OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard requires that ALL Containers Must be Labeled With: Chemical Name & Physical/H ealth Hazards Name & Address of the Manufacturer & Emergency Contact Numbers 100 Main St.. Philadelphia.

Types of Labels NFPA Diamonds and HMIS Bars are Color & Number Coded with Hazard Information DOT Symbols Are Usually Found on Shipping Cartons 13 .

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) • An MSDS Must Be on File & Available for Each Chemical in the Lab. • An MSDS lists: – – – – – – – – Product Identity Hazardous Ingredients Physical Data Fire & Explosion Hazard Data Reactivity Data Health Hazard Data Precautions for Safe Handling & Use Control Measures 14 .

What Should the Ideal Laboratory Look Like? • Practices • Equipment & Ventilation 15 .

General Ventilation Supply Air Diffusers & Room Air Exhausts Should be Located So As to Avoid Intake of Contaminated Air Windows Should be Operable 16 .

Local Ventilation Fume Hoods Used For Operations that Give Off: • Noxious Odors • Flammable or Poisonous Vapors HOW DOES YOUR VENTILATION MEASURE UP? 17 .

Safety Showers and Eyewashes Must Be Available in All Lab Areas That Use or Store Chemicals Which Are Corrosive or an Irritant to the Eyes or Skin Combination Eye Wash & Drench Hose Units at the Sink are Now Available 18 .

Match the Extinguisher to the Risk! Fire Extinguishers Must Be:   Clearly labeled to indicate the types of fire they are designed to extinguish.  Class ABC Extinguishers Should Be Located: –At the Laboratory Exit –Within 50 Feet of Any Point in the Lab. Visibly inspected monthly and maintained annually.  Class D Extinguishers Are Required for Combustible Metals. 19 .

Means of Egress/Exit Two or more well.marked & unobstructed evacuation exits are recommended in a lab. 20 .

 Consideration should be given to installing ground-fault circuit interrupters on electrical circuits within 6 feet of water sources. exposed electrical wiring.It’s Shocking!  There should be no accessible live. Electrical Safety in the High School Lab 21 .

Chemical Storage Safe Storage of Chemicals is a Necessity in Every School Laboratory!    Minimizes Exposure to Students and Staff to Corrosive and Toxic Chemicals Lessens the Risk of Fire Prevents the Mixing of Incompatibles & the Creation of an Emergency Situation 22 .

The “Don’ts” of Chemical Storage!  Avoid storing any chemical above eye level  Don’t store incompatible chemicals together  Don’t store chemicals near sources of heat or sunlight Don’t store chemicals in the hoods or acids on metal shelves   Avoid storing anything on the floor. especially glass bottles 23 .

Biology Storage 24 .

So. You’re in Charge! • How would you organize and store chemicals in your perfect lab? 25 .

Ideal Storage Area SetUp NA. LI Acids Bases Room Should Have: Oxidizers •Eye Wash •Safety Shower •Emergency Phone Dry Chemicals •Fire Extinguisher Spill Materials Metal Salts Nitrates Flammables Cabinet 26 .

Booms. Brooms. Pails & Bags  Absorbent – such as Diatomaceous Earth  Neutralizers – for Acids & Alkalis  Mercury Spill Control Kit 27 .Be Prepared for Small Incidental Spills Chemical Categories Found in Most Secondary Schools Include: – Organic Solvents – Acids – Alkalis (Bases) – Mercury Proper Incidental Spill Control Equipment Includes:  Spill Control Materials Such As Spill Control Pillows.  Scoops. etc. Pads.

Certain Spills Aren’t for Quick Clean-up • As a science teacher or lab specialist. 28 . or small spills. – Follow the notification. • For large or especially hazardous spills: – Quickly assess whether there are any injured persons and attend to any person who may have been contaminated. evacuation and emergency medical treatment procedures for your school. you should only respond to incidental chemical releases. – Evacuate the immediate area until the hazardous release has been characterized and controlled.

Waste Chemical Disposal • Requires: – Proper storage– same rules apply – make sure waste chemicals are compatible – Proper labeling – tags should be placed on bottles name of chemical – Pre-planning – know what waste you’re creating prior to carrying out experiments. minimize purchases – Record-keeping – of all waste chemicals on hand and those already picked up for disposal 29 .

How to Assess Your Classroom for Hazards • Using the Checklist • Working with Your Union 30 .