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an accident involving t-butyl lithium
In 2010, four researchers from the University of Missouri sustained minor injuries after an explosion caused by the spontaneous combustion of hydrogen and nitrogen gases
Nearly 6,000 people die from job-related injuries (17 people a day in the U.S. in 2008) 4.4 million more suffer occupational injuries and illnesses each year in the U.S.
To protect people- it’s a moral responsibility
To comply with the law- government regulations require it Good safety is good business Safety is a catalyst for organizational excellence
For every $1.00 invested in a work safety and health program, $3.00$6.00 dollars are saved as injuries, illnesses and fatalities decline, medical costs and workers compensation costs decrease and productivity increases
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): To protect
human health and the environment
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA): To make
employers responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees
Addresses “Occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals in laboratories” Provides guidelines to ALL laboratory workers using hazardous chemicals in an “investigative” application (29 CFR 1910, subpart Z) Does not apply to laboratory uses of hazardous chemicals which provide no potential for employee exposure - Impregnated Test Media (e.g. dip-and-read tests) - Commercially prepared kits (e.g. pregnancy test kits)
The location of the Chemical Hygiene Plan Signs and symptoms associated with exposures to hazardous chemicals in the laboratory
Location and availability of known reference material on the hazards (physical and health), safe handling, storage, and disposal of hazardous chemicals
List of the policies and standard operating procedures to ensure that employees are protected from harm due to chemicals Includes training, PPE, housekeeping, laboratory inspections, chemical segregation, recordkeeping, etc. Written, developed and implemented by UCONN Located at http://ehs.uconn.edu/chemplan.html
Training needs to be provided:
At the time of an employees initial assignment to a work area where hazardous chemicals are present situations
2. Prior to assignments involving new exposure
Refresher training needs to be completed every year. Online refresher training is available at:
- An employee develops signs or symptoms associated with a hazardous chemical - When exposure levels exceed the action level/permissible exposure limit (PEL) for an OSHA regulated substance - When a leak, spill or explosion results in a hazardous exposure
All medical examinations shall be performed by or under the direct supervision of a licensed physician and shall be provided without cost to the employee, without loss of pay and at a reasonable time and place
Each lab should designate its own Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO) CHO is responsible for implementing the policies and procedures in the Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) Ultimately it is the responsibility of EVERY LAB WORKER to follow the safe work practices in the CHP
Hazard- any existing or potential workplace condition that by itself or by interacting with other variables can result in death, injury, property damage or other loss. Types of Hazards - Health - Physical - Biological (e.g. bloodborne pathogens, mold, etc.) - Ergonomic (e.g. repetition, vibration, work area design)
Before working with any chemical, each worker should understand it’s properties, characteristics, hazards, and handling precautions
Hazard Identification1. Assess all laboratory areas for potential hazards 2. Prevent harmful situations - Use Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) to identify chemical-specific hazards - Implement controls to reduce or eliminate hazard
MSDS- a written or electronic document that contains details of the hazards associated with a chemical, and gives information on its safe use. MSDS is the MOST important tool in hazard identification Must be written in English No standard format
Required for EVERY chemical in the lab
- Hard copy - Link to an electronic form
Chemical name, trade name, synonyms and CAS number (Chemical Abstract System) Manufacturer information List of hazardous ingredients
Exposure limits (OSHA PEL) Conditions under which chemical will burn, explode, melt or become dangerous gas Normal appearance and odor of chemical Fire fighting measures
Spill/Leak procedures Entry routes Health Hazards Medical conditions that can be aggravated by exposure Prevention of exposure (handling, storage, PPE and disposal)
Signs/symptoms of exposure, what to do if exposed
Date MSDS last updated
Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) – An exposure limit enforced by OSHA as a legal standard. Most PEL’s are expressed as 8 hour average airborne concentrations of substances to which it is believed most workers may be exposed for a working lifetime (30years) without developing serious illness (e.g. PEL for acetone is 1000ppm (2400mg/m3).
Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Short-Term Exposure Limits (STELs) are exposure limits set by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). (e.g. TLV for acetone is 500ppm, STEL 750ppm)
Administrative- minimize worker exposure by using policies, procedures and rules as standard operating procedures (e.g. housekeeping, self-inspections, workplace
Engineering- design the workplace to reduce or eliminate hazards (e.g. fume hoods, substitution, isolation,
Personal Protective Equipment- provides a barrier between the worker and the hazard (e.g. gloves, goggles,
face-shields, earplugs, protective footwear, etc.)
Health Hazard- means a chemical for which there is statistically significant evidence based on at least one study conducted in accordance with established scientific principles that acute or chronic health effects may occur in exposed employees.
Physical Hazard- a characteristic of a chemical that does not manifest itself when that chemical is exposed to an individual.
Target Organ Chemicals Carcinogens Corrosives
Fire/Explosion - Pyrophoric - Flammable (FP < 100°F) - Combustible (FP > 100°F) Oxidizers Water Reactive Electrical Noise Radiation Sharps/Piercing Objects Slips/Falls
Absorption Ingestion Injection
Routes of Entry
Dose Frequency Combined Effects Stress
Behavior Change Breathing Difficulty Change in Complexion/ Skin Color Coughing Drooling Fatigue /weakness Irritation of eyes/nose/ throat/skin Headache Nausea
Sweating Tightness of chest Coordination difficulty Dizziness Diarrhea Irritability Light-headedness Sneezing Dermatitis
BEFORE working in the laboratory you should know:
1. Emergency Evacuation Route - Out of the Lab - Out of the Building - Meeting Place 2. Locations of fume hoods, spill response kits, first aid kits, safety showers, eyewash stations, etc. 3. Review and understand the MSDS for each chemical being used and the hazards associated with it.
Chemical Inventory- a list of every chemical (including gas cylinders) present in a specific laboratory Can be electronic or hard copy
Should contain at minimum:
- Name of the chemical
- Location of the chemical in the lab (e.g. left storage cabinet) - Approximate amount of the chemical (e.g. acetone 5-gallons)
Document changes to inventory as needed
Incompatible chemicals should not be stored together
Chemicals should be segregated into distinct groups based on their chemical properties:
Flammable/Ignitable Acids Bases Oxidizers
Water Reactive Toxics Nonhazardous
Segregating chemicals by alphabetical order often times does not minimize hazards
Flammables need to be stored in an approved cabinet or refrigerator Nitric Acid and Perchloric Acid are oxidizers and need to be stored with other oxidizers Glacial acetic acid is both combustible and corrosive and the University prefers that it be stored in the flammable cabinet Perchloric acid should be handled in a hood specifically designed for perchloric acid use
Peroxides are highly reactive materials that may become shock-sensitive explosives Peroxides can form from exposure to air and light Peroxides can form even though the containers have not been opened Formation of peroxides in ethers is accelerated in opened and partially emptied containers. Refrigeration will not prevent peroxide formation
Peroxides may detonate when combined with other compounds or when disturbed by unusual heat, shock or friction
Examples: - Diethyl Ether - Tetrahydrafuran - Sodium/Potassium Amide - Potassium metal - Dioxane - Picric Acid
Identify chemicals that form peroxides Store in tightly sealed containers and place in a cool place in the absence of light Visually check for crystalline solids before use Label containers with the date received and the date first opened Discard before manufacturer’s expiration date If you suspect that peroxides have formed, do not open the container. Call for help.
Conduct all operations that may generate irritating and/or hazardous air contaminants inside a hood Keep all apparatus and chemicals at least 6 inches back from the face of the hood Keep the hood sash closed as much as possible Do not store chemicals or apparatus in the hood Do not use the hood as a waste disposal method (e.g. volatilize chemicals) Do not remove hood sash or panels Keep the slots in the hood baffle free of obstruction by apparatus or containers
- Corrosive - Explosive - Flammable - Reactive - Toxic
- Asphyxiation - Potential energy of cylinder - Compatibility between valve and regulator fittings
Contents of the cylinder should be clearly marked Store cylinders upright and secure them with a chain, strap, or cable A cylinder cap or regulator valve should always be in place Store in a cool, dry, wellventilated area (no cold rooms) free from sources of ignition Separate and secure full and empty containers
During transport, cylinders should be secured to an appropriate handcart Only one cylinder should be moved at a time Cylinders should never be rolled or dragged The cover cap should be screwed on hand tight and remain on until the cylinder is in place and ready for use ALWAYS use safety goggles when handling gas cylinders
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Cryogenic Liquid- a cryogenic liquid is a liquid with a normal boiling point below -238°F (-150°C) Common cryogenic liquids found at universities include: - Nitrogen - Oxygen - Hydrogen - Carbon Monoxide
- Tight-fitting goggles/face shield - Thermally insulated or leather gloves (loose-fitting) - Closed-toe footwear
- Do not plug, remove, or tamper with any pressure relief device - Do not store in a container with tight fitting cap - Dispense only into approved Dewars
- Gases are colorless and odorless which make them hard to detect - Store in a well ventilated area
Work areas should be kept clean and free from obstruction. Hands should be washed after every experiment, before touching any non-contaminated area or object, and before leaving the laboratory area. Access to exits, emergency exits, aisles, and controls should never be blocked. Work areas should be cleaned at the end of the experiment and at the end of the day. Food or drink is not allowed in the laboratories
