Chemical Hygiene Plan

This Chemical Hygiene Plan is a State of Ohio mandate and references by adoption OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.1450, Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories, commonly referred to as “The OSHA Laboratory Standard” Although the regulation is an employee protection standard primarily concerned with chemical hazards in the laboratory, the relevance of the Laboratory Standard to students and visitors cannot be ignored. Furthermore, the regulatory model used to develop this compliance document relied heavily on Prudent Practices for Handling Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories, a publication that addresses physical as well as chemical hazards in a laboratory. Therefore, the Miami University Chemical Hygiene Plan is written for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors in laboratories where hazardous chemicals are used or stored and considers a broader aspect of safety relative to those chemicals


The practices and procedures in the CHP extend to students, visiting faculty, and others that use hazardous chemicals in laboratories and are based on Ohio law, federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulation, and generally accepted industry standards.


Action Level

A concentration of a specific substance, calculated as an 8-hour time weighted average (TWA) or short term excursion level (STEL), which initiates activities to reduce exposure.

Chemical Hygiene Officer

A person qualified by training or experience to provide technical guidance in the development and implementation of the CHP.

Chemical Hygiene Plan

A written program developed and implemented which sets forth procedures, equipment, and work practices intended to protect laboratory personnel from the physical and health hazards presented by hazardous chemicals in the laboratory.

Designated Area

An area that may be used for work with select carcinogens, reproductive toxins or other hazardous chemicals that have a high degree of acute toxicity. A designated area may be the entire laboratory, an area of a laboratory, or a specified device (e.g., a laboratory hood)

Hazardous Chemical

A chemical for which there is 1) statistically significant evidence, based on at least one study conducted according to established scientific principles, that acute or chronic health effects may occur in exposed persons or 2) scientifically valid evidence that it is a combustible liquid, a compressed gas, explosive, flammable, an organic peroxide, an oxidizer pyrophoric, unstable (reactive) or water-reactive and it could present a physical hazard (e.g., fire, explosion, asphyxiant).


A workplace where relatively small quantities of hazardous chemicals are used on a nonproduction basis.

Laboratory Scale

Work with hazardous chemicals in which containers and equipment are designed or typically intended for use by one person.

Laboratory Use of Hazardous Chemicals

Handling or use of such chemicals in which all of the following conditions are met:

  • Chemical manipulations are carried out on a laboratory scale.
  • Multiple chemical procedures or chemicals are used.
  • Procedures are not part of nor simulate a production process.
  • Protective laboratory practices and equipment are available and in common use to minimize the potential for human exposure to hazardous chemicals.

Laboratory Personnel

Persons with laboratory assignments that involve laboratory use of hazardous chemicals who may be exposed to hazardous chemicals in the course of his or her assignment.

Protective Laboratory Practices and Equipment

Procedures, practices, and equipment accepted by laboratory health and safety experts as effective in minimizing the potential for personnel exposure to hazardous chemicals.

Reproductive Toxins

Chemicals which affect the reproductive capabilities including chromosomal damage (mutations) and effects on fetuses (teratogenesis). More information and a short list of common reproductive toxins can be found on the Reproductive Toxins page.

Select Carcinogen

Select carcinogens are those substances that are:


President: The President of Miami University has ultimate responsibility for the CHP and shall provide endorsement and support for its implementation at the departmental level.

Chemical Safety Committee: The Chemical Safety Committee (CSC) addresses compliance with local, state, and federal mandates relative to the safe procurement, use, storage, and disposal of chemicals for teaching and research in academic departments. The CSC will not address matters relative to chemical safety beyond academic teaching and research.

Dean and Department Chair: The Dean and Department Chair shall be responsible for implementing the CHP at the dean and department level and shall provide continuing support for chemical safety.

Laboratory Supervisor: The individual responsible for safety in the laboratory. The Laboratory Supervisor shall ensure that:

  • Laboratory personnel knows and follow chemical safety procedures.
  • Personal protective equipment is available and in good working order.
  • Appropriate training has been provided.
  • Facilities are adequate for use of hazardous chemicals being ordered.
  • Inspections of emergency equipment, chemical safety, and housekeeping are conducted.

Faculty Researcher: See Laboratory Supervisor above

Laboratory Personnel: Students, faculty, and staff that work in a laboratory are each responsible for planning and/or conducting operations in accordance with procedures established by the CSC and for practicing good personal chemical hygiene habits.

Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO): The CHO is responsible for the development and implementation of policies, practices, and procedures in compliance with the CHP. The CHO shall:

  • Monitor the use and storage of hazardous chemicals in the laboratory.
  • Ensure that appropriate audits are conducted.
  • Assist the Laboratory Supervisor in developing and maintaining a safe operation and adequate facilities.
  • Convey current legal requirements to the regulated community.
  • Maintain and improve the CHP.

General Laboratory Procedures

Personnel Activities

  • Act in a professional manner. Horseplay and practical jokes are expressly forbidden.
  • Identify unsafe conditions and have them corrected immediately.
  • Never block doorways, exits, aisles, hallways, emergency equipment, or access to electrical, gas, plumbing, or ventilation controls.
  • Never work alone at a potentially dangerous activity.
  • Escort visitors while in the laboratory. Visitors must be escorted by laboratory personnel who have responsibility for that visitor at all times. Visitors must observe all safety regulations.
  • Confine long hair and loose clothing.
  • Wear shoes that completely enclose the feet. Leather shoes are recommended. Sandals and open-toed shoes are not permitted.
  • Do not leave reactions/operations unattended unless the process is well understood and an approved procedure is used.

Equipment and Devices

  • Know the location and proper operation of safety devices.
  • Wear personal protective equipment. Inspect before use and replace if defective.
  • Use mechanical pipettes. Never pipette by mouth.
  • Utilize local exhaust devices (e.g., laboratory fume hood) when a potential for airborne contamination exists.

Avoiding Contamination

  • Prohibit eating, drinking, smoking, and applying cosmetics.
  • Do not taste chemicals. Avoid smelling chemicals.
  • Do not bring food for human consumption into the laboratory. Food products that are for research purposes must be labeled NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION.
  • Do not use ice from machines for laboratory use for food or drinks.
  • Do not use laboratory glassware or utensils for the storage, preparation, or consumption of food or drinks.
  • Wash hands before leaving the laboratory, using the restrooms, eating, smoking, etc.
  • Areas of exposed skin (e.g. forearms) should be washed frequently if there is potential of contact with chemicals.


  • Keep laboratories clean and uncluttered. Good housekeeping improves security and helps to prevent spills, breakage, and personal injuries and exposures.
  • Immediately respond to chemical releases using acceptable clean-up and decontamination methods.
  • Clean contaminated glassware frequently (e.g., daily).
  • Keep floors dry at all times.

Chemical Procurement, Distribution, and Storage


  • Chemical purchases must be approved by the Laboratory Supervisor before an order is made. Prior to purchasing, the following must be provided:
    • Appropriate training of laboratory personnel regarding the chemical(s).
    • Generally accepted storage and handling procedures.
    • Adequate facilities to safely handle and store the material.
    • Waste disposal procedures.
  • Information on proper handling, storage, and disposal of a chemical must be made available to laboratory personnel (via Safety Data Sheet (SDS), electronic format, or printed documentation).
  • No container shall be accepted without an adequate identifying label. The label shall include, as a minimum, the chemical name and an appropriate hazard warning (e.g., NFPA diamond or hazard classification).


  • At a minimum, an inventory shall be maintained for the following hazardous chemical or physical hazard classifications:
    • Chemical compounds identified as known human carcinogens by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
    • Acutely toxic chemical compounds identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as P-listed waste.
    • Chemical compounds that degrade over time and become chemically unstable (i.e., explosive).
    • Compressed gases.
  • A physical inventory of the above classifications shall be made periodically (e.g., monthly). Details of the inventory shall include, but not be limited to, chemical name, quantity, purchase date, date opened/test date (if applicable), and a storage location within the room. The inventory shall be made available upon request by the Chemical Safety Committee.
  • The inventory of all other hazardous chemicals should be kept to a minimum.


  • Keep amounts of hazardous chemicals to a minimum.
  • All chemical containers must have legible, securely attached labels.
  • Peroxidizables and other compounds that may become unstable over time shall be dated when received and dated again when opened/tested/stabilized.
  • Keep chemical containers closed, including waste, when not in use.
  • Identify unwanted and outdated items in storage for disposal. Refer to the Chemical Waste Guide for disposal procedures.
  • A Factory Mutual (FM)-approved liquid flammable storage cabinet must be used to store combustible solvents when quantities exceed standards adopted by the State of Ohio.
  • Compressed gas cylinders must be secured firmly at all times. Place cylinder caps on cylinders when not in use or when moving cylinders.
  • Segregate incompatible chemicals. At a minimum, store mineral acids, oxidizers, bases, flammables/combustibles, and water reactives in their own designated areas.

Hazard Identification

  • All chemical containers must have a legible, firmly attached label showing the chemical name and an appropriate hazard warning.
  • Labels on incoming containers of hazardous chemicals shall not be removed or defaced until the container is empty and prepared for disposal.
  • All SDSs shall be forwarded to and maintained by EHSO. Although SDSs are readily accessible, the campus community is encouraged to acquire health, safety, and environmental information from ChemWatch, a contracted web-based chemical database system.
  • A hazard review of new chemicals not previously used in the laboratory shall be completed before actual handling has begun. The review should be conducted by the Laboratory Supervisor and used to train affected laboratory personnel. The CHO may assist in the review.

Chemicals Developed in the Laboratory

  • A chemical compound developed in a Miami University laboratory shall be presumed a hazardous chemical and the requirements of this plan apply until it is tested and demonstrated to be non-hazardous.
  • If a chemical compound is a byproduct whose composition is not known, it shall be presumed a hazardous chemical and the requirements of this plan apply.
  • If a chemical compound is developed in a Miami University laboratory for use outside Miami University, the SDS and labeling provisions of the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard apply.
  • Laboratory personnel shall be provided the appropriate training as specified in employee information and training, for all chemical compound’s developed and used in the laboratory.

Environmental Monitoring

  • The CHO shall coordinate industrial hygiene activities through EHSO.
  • Human exposures to any chemical regulated by law shall not exceed the permissible exposure limits specified in 29 CFR Part 1910, subpart Z.
  • Human exposures to any chemical regulated by law shall be measured when there is reason to believe that exposure levels routinely exceed the action levels.
  • A monitoring strategy, as outlined in the NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods, or as set forth by a substance specific standard, shall be followed in the event environmental monitoring indicates an exceedance of the action limit.
  • Monitoring results shall be made available to affected laboratory personnel.

Inspections and Maintenance


  • Personal protection equipment must be inspected by the user before and after every use. At a minimum, that equipment includes, but is not limited to, eye protection (chemical splash goggles, safety glasses with side shields), gloves (chemical resistant and/or temperature resistant), outer garment (lab coat, apron).
  • Engineering controls that include laboratory fume hoods, safety shields, and solvent waste containers should be checked regularly and before each use. If the equipment or device is not functioning properly or is in a questionable condition, report the unit to the Laboratory Supervisor for repair or replacement. Note that facilities-related devices (e.g., laboratory fume hoods) will be periodically inspected or evaluated by qualified personnel.
  • Emergency equipment (e.g., eye washes, deluge showers, fire protection systems and devices, lighting) shall be periodically inspected, tested, and/or evaluated by qualified personnel.


  • Personal protection equipment must be kept in good working order. Repairs or replacement must occur as necessary to ensure equipment is free from chemical contamination and in a ready-to-use condition.
  • Engineering controls that contain, control, and remove chemicals and hazardous conditions (e.g., laboratory fume hoods, safety shields, spring-loaded solvent waste containers with spark arrestors) must be immediately repaired or replaced.
  • Mechanical, ventilation or electrical equipment that is not functioning properly, out of service, or under repair must be labeled, tagged, or posted to clearly identify the unit as OUT OF SERVICE. Equipment should be locked out, if possible, to prevent its use until repairs have been made. The equipment shall not be returned to service until repairs have been made by the appropriate service (e.g., Instrumentation Laboratory, Physical Facilities Department, service contractor).
  • Safety procedures established by a repair service must be followed.

Medical Program

Medical surveillance, including medical consultation and follow-up, will be provided whenever:

  • Environmental monitoring reveals personal exposure over the action level for a regulated substance having medical surveillance requirements.
  • Laboratory personnel develops symptoms that may be associated with an exposure to a hazardous chemical while working in a laboratory.
  • A spill, leak, or explosion results in the likelihood of an exposure, as determined by the CHO.

Examinations should be provided by or under the direct supervision of, a physician licensed in occupational medicine, at no cost to an employee, without loss of pay, and at a reasonable time and place. At a minimum, the examining physician should be provided with the following information:

  • The identity of the hazardous chemical(s) to which a person may have been exposed.
  • A description of the conditions under which the exposure occurred, including quantitative exposure data if available.
  • A description of the signs and symptoms of exposure experienced by the person exposed, if any.

When examinations or consultations are provided to employees, a written opinion from the examining physician should be provided to the CHO that includes:

  • Results of the examination and associated tests.
  • Recommendations for medical follow-up.
  • Any medical condition revealed that places the employee at an increased risk of exposure to a hazardous substance found in the workplace.
  • A statement that the employee has been informed of the results of the examination or consultation.

Chemical emergency response personnel shall participate in a medical surveillance program.

First aid kits should be maintained and checked periodically for expired or missing items.

The emergency 911 telephone system should be used for emergency assistance.

Personal Protective Equipment

Upon request, EHSO will assist in the selection and acquisition of equipment, training laboratory personnel, and establishing inspection and maintenance procedures.

Eye and Face Protection

  • Eye protection devices must meet the design and performance requirements of the American National Standards Institute (reference ANSI Z87.1).
  • Everyone participating in or observing work in chemical, physical, or combined chemical-physical laboratories involving caustic or explosive materials, hot liquid or solids, injurious radiations, or other hazards shall wear the appropriate ANSI Z87.1- approved eye protection (reference Ohio Revised Code 3313.643).
  • Inspect eye protection devices prior to use. Clean or replace as necessary.
  • Face shields, in addition to eye protection, are strongly encouraged when transferring or pouring hazardous chemicals. DO NOT USE face shields without wearing appropriate eye protection devices.


  • Glove requirements should be specified with laboratory procedures or protocols.
  • Chemical resistant gloves shall be worn whenever the potential for hazardous skin contact exists. See Personal Protective Equipment: Glove Selection for guidance in selecting chemical resistant gloves.
  • Heat resistant gloves shall be used for handling hot objects. They must not be worn when handling chemicals. Gloves containing asbestos shall not be used.
  • Abrasion resistant gloves (e.g., leather, Kevlar) should be worn when handling broken glass or for other potentially abrasive/sharp materials. They must not be worn when handling chemicals.
  • Before each use, gloves must be inspected for damage and contamination (e.g., tears, punctures, discoloration). If deficiencies are noted, clean or dispose and replace gloves before beginning work.
  • Gloves worn when handling chemicals must be removed before touching anything outside a potentially contaminated area (e.g., doorknobs, drawers, faucet handles).
  • DO NOT wear gloves outside the laboratory. If chemicals are being transported, place the chemicals in a non-contaminated secondary container (e.g., tray, bucket) and carry your gloves in the event of a spill.


  • Sandals, canvas, or open-toed shoes are not appropriate for use by laboratory personnel. Shoes should have a non-skid sole and enclose the entire foot.
  • Safety shoes should be worn if there is potential for injury from heavy objects, (e.g., drums or gas cylinders). Safety shoes must meet the current requirements of ASTM F 2412-05 and ASTM F 2413-05. Before each use, inspect safety shoes for damage, deterioration, and contamination. If deficiencies are noted, the shoes should be cleaned, repaired or replaced before work.

Protective Clothing

  • Laboratory coats or other protective outer garments should be worn by laboratory personnel whenever working with hazardous chemicals. Street clothes are not considered protective clothing.
  • Disposable protective clothing should be worn when working with highly toxic materials.
  • Before each use, protective clothing shall be inspected for contamination, damage, and deterioration. If deficiencies are noted, the clothing should be cleaned, repaired or replaced before use.
  • If a commercial laundering is used, it shall receive prior notification of potentially contaminated items.

Hearing Protection

  • Hearing protection is required whenever laboratory personnel is exposed to noise levels that exceed regulatory standards.
  • Noise reduction devices (e.g., ear plugs) must be inspected before each use and, if deficiencies are noted, the devices replaced.

Respiratory Protection

  • Before obtaining or using a respirator, contact the Environmental Health and Safety Offices. Respirators shall be issued according to the requirements set forth in Miami University’s Respiratory Protection Program.

Emergency Equipment


  • Laboratory personnel shall be familiar with the location, application, and operation of emergency equipment and devices that include eyewash fountains, safety showers, first aid kits, fire alarm pull stations, and fire extinguishers.

Eye Wash Fountains and Safety Showers

  • Eyewash fountains and safety showers shall be located where appropriate and in close proximity to chemical use areas.
  • Each unit should be tested and inspected at least annually.

Fire Protection

  • Access to fire extinguishers, fire alarm pull stations, and sprinkler heads must be unobstructed and their locations conspicuously marked where appropriate.
  • Fire protection systems shall be inspected in accordance with Ohio Fire Code.

First Aid Kits

  • First aid kits should be available and adequately stocked for the treatment of minor injuries or for short term emergency care. Each first aid kit must adhere to OSHA's minimum requirements.

Emergency Procedures

  • No universal plan will completely address all emergency situations. The most important component of emergency planning is prevention, from personnel training and facility inspection programs to engineering design of hazard prevention processes. The risks present in the laboratory include accidents, injuries, chemical releases, fires, and explosions.
  • If an immediate or potential threat to life and health exists, evacuate the building.
  • For emergency assistance, call 911 and provide the dispatcher with the following information:
    • Your name
    • Location
    • Nature of emergency
    • Number of victims and care being administered
    • Names of chemicals involved
    • Phone number that you are calling from
  • Reference published emergency management plans.

Standard Operating Procedures

In addition to the following generic laboratory procedures, Laboratory Supervisors should develop standard operating procedures specific to their research/operations protocol. Procedures should include an introduction to and purpose of the research/operation, a step-by-step process where extremely hazardous chemicals are involved, safe use, storage, and disposal practices, and reflect efforts that reduce or eliminate chemical exposures.

Personal Protective Equipment

Gloves: Gloves must be appropriate for the hazards encountered. If the hazard is not known, use two pairs of nitrile gloves at a minimum.

Eye/Face Protection: Chemical splash goggles shall be used when handling liquid chemicals. In additional to splash goggles, a face shield should be used when transferring or pouring hazardous liquid chemicals. Safety glasses with side shields are required in other situations where the threat of eye injury exists.

Clothing: Lab coats or chemical resistant aprons shall be worn when handling hazardous liquid chemicals.

Planning Chemical Laboratory Experiments

  • List all possible reactions including side-reactions before running an experiment.
  • Think through all reactants, intermediates, and products in terms of flammability, toxicity, and reactivity hazards.
  • Obtain safety information about reactants and by-products.
  • For each reactant, intermediate or product, ask: what is its flash point, flammability range, auto-ignition temperature, vapor pressure and vapor density? Does it decompose? If so, how rapidly and to what products? What is its stability in storage, to heat, light, water or humidity, metals, etc.? Is it impact sensitive? Is it toxic? If so, what is the route of entry (inhalation, ingestion, skin contact)? What protective measures are required? What is the recommended first aid treatment in the case of an accidental exposure?
  • About the reaction itself, ask: How violent will it be? What is the effect of catalysts or inhibitors? Will water or air affect the reaction?
  • If possible, determine the quantity and the rate of evolution of heat and gases to be released during the reaction.
  • Provide adequate cooling, ventilation, pressure relief and gas purging. If possible, isolate the reaction vessel and make frequent inspections of equipment during the reaction.
  • Follow recognized safe practices concerning protective equipment, housekeeping, the handling of hazardous chemicals and use of equipment.
  • If conducting an unknown reaction, always start with small quantities of material and carefully observe reaction characteristics, (i.e., temperature, color, viscosity and physical state).
  • Do not leave a hazardous system unattended.
  • What would happen and what should be done if: Electric power fails? Cooling system fails? Pressure gets out of hand? Water leaks into the system? Air leaks into the system? The reaction container falls and breaks or spills its contents?
  • Remember that in addition to explosions and fires, asphyxiation can be caused by the accidental combination of potentially dangerous substances.

Accident Reporting

  • Call 911 for emergency assistance when injuries requiring medical attention occur.
  • The Laboratory Supervisor and/or department representative should be informed of an accident after emergency assistance if needed, has been requested.
  • An Employee Injury and Illness Report must be completed and forwarded to Human Resources and to EHSO when an occupational injury or illness occurs.
  • All accidents and near misses should be reviewed and efforts to reduce the risks identified considered.


Records shall be maintained in accordance with departmental records retention schedules.


Training shall be provided to Laboratory Personnel at the time of their initial assignment to a work area where hazardous chemicals are present. Additional training shall be provided prior to the introduction of new chemicals to the work area. The training shall include, but not be limited to:

  • Storage and handling procedures
  • Emergency response and evacuation
  • Safety Data Sheets
  • Engineering controls
  • House keeping and personal hygiene
  • Personal protection equipment
  • Waste disposal

Additional training specific to a research or operation shall be provided by the Laboratory Supervisor.

Reference Materials

In addition to relevant regulatory standards, Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Disposal of Chemicals (ISBN 0-309-05229-7) has been adopted by the Chemical Safety Committee and shall be considered a source for generally accepted laboratory safety practices.

Although SDSs are maintained by Miami University, the contract services of ChemWatch: Chemical Database & management Systems, provides safety, health, and environmental information electronically.

Waste Disposal Procedures

The management of chemical waste by generating units at Miami University is described in the Chemical Waste Guide. Disposal of hazardous waste is managed by EHSO.


General Guidelines

  • General laboratory ventilation shall provide air flow into the laboratory (i.e., negative pressure to the hallway and offices).
  • Reactions that produce unpleasant and/or potentially hazardous air contaminants must be run utilizing local exhaust ventilation (e.g., within a fume hood).
  • A fume hood sash should be closed when no work is being performed in the hood. Raise the sash only as high as necessary to work comfortably in the hood or when adjustments to apparatus are required, and lower the sash when finished.

Fume Hood Failure Procedure

  • Immediately stop all work to prevent possible exposure.
  • Ensure that all chemical containers are sealed within the workspace.
  • Close the fume hood sash and post a sign on the sash stating that the fume hood is not functioning.
  • Notify the building point of contact who will contact the Physical Facilities Department Service Desk to open an emergency work order for repair.

Maintenance and Inspections

  • Daily or per use fume hood checks should include:
    • Visual check of the hood work area for items or accumulation that may affect hood efficiency.
    • Verification that the exhaust hood is functioning. If the hood is not equipped with a flow sensor (e.g., digital readout), place a 1-inch by 6-inch piece of soft tissue paper at the hood opening and observe it for airflow into the hood.
  • Periodic inspections. The quality and quantity of ventilation shall be evaluated upon installation, annually, and whenever a change in local ventilation devices are made.
    • Face velocity will be measured using an air velocity meter. Fume hoods that have an average face velocity of 100 linear feet per minute with a sash height of 8 to 15 inches are functioning optimally.
    • Other local exhaust hoods and devices will be evaluated using generally accepted industrial hygiene practices.
  • Ventilation systems (e.g., fan, ducting, and repairs of fume hoods) will be periodically evaluated by qualified personnel.

Working with Chemicals

It is impossible to anticipate all of the potential issues relative to experiments involving chemicals. When planning an experiment, rely on judgment and consultation with literature, fellow scientists, and safety professionals in determining which factors require particular attention. Adequate detail must be considered before any laboratory operations begin. Considering the following fundamental principles when working with chemicals:

  • Plan ahead. Identify potential hazards associated with an experiment.
  • Minimize chemical exposures. Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment and use adequate and functional engineering controls (e.g., fume hood).
  • Do not underestimate risks. Assume that any mixture of a chemical will be more hazardous (e.g., toxic, reactive) than its most hazardous component. Consider the hazardousness of all new compounds as unknown until determined.
  • Be prepared for accidents. Know what to do should an injury, chemical release, or uncontrolled violent reaction occurs.

Flammable Liquids


  • Vapors can form ignitable mixtures in air. Vapors can also travel great distances and be ignited by remote ignition sources flashing back violently to the source.
  • Many flammable liquids are also toxic by inhalation or skin contact.
  • Flammable liquids or their vapors can cause injury to the eyes, ranging from irritation to severe eye damage.


  • Storage is regulated by Ohio Fire Code. If quantities of flammable liquids exceed ten gallons, please consult EHSO.


  • Perform work with flammable liquids in a fume hood whenever possible.
  • Transfer of flammable liquids from bulk containers such as 55-gallon drums shall only be performed in adequately ventilated areas and where appropriate grounding and bonding for the containers is provided.
  • Spills of flammable materials must be controlled and cleaned up promptly to avoid vapor buildup and the increased risk of inhalation exposure, fire, or explosion.
  • Know the location and operation of emergency showers and eye washes.
  • In case of contact: Flush the affected area with large amounts of water for at least 15 minutes, remove contaminated clothing, call 911 for emergency assistance.

Corrosive Chemicals


  • Contact of the skin, eyes, or respiratory system with corrosive chemicals can cause severe irritation or burns. Ingestion can cause poisoning.


  • Segregate mineral acids and bases. Storing corrosive chemicals in appropriate cabinets with resistant trays or catch basins is recommended.
  • Segregate organic acids as they are typically flammable chemicals as well as corrosive.
  • Keep concentrated acids such as perchloric, nitric and sulfuric acids away from organic chemicals, paper, wood or other combustible materials to minimize the risk of fire or explosion.


  • Wear prescribed personal protection equipment.
  • Know the location and operation of emergency showers and eye washes.
  • In case of contact: Flush the affected area with large amounts of water for at least 15 minutes, remove contaminated clothing, call 911 for emergency assistance.
  • Always add acid to water when mixing.
  • Transport concentrated corrosives in a break resistant protective carrier.
  • Clean up drips and other residues as they occur.

Reactive Chemicals


  • Water reactives: React violently in contact with water.
  • Pyrophorics: Ignite spontaneously in contact with air.
  • Peroxidizables: Will develop explosive peroxides from air oxidation.
  • Picric acid: Will become shock sensitive and highly explosive if allowed to become too dry.
  • Azides: Both organic, inorganic, and some azo compounds can be heat and shock sensitive.

Refer to Prudent Practices Section 5.G.6 for a list of additional reactive and explosive materials requiring special attention.


