Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why do I need a Chemical Hygiene Plan?

A: The Chemical Hygiene Plan provides a basis to inform new laboratory workers about hazardous chemicals at your location. Chemical Hygiene Plan relieves laboratories from difficult duties required under other state and federal regulations.

Q: I have laboratories in several locations. How many Chemical Hygiene Plans do I need?

A: If the labs do similar work and are in the same building, a single Chemical Hygiene Plan is usually best. If a lot of information is specific to each lab or if the labs are in different buildings, consider whether the collected information would be confusing to the reader. If so, use more than one Plan.

Q: I have laboratories in several locations. How many Chemical Hygiene Officers do I need?

A: The Chemical Hygiene Officer should have the training or experience to provide technical guidance in development and implementation of the Chemical Hygiene Plan. One Chemical Hygiene Officer may cover several Chemical Hygiene Plans and a single Plan may have more than one Chemical Hygiene Officer if their duties are clearly delineated.

Q: Does the Chemical Hygiene Officer need to be a manager or supervisor?

A: No. The Chemical Hygiene Officer may come from anywhere on the organization chart. He or she may be anyone who is qualified by training or experience to provide technical guidance on the development and implementation of the Chemical Hygiene Plan.

Q: Will the MSDS library at the Safety Department fulfill my needs?

A: No. As with the Chemical Hygiene Plan, employees must have access to MSDS in their workplace at any time. The Safety Department will provide copies of any MSDS that you need to complete your collection.

Q: Do I need to create MSDS for any chemicals I produce in my laboratory?

A: No. You only need MSDS for chemicals that are supplied to you from commercial sources. You should identify the hazardous characteristics of chemicals that you produce and provide the information to laboratory workers. However, if you sell chemicals produced in your laboratory, the law requires you to provide an MSDS to the buyer and to label the material according to 29 CFR1910.1200. Your laboratory will also be subject to additional regulations. Shipping regulations may apply to the chemicals. Contact the Safety Department for more information 288-8411.

Q: Can we use respirators in the laboratory?

A: Protect against airborne contaminants by using a fume hood, glove box or other containment wherever possible. Selection and use of chemical respirators is complicated, requires professional assistance and often requires a medical clearance for the user. If you believe you need respirators for any reason, contact the Safety Department for assistance. Improper respirator use can be dangerous!

Q: Why do I need to document training?

A: Requiring people to acknowledge their training emphasizes its importance and helps motivate them to remember the information. State and federal inspectors usually judge training success by asking workers questions based on their training.


Mission Statement

The Risk Unit is responsible for evaluating loss exposures, assessing liability, handling claims, promoting internal controls and developing effective safety and health programs. The corporate and student insurance plans are managed by this unit.