Chemical Hygiene Plan

It is the policy of Lafayette College to provide a safe and healthy workplace in compliance with all applicable environmental, health and safety laws and regulations.  The College’s Chemical Hygiene Plan has been prepared in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulation Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories, 29 CFR 1910.1450, commonly known as the Laboratory Standard.

The risks associated with laboratory work are significantly reduced or eliminated when proper precautions and practices are observed. The Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) was developed to manage and mitigate these risks and to aid faculty, staff and students in maintaining a safe environment in which to teach and conduct research.


The CHP applies to all laboratories and academic work spaces where hazardous substances are used. Each laboratory or work space using hazardous materials is required to have a copy of the CHP readily available to all personnel. Each laboratory worker must be familiar with the contents of the CHP and the procedures for obtaining additional information needed to perform their duties safely.

Individual departments may adopt this CHP or write their own plan, as long as the requirements of the Laboratory Standard are met. It is assumed that if a department has not developed their own plan, that they have adopted and implemented the College’s CHP.

division of responsibilities

Department Chairpersons are responsible for providing a safe and healthy work environment and for maintaining safety programs in their departments. The Chairperson has the final responsibility for the safety and health of employees, students, visitors and other personnel conducting work in their department.

Chemical Hygiene Officers work with faculty and staff within their departments to develop and implement appropriate chemical hygiene policies and practices. The CHO assists the Chairperson with the implementation of the CHP.

Faculty and Staff will follow the procedures outlined in the CHP and all standard operating procedures developed under the Plan. Faculty and staff that supervise students must ensure that students working in their laboratories have received lab safety and hazardous waste management training and are following all policies and procedures outlined in the Plan.

Students and student workers must attend laboratory safety and hazardous waste management safety training annually. Students and student workers are responsible to follow all pertinent safety rules when working in the laboratory.

Environmental Health and Safety‘s primary role is to manage regulatory compliance with all federal, state and College policies involving EHS issues. EHS acts in an advisory capacity to individual departments to help provide a safe and healthful workplace, including: chemical and biological waste disposal pickups, safety training, and consultation.

Topics covered by the plan

General Procedures for Working in a Laboratory

  • General Safety Principles
  • Health and Hygiene
  • Housekeeping
  • Work Conducted Outside Normal Hours / Working Alone
  • Chemical Segregation
  • General Chemical Storage
  • Specialized Chemical Storage: Flammable Liquids, Compressed Gases, Corrosive Materials, Oxidizers and Organic Peroxides, and Acutely Toxic Storage
  • Transporting Hazardous Substances
  • Glassware and Sharps
  • Unattended Operations
  • Systems Under Pressure
  • Children and Pets in Laboratories

Hazardous Classification Systems

  • Safety Data Sheets
  • Chemical Labeling: Globally Harmonized System (GHS) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Rating System

Classes of Hazardous Chemicals

  • Physical Hazards
  • Health Hazards
  • Particularly Hazardous Substances (PHS)

Laboratory Safety Controls

  • Engineering Controls: chemical fume hoods, ventilation, laminar flow hoods, and biological safety cabinets
  • Administrative Controls
  • Safety Controls: fire extinguishers, safety showers and eyewash stations

Hazard Assessments and Personal Protective Equipment

  • Hazard Assessments
  • Personal Protective Equipment: eye and face protection, hand protection, protective apparel, respirators

Prior Approval Requirements

Training and Information

Medical Consultation and Examination

Hazardous Material Disposal

  • Chemical Waste
  • Infectious/Biohazardous Waste
  • Radioactive Waste

Emergency Procedures, Accidents and Chemical Spills

  • Emergency Procedures
  • Accident Reports
  • Chemical Spill Response
  • Handling Leaking Gas Cylinders
  • Control of Fires

  • Appendix A: Classes of Chemical Hazards
  • Appendix B: Emergency Response and Laboratory Shutdown Procedures

Additional Resources

CAMEO Chemicals was developed jointly by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as a database of hazardous chemical datasheets and a chemical incompatibility calculator.

The free program can be downloaded as a desktop software system or accessed via web: