Every laboratory door should be posted with an up-to-date yellow emergency information sign that lists the names of key personnel working in the laboratory and information (i.e., telephone numbers) on how to reach them in the event of an emergency. It is the responsibility of laboratory supervisors (with the assistance of group safety officers) to ensure that these signs are updated regularly. If you need to have an Information Sign posted on your laboratory, contact the Chemical Hygiene Officer.
To help identify and correct unexpected hazards ad to prevent future accidents, it is necessary that personnel prepare written reports describing the circumstances of all serious accidents or all incidents that might have resulted in a serious accident.
One copy of the report should be submitted to the Department Chemical Hygiene Officer and one copy should be given to the supervisor of the laboratory in which the accident took place. Reports should be filed within a week of the date of the accident.
Written accident reports must be prepared using the form on the next page following any of the following incidents:
1. Fires that require the use of a fire extinguisher or require sounding a fire alarm.
2. Any accident that results in an injury requiring medical attention.
3. Any spill of a hazardous substance that takes place outside a designated area. Any accidental release of a Particularly Hazardous Substance requires the filing of an accident report.
The investigation of accidents is done not to assign blame to individuals but to reveal the factual circumstances related to the accident. Accident investigations are conducted by the Chemical Hygiene Officer in collaboration with EHS. The incident scene should be examined before the physical evidence is disturbed, cleaned up, or removed. Unknown spills or residues will be sampled. Blueprints, circuit diagrams, or other relevant documents will be reviewed if needed. Employees involved in the accident and other witnesses will be interviewed and asked to provide written reports. Conditions or circumstances deviating from normal will be noted. All hypotheses of cause will be listed. Based on the review of the incident, past operating experience, and employee recommendations, the proximate cause of the accident will be determined. Finally, corrective and preventive action will be recommended. Suggestions will be made for correction of the immediate problem. Changes might be suggested to reduce the likelihood that a similar incident will recur. During the investigation all concerned individuals should avoid unwarranted conclusions that create a false impression of certainty, statements that can be interpreted as opinions of legal position or liability with respect to the incident, and unnecessary discussion of rumors as the accident report is being prepared.
Members of the Department should notify their Group Safety Officer and/or laboratory supervisor of any potentially hazardous situations or practices they are aware of in the laboratory. Safety issues involving the entire Department should be brought to the attention of the Chemical Hygiene Committee (see Part III.B).
E. Accident/Incident Report Form (use reverse side for more space)
WHAT OCCURRED (brief description of incident):
PERSONNEL INVOLVED (Name/s and Phone #/s) ____________________________________
WHEN (date and time of incident): ______________________________________________________
WHERE (Building and room number): __________________________________________________
POTENTIAL/SEVERITY (rate low, medium, high): ______________________________________
DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT/INCIDENT:
ROOT CAUSE OF ACCIDENT/INCIDENT:
RECOMMENDATIONS (what can be done to prevent similar incidents):
Name and Signature
Submitted by: Employee(s) ______________________________________________ Date: ________________
Supervisor ______________________________________________ Date: ________________
Reviewed by: Chemical Hygiene Officer ________________________________ Date: ________________
Other ______________________________________________ Date: ________________
Chapter X. Glossary of terms and symbols
ACGIH American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists. Publishes "TLV's, Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances in Workroom Air Adopted by ACGIH for 1979," ACGIH, Cincinnati, OH, 1979.
Acute An adverse effect or injury to health that occurs immediately or shortly after a single or short term exposure to a material or condition.
Cancer Uncontrolled tissue growth resulting in formation of malignant tumors.
Carcinogen A substance capable of causing cancer.
CFR Code of Federal Registry.
Chronic An adverse effect, injury, or illness with symptoms that develop after long term exposure to a material or condition.
Combustible Able to catch fire and burn.
Corrosive chemicals Chemicals that are capable of causing damage to skin, eyes and respiratory epithelium by contact with the chemicals or its vapors.
Developmental hazard An agent that interferes with the development of an individual before or after birth.
Embryotoxic A substance that is poisonous to the unborn organism or fetus.
Environmental monitoring The measuring of concentrations of airborne hazardous substances.
Flammable Capable of being easily ignited and of burning.
Highly toxic A chemical that has an: LD50 by ingestion of more than 50 mg/Kg or less; LD50 by contact of more than 200 mg/Kg or less; LC50 by inhalation of 200 ppm or less, or 2 mg/liter or less.
Irritant A chemical that causes a reversible inflammatory effect on living tissues by chemical action at the site of contact.
Laboratory A work place where relatively small quantities of chemicals are being used on a non-production basis.
Laboratory Scale Work with chemicals that can easily and safely manipulated by one person.
LC50 (Lethal Concentration 50%) The concentration of a substance that causes death in 50% of the animals exposed.
LD50 ( Lethal Dose 50%) The dose that causes death in 50% of the animals exposed.
MSDS Material Safety Data Sheet
Mutagen A substance capable of changing cells in such a way that future cells generated are affected.
NEC National Electrical Code.
NFPA National Fire Protection Association
OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the regulatory branch of the department of labor concerned with employee safety and health.
PEL Permissible Exposure Limit. The allowable concentration in the work place that is considered a safe level of exposure for eight hour shift, 40 hours per week.
pH A measure of how acidic or basic a substances is on a scale of 1 being the most acidic to 14 being the most basic.
Sensitizers Agents that can cause an allergic reaction with repeated exposure over time.
Sterility Changes made in male or female reproductive systems resulting in the inability to reproduce.
Teratogen A substance that causes a deformity in fetal growth if significant exposure exist during pregnancy.
TLV or TWA Threshold Limit Value or Time Weighed Average. The amount of exposure allowable for an employee in an eight hour work day.