Lab Hygiene Plan


The Plan
Logs for Inspection of Safety Equipment - Appendix A
Suggested Chemical Storage Pattern - Appendix B
Storing Student Chemical Samples Between Lab Meetings - Appendix C
The Chemistry Color-Coding System - Appendix D
Non-Injury Incident Reporting Form - Appendix E


I. The Plan


The purpose of this plan is to ensure a safe working environment for faculty, staff and students in biology, chemistry and other labs where hazardous materials are used in significant quantities.


1. Safety Equipment and Supplies


Faculty will immediately inform Science Lab Assistant of malfunctioning or broken equipment.


1.1. Essential Equipment and Supplies


A. Student Labs

Each lab shall contain:

• Visibly marked exits.

• Visibly marked fire extinguishers and fire blankets.

• Easily read and highly visible emergency exit procedures.

• Posted safety rules in large print.

• Other emergency procedures, posted and highly visible, including procedures for fire, accidents with chemicals and chemical spills.

• A first aid kit accessible and stocked.

• Appropriate spill kits for mercury, acids, bases and organic solvents, kept in a designated positions, clearly marked and readily accessible.

• Separate containers, clearly marked for (i) broken glass, (ii) sharps, and (iii) paper and other trash not previously specified.

• Appropriate PPE available for normal lab operations (see Section 1.2, below).

• Shades or coverings for windows, including windows in doors, in the event the safety shower is in use.

• A location for lab coats and aprons.

• A location for students to safely store personal items.

• Signs on windows that are not viable exits. For example, "Window does not open".

• Proper NFPA or HMIS signage on outer doors and cabinets for highest hazard chemicals possibly used or contained in the designated area.

• Appropriate materials for clean up and decontamination of biohazards


B. Preparation Labs

Each lab shall contain:

• Visibly marked fire extinguishers and fire blankets.

• Easily read and highly visible emergency exit procedures.

• Posted safety rules in large print.

• A first aid kit accessible and stocked.

• Appropriate spill kits for mercury, acids, bases and organic solvents, kept in a designated position, clearly marked and readily accessible.

• Separate containers, clearly marked for (i) broken glass, (ii) sharps, and (iii) paper and other trash not previously specified.

• Appropriate PPE available for normal lab operations (see Section 1.2, below).

• Proper NFPA or HMIS signage on outer doors and cabinets for highest hazard chemicals possibly used or contained in the designated area.


C. Chemical Storerooms

Chemical storerooms shall contain:

• Appropriate PPE.

• Spill kits for acids, bases and solvents.

• Visibly marked ABC fire extinguishers.

• Proper NFPA or HMIS signage on outer doors and cabinets for highest hazard chemicals stored in the designated area.


1.2. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)


A. PPE Requirements

• PPE shall be worn by Science Lab Assistants according to common sense and prudent practices. • Students and faculty shall wear PPE according to standards set by the lab activity either at the beginning of the semester, or in the lab-by-lab protocols.

• Anyone entering a lab area while activities are being performed will wear PPE in accordance with the requirements of that lab activity.


B. Types of PPE Available for Use

• Goggles and safety glasses must meet ANSI standards (stamped with Z87.1) for use in biological and chemical lab activities.

• Gloves of appropriate size and composition must be available. It is recommended that nitrile and latex gloves be available for various lab activities. Nitrile gloves offer the greatest protection for chemistry lab activities. Heat resistant gloves should be available for handling of hot glassware.

• Aprons and lab coats


1.3. Safety Inspections


Logs for safety inspections are located in Appendix A.Instructions on how to test eyewashes and safety showers are included in Appendix A.


A. Items to be Checked on a Weekly Basis:

• Eyewashes

• Safety showers

• Hazardous waste storage areas

• Fire extinguishers (are they still present in their proper location). Operational inspections are handled by the RMO.

• Room lighting (submit work order for repair or bulb replacement promptly)


B. Items to be Checked at the End of Every Semester:

• Aprons and lab coats (properly dispose of damaged or contaminated items)

• Fire blankets

• First aid kits (working on getting standardized check)

• Spill kits (promptly replace damaged, low or missing stock)

• Goggles and safety glasses (properly dispose of damaged or contaminated items)

• Safety signs and posters

• "Notice to Employees" notice

• Emergency gas shut-off


C. Items to be Checked at Behest of RMO:

• Room ventilation

• Hood ventilation

• Fire extinguishers


2. Equipment


2.1. Essential Equipment


Where appropriate, the following equipment must be available:

• Sturdy step stools for accessing supplies on high shelves.

• Sturdy lab carts for transporting supplies and for waste disposal.

• Safety spark-proof refrigerators for chemicals are desirable; ordinary household refrigerators are not acceptable.

• Ice machines clearly marked with "Not for Human Consumption".


SSOs, with the assistance of Science Lab Assistants, will work to assess the need for these items and others.


2.2. Care and Maintenance

• When possible, do not store sensitive electronic or optical equipment in same room with chemicals.

• Repair equipment promptly; if beyond repair, dispose of promptly (unless parts can be salvaged for use).