  • Water reactive chemicals must be stored in accordance with manufacturer’s directions or generally accepted practices.
  • Pyrophoric materials must be kept in an atmosphere of inert gas or other generally accepted practice.
  • Peroxidizables should be stored at the lowest possible temperature consistent with their solubility or freezing point.
  • Liquids containing peroxides must not be stored at or lower than the temperature at which the peroxide freezes or precipitates.


  • Keep highly reactive materials in the laboratory only in amounts needed for planned experiments.
  • Wear prescribed personal protection equipment.
  • Read precautionary labels and understand handling instructions.
  • Handle reactives behind appropriate shielding and, when necessary, with adequate ventilation.

Compressed Gasses


  • Compressed gases contain large amounts of energy which can cause serious injury and physical damage.
  • Compressed gases may be flammable, toxic, corrosive, and chemical and/or simple asphyxiants.
  • Use and storage of liquid propane (LP) gas cylinders inside buildings are strictly prohibited.


  • Compressed gas cylinders must be kept in the upright position at all times with caps on when not in use.
  • Compressed gas cylinders must be firmly secured individually with straps, chains or stands designed especially for this purpose.
  • Keep incompatible classes of gases stored separately.


  • Transport cylinders only with caps in place, secured to suitable carriers.
  • Each cylinder must be matched with the appropriate fitting and regulator. The use of regulator adapters is prohibited.
  • Regulators must be fitted with check valves to prevent inadvertent mixing of gases and suck back into the cylinder.
  • Cylinder valves should always be opened slowly. Do not stand in front of regulators when opening cylinder valves.
  • Cylinder valves requiring special wrenches must have the wrenches attached to the valve while the cylinder is in use.
  • When a cylinder is no longer in use, shut the valve, relieve the pressure in the regulator, remove the regulator, and cap the cylinder.
  • Do not totally empty a cylinder. Leave residual pressure in the cylinder, use the gas cylinder tag as “Empty” and return it to the empty cylinder storage area or contact Chemical Stores (513-529-2880).

View Compressed Gas Cylinders for basic guidelines and rules on storing, moving, using, and marking compressed gas cylinders. 

Toxic Metals


  • Toxic exposures can result from inhalation, ingestion, and absorption.


  • The minimum quantity necessary for the experiment should be kept on hand.


  • Wear appropriate personal protection equipment.
  • Work in a fume hood or static hood enclosure.
  • Clean spills up immediately.

Carcinogens, Mutagens, Teratogens, and Reproductive Toxins


  • Exposures increase the risk of cancer, mutations, and adverse reproductive capabilities or outcomes.


  • Store these chemicals in a dedicated ventilated storage area.
  • Maintain the minimum quantity necessary for the current project. Dispose of unneeded materials immediately through EHSO.


  • Wear appropriate personal protection equipment.
  • Work with these chemicals only in designated areas.
  • Work only under adequate engineering controls.

Work with Substances of Moderate to High Chronic Toxicity or High Acute Toxicity

Use of Designated Areas

A designated area must be established for work with select carcinogens, reproductive toxins, and substances which have a high degree of acute toxicity.

The following procedures must be developed for all work with select carcinogens, reproductive toxins, and substances which have a high degree of acute toxicity.

  • The establishment of a “designated area”. This may be an entire laboratory or area of a laboratory or a device in the laboratory such as a hood. This area must be clearly marked.
  • Approvals required by the Chemical Safety Committee before conducting the project. (not yet adopted)
  • Control equipment (glove box, hood, etc.) required.
  • Proper storage procedures used.
  • Personal protection equipment required.
  • Procedures for retention of records on amounts of materials on hand and used and the names of the workers involved.
  • Procedures for the prevention of spills and accidents.
  • Procedures for emergency response.
  • Procedures for decontamination and the disposal of wastes.

Radioactive Materials and Radiation-Generating Equipment

Refer to the Radiation Safety Manual or contact the Radiation Safety Office for information regarding rules, regulations, and procedures addressing radioactive materials and radiation-generating equipment.