Hazardous Waste- is a waste with properties that make it dangerous or potentially harmful to human health or the environment Includes materials that are: - Abandoned - Unknown - Inherently waste-like EPA (40 CFR 262.11) requires that any person who produces or generates a waste must determine if that waste is hazardous (e.g. Ignitability, Corrosivity, Reactivity, Toxicity)
Every waste container must:
1. Contain the words “Hazardous Waste” 2. List the specific name for each chemical in the container (NO SYMBOLS OR ABBREVIATIONS) 3. Have a tight-fitting cap or lid. Waste containers should be closed when not actively adding waste. 4. Be stored in a secure location 5. Be stored with compatible chemicals 6. Be stored at or near a green “Satellite Accumulation Area” sign 7. Store liquid waste in secondary containment tubs
Label a clear Ziploc bag with green “Connecticut Regulated Waste” sticker Wear protective gloves, a laboratory coat, and chemical goggles Place ethidium bromide gels or contaminated debris in a clear Ziploc bag. Call for pick-up when bag is half full Place ethidium bromide liquid in sturdy, nonleaking container with green label
Seal bag or container when not in use Wash hands thoroughly after handling EtBr, even if gloves are used
According to the EPA, a container of a non-acute hazardous waste is considered “EMPTY” when:
1) All wastes have been removed using commonly used practices such as pouring,
pumping, aspirating, and draining
2) No more than 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) of material remains in the container or liner 3) No more than 3% by weight of the container remains for containers with a capacity
of 119 gallons or less
If all three criteria are met, the label on the container should be defaced and the container should be discarded in the glass receptacle in the lab
If any of the three criteria are not met, the container should be properly labeled and disposed of as hazardous waste
Acutely hazardous wastes (referred to as P-listed chemicals by the EPA) require greater attention at the time of disposal, since many have highly poisonous or reactive properties. A list of acutely hazardous chemicals is located at: http://www.epa.gov/osw/hazard/waste types/listed.htm ALL EMPTY CONTAINERS OF ACUTELY HAZARDOUS WASTE SHOULD BE LABELED PROPERLY AND DISPOSED OF AS HAZARDOUS WASTE.
All broken glass should be disposed of in suitable glass waste receptacles in the labs Sharps (e.g. razors blades, syringes, hypodermic needles, pipettes, etc.) should be disposed of in approved sharps containers Sharps container types/sizes are available through the Biological Health & Safety website at:
Available online at http://ehs.uconn.edu/cw c/request.php Call before the waste container is full Chemical Waste Pickups are conducted on M/W/F mornings (Storrs)
Relocate- If it is safe to do so, relocate people in immediate
Alarm- Pull the building fire alarm to alert others. Move to a
safe location. Call 911 immediately.
Confine- If it can be done safely, close all doors, windows
and other openings to confine the fire. Shut off fuel sources such as piped gases and compressed gas cylinders as you evacuate.
Evacuate- Evacuate building. Do not use elevators. Report
to your designated meeting site. Notify emergency response personnel if others are trapped or left behind in the building.
3. 4. 5.
Close off room Post NO ENTRY sign on door to lab Relocate to safe location Call 911 Do not re-enter area until instructed to do so by the fire department or other emergency personnel
Ensure you’re not in danger Use proper PPE Control the source and confine the spill to a small area using spill kit supplies Place debris in an appropriate container, tightly seal or close container, attach a Hazardous Waste Tag Place in your Satellite Accumulation Area and contact EH&S for Pick-up
For serious injuries and true emergencies call 911 Stock first aid kits
- Band-Aids - 4x4 gauzes - Rolled bandages - Ace bandages
Test eye washes weekly
Fire extinguishers and respirators are only to be used by appropriately trained personnel
Wash eye thoroughly with water using an emergency eyewash Forcibly hold eyes open to ensure effective wash behind both eyelids for at least 15 minutes After 15 minutes, obtain medical attention. Bring or send MSDS or other source of contaminant information to physician’s office If dust, metal, paint or wood chips, cover or close eye and report to SHS Report injury to your supervisor
Remove contaminated clothing Wash skin thoroughly with water using a faucet or emergency shower Take care not to break the skin For chemical and thermal burns, flush with cold water, if indicated in MSDS For biological, blood, or radiological exposure, use soap and water Obtain medical attention if necessary. Bring or send MSDS to physician’s office Report the injury to your supervisor
- Skin that has become dried, reddened, and itchy or exhibits a rash - Tearing or burning of the eyes - Burning sensations of the skin, nose or throat. - Headache, dizziness, cough
Course of Action
- Move to fresh air - Get immediate help (911)
Chemical Health & Safety
- Stefan Wawzyniecki- 486- 1110- Stefan.W@uconn.edu - Denis Shannon- 486-3115- Denis.Shannon@uconn.edu - Brent Lewchik- 486-4927- Brent.Lewchik@uconn.edu - Mich Colgan- 486-2691- Mich.Colgan@uconn.edu - David Judd- 486-1804- Dave.Judd@uconn.edu
Electronic Mailing List - LISTSERV@UCONNVM.UCONN.EDU - LABSAF-L@UCONNVM.UCONN.EDU
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