• Do not use leaky chemical containers.

• Maintain plugs and cords on electrical equipment. Have receptacles repaired promptly as needed. • Properly secure gas cylinders.


3. Chemicals


All chemicals must be labeled according to the ACC Hazardous Communications Program. All chemicals must be properly disposed of according to the ACC Hazardous Waste Program.


3.1. Storage


A. Guidelines for Science Lab Assistants:

• Chemicals in primary containers should be stored according to their chemical properties. (see Appendix B)

Chemistry: Chemicals in secondary containers, for use in the lab, should be stored according to experiment, when appropriate. For example, 12 M HCl should not be stored with other chemicals for an experiment, even if used as is in that experiment.

• Flammable chemicals are stored in ventilated, fire-resistant cabinets.

• Acids are stored in ventilated, corrosive-resistant cabinets; nitric acid is stored in its own ventilated, corrosive-resistant cabinet.

• Concentrated bases are stored a separate ventilated corrosive-resistant cabinet.

• Poisonous chemicals are locked up in a secure cabinet in the storeroom and poisonous chemicals with very high health hazards should not be stored/used in the lab room.

• Very hazardous chemicals should be kept in small quantities.

• Keep minimum amounts of flammable chemicals in the student labs.

• Water-reactive chemicals are stored where they will not get wet.

• Large containers are stored on lower shelves.

• All wastes are stored in the fume hood when possible.


B. Guidelines for Faculty and Science Lab Assistants:

• Storage of student samples will follow procedures in Appendix C.

• Student samples are never stored in student drawers or any other inappropriately ventilated area.


3.2. Inventory Maintenance

• Stock should only contain chemicals, in reasonable quantities (approximately a 2 year supply) that are currently used for lab and demonstration purposes.

• Chemistry: The chemical inventory of the chemistry department will be managed and maintained by institution of the "Color Coding System" (see Appendix D).


4. Neatness and Cleanliness


4.1. Faculty

Faculty shall:

• Ensure students properly dispose of chemicals. The Science Lab Assistant will make available (1) waste container signage and (2) specific procedures for waste disposal.

• Ensure students clean their glassware, drawers and work areas.

• Ensure common areas are clean at the end of the lab.

• Ensure lids are on all containers and are fully closed.

• Ensure accidents and spills are promptly and properly cleaned up. Always follow hazardous spills clean up procedures in Section XXX of this manual.


4.2. Science Lab Assistants

Science Lab Assistants shall:

• Clean glassware on a regular basis.

• Ensure spilled chemicals on shelves, benches, and carts are cleaned up promptly.

• Ensure benches are cleaned after every lab if chemicals or biohazards are used or if the benches are messy (students should have primary responsibility).

• Ensure student drawers are clean and neat (students should have primary responsibility).

• Keep aisles in labs, preparation rooms, and storeroom free and clear of clutter.

• Hoods are kept neat and clean.

• Labs and preparation rooms should be organized to ensure that faculty and other staff could readily access materials.

• Ensure that exits (emergency or otherwise), smoke alarms and sprinklers, if they exist, are not blocked.

• Clearly label all drawers in preparation labs/rooms and student labs with contents of the drawers. • Ensure keys to locked cabinets and drawers are accessible to instructors.

Biology: Autoclave and dispose of biowaste daily.

• Check quality and integrity of containers for sharps and broken glass to ensure liners are intact.


5. Lab Preparation Procedures


• Lab preparation procedures should be kept in a single, consistent location, accessible to faculty and other staff.

Chemistry: Lab materials (unknowns, etc.) should also be well labeled, arranged by course and lab number, and available to instructors.

• Lab chemical inventory (WACI) and MSDS's should be available to instructors and students.

• Special precautions, on a lab-by-lab basis, shall be available to instructors that can include, but are not limited to: information about waste disposal, special chemical or physical hazards associated with the lab activity of the day and appropriate first aid measures.


6. Other Considerations


• The chemical storeroom will not be accessible to students.

• Labs are locked when classes are not meeting.

• Chemical storerooms are locked unless there is an immediate need.

• Preparation rooms are locked in the absence of a Science Lab Assistant or other authorized individual

• Extension cords will not extend across walkways.

• Power strips are mounted off the floor and away from all potential water hazards.

• Ensure that labeling clearly distinguishes between food and chemical refrigerators.

• Do not store food in chemical refrigerator or vice versa.

• Do not eat at lab benches.


7. What to do if things are not as they should be...


7.1. Facilities and Safety Issues


If the following hazardous conditions occur prior to or during lab activities involving use of chemicals or biohazards cancel lab and immediately notify by phone or in person the Campus Manager, Science Lab Assistant, Lab Coordinator, Science Safety Officer and Risk Manager. Within one working day, fill out the incident report in Appendix E and send a copy to all of the above.


• Room ventilation is not functioning.

• Fume hoods are not functioning.

• Eyewashes or safety showers are not functioning.

• Fire extinguishers or fire blankets are missing.

• Water or lights are not functioning.

• Gas leaks.


7.2. Other Issues


If the following conditions exist before the beginning of lab, immediately notify (if possible) the Science Lab Assistant. Within three working days, fill out the incident report in Appendix E and send a copy to the Science Lab Assistant, Lab Coordinator, and Science Safety Officer.


• Spilled chemicals or biohazardous materials are present anywhere in the lab. Spills are assessed and cleaned up according to ACC Spill Procedures (see Section XXX of this manual).

• Unknown/unlabeled chemicals are present in the lab.

• Open chemical containers are present.

• Equipment is malfunctioning or broken.

• Electrical outlets are not functioning properly (collectively or singly).

• Messes are left by previous classes. Other types of issues may be reported on the same form.


7.3. Accidents and Injuries


Report all injuries involving students, faculty and staff to the Campus Police. They will fill out an incident report. Follow procedures outlined in the ACC Hazardous Communications Program regarding serious injuries.


Appendix A. Logs for Inspection of Safety Equipment


Included are log sheets (to be duplicated) for weekly or semesterly checks on safety equipment. Log sheets shall be filled out at required intervals, and kept in the lab logbook.


Weekly Safety Inspection (PDF)

Semester Safety Inspection (PDF)


Inspection Log Instructions for Testing Proper Eyewash/Safety Shower Operation


1. Eyewash check


• Properly running eyewashes have two or more streams of water exiting the fountains with enough force for the water to arch up and meet in the middle upon descent.

• On a weekly basis, run the eyewash until water is clear.

• Once a semester, run the eyewash for 15 minutes to ensure proper pressure is maintained throughout the test.


2. Safety shower check


• A properly functioning safety shower has water streaming uniformly from all holes in the showerhead. • On a weekly basis, run the shower until water is clear.


Appendix B. Suggested Chemical Storage Pattern


This is a recommendation for storage of primary chemical containers in the chemical storeroom. Other, similar categorizations can be found in chemical catalogs. Always store chemicals according to manufacturer recommendations.


I. Inorganic Chemicals


a. Metals, hydrides

b. Acetates, halides, sulfates, sulfites, thiosulfates, phosphates, and halogens (bromine should be stored in an appropriately ventilated cabinet or hood)

c. Amides, nitrates (except ammonium nitrate), nitrides

d. Hydroxides, oxides, silicates, carbonates, carbon

e. Sulfides, selenides, phosphides, carbides, nitrides

f. Bromates, chlorates, perchlorates, perchloric acid, chlorites, hypochlorites, peroxides, hydrogen peroxide

g. Arsenates, cyanides, cyanates

h. Borates, chromates, manganates, permanganates

i. Acids (except nitric, but including acetic acid) - ventilated cabinet

j. Nitric acid - ventilated cabinet

k. Concentrated bases - ventilated cabinet

l. Sulfur, phosphorus, arsenic, phosphorus pentoxide


II. Organics


a. acids, anhydrides, peracids

b. alcohols, glycols, amines, amides, imines, imides

c. hydrocarbons, esters, aldehydes

d. ethers, ketones, ketenes, halogenated hydrocarbons, ethylene oxide

e. epoxy compounds, isocyanates

f. peroxides, hydroperoxides, azides

g. sulfides, polysulfides, sulfoxides, nitriles

h. phenols, cresols


Types of storage devices:


• Open shelving must have lips

• Shelving with doors (cabinets) do not require lips

• Ventilated cabinets

• Corrosive cabinets

• Spark-proof refrigerators


Appendix C. Procedures for Storing Student Chemical Samples Between Lab Meetings


The ACC HazCom Program requires that all chemicals in secondary containers (this includes student samples) be labeled with:


• chemical name(s)

• physical and health hazards, including target organs


Below are the specific procedures that will be used to store student samples from one lab period to the next.


(1) The students will label their individual containers with their name, the instructor name, course number (e.g., CHEM 2423) and meeting time/day.

(2) The Science Lab Assistant will provide a large container (box, pan, bucket, etc.) in which to store all the samples from that section. This large container will be labeled with: (a) the experiment number, (b) the name(s) of the chemicals and (c) the health and physical hazards, including target organs.

(3) The Science Lab Assistant will make available a storage area for these chemicals, which may be: (a) a functioning fume hood, or (b) the chemical storeroom. In some instances, upon approval from the Safety Officer or Risk Management Office, student samples may be stored in the lab room. Under no circumstances will chemicals be: (a) stored in student drawers or (b) stored without proper labeling.

(4) Once the student samples are no longer needed, the instructor will have the students properly dispose of the chemicals. The instructor or the Science Lab Assistant should promptly dispose of chemicals left by students who have dropped the course.


Appendix D. The Chemistry Color-Coding System


(1) Chemicals in primary bottles (from the manufacturer) will be marked with a colored dot according to experiment. Dots can be purchased from any office supply outlet.


For example: red = CHEM 1405 blue = CHEM 1411 green = demonstrations


(2) Chemicals containers that are not marked with dots, by process of elimination, are not being used and should be disposed of in a lab pack.


Appendix E. Non-Injury Incident Reporting Form


Click here to view form (PDF)