E.The American Chemical Society's "Safety in Academic Chemistry Laboratories"
ACS’s "Safety in Academic Chemistry Laboratories" is another useful text. This manual presents information similar to that found in Prudent Practices, but in a considerably condensed format.
F.Hazardous Waste Management
Extensive and detailed policies regarding hazardous waste management are specified in the University's guidebook "Hazardous Chemical Waste Management, 5th edition”. Please refer to this text for approved waste handling procedures.
G. Emergency Procedures for Chemical Spills
Complete spill response procedures are described in the Hazardous Chemical Waste Management Guidebook. However, the quick reference guide is included for convenience in this Laboratory Safety Plan.
Chemical Spill Quick Reference Guide
Leave the spill area; alert others in the area and direct/assist them in leaving.
Without endangering yourself: remove any victims to fresh air, remove contaminated clothing and flush contaminated skin and eyes with water for 15 minutes. If anyone has been injured or exposed to toxic chemicals or chemical vapors, call 911 and seek medical attention immediately.
Close doors and isolate the area. Prevent people from entering spill area.
Determine if the spill is within your capability to clean up safely
If yes, follow your lab’s procedures for spill clean-up.
If not, continue on with the remainder of this guide.
From a safe place, call 911 and report the spill (Twin Cities Campus 911 operators will contact on-call DEHS personnel).
Be prepared to give your name, phone and location; location of the spill; the name and amount of material spilled; extent of injuries; safest route to the spill.
Stay by that phone, DEHS will advise you as soon as possible.
DEHS or the Fire Department will clean up or stabilize spills, which are considered high hazard (fire, health or reactivity hazard). In the case of a small spill and low hazard situation, DEHS will advise you on what precautions and protective equipment to use.
Until emergency response personnel arrive: block off the areas leading to the spill, lock doors, post signs and warning tape, and alert others of the spill.
Post staff by commonly used entrances to the area to direct people to use other routes.
2.2 Biohazard Procedures
All researchers working with human blood or body fluids, or other pathogens must follow the university’s Bloodborne and Other Pathogens Exposure Control Plan, and complete Bloodborne Pathogens Training, available on the web. All researchers working with infectious material including attenuated lab & vaccine strains (bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, prions), biologically-derived toxins, rDNA, and artificial gene transfer must follow requirements of the University’s Biosafety Program detailed in the Biosafety Manual and on the Institutional Biosafety Committee’s website.
A. University of Minnesota Biosafety Program
The University’s Biosafety Program is made up of three components; researchers must implement all three components in their SOPs.
Biosafety principles and practices as outlined in the UMN Biosafety Manual;
CDC/NIH's text Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL).
Individual lab-specific Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that:
specify the biohazards being used
identify the material handling steps that may pose a risk of exposure (sharps, injecting animals, centrifugation, aerosol production, transport, etc.)
describe equipment and techniques used to reduce the above risk of exposure
give instructions for what to do in case of an accidental exposure/spill
list wastes that will be generated and how to properly dispose of wastes
B. Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)
The IBC is charged under Federal Regulations (NIH) and University of Minnesota Regents’ Policy with the oversight of all teaching and research activities involving:
Artificial gene transfer
Infectious agents including attenuated lab & vaccine strains
Biologically derived toxins
See the IBC web site for procedures to apply for approval for the above work.
C. Select Agents
Labs in possession of organisms or toxins that are federally designated as select agents are required to be registered with the Centers for Disease Control if quantities exceed the exemption amounts. See the Biosafety Section of the DEHS web site for a list of select agents, exemption quantities, and procedures for their use.
D. Additional Biosafety References
World Health Organization (WHO) Laboratory Safety Manual, available on the web at, http://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/biosafety/WHO_CDS_CSR_LYO_2004_11/en/
National Research Council’s text Biosafety in the Laboratory:Prudent Practices for Handling and Disposal of Infectious Materials (1989), available on the web at http://books.nap.edu/books/0309039754/html/R1.html#pagetop.
National Institutes of Health’sGuidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules (Sept. 2009).
Biological Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) available at http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/msds-ftss/index.html.
2.3 Radioactive Procedures
All researchers using radioactive materials at the University of Minnesota must:
obtain a permit for the possession and use of radioactive materials (contact the University of Minnesota Radiation Protection Division at 612-626-6002);
complete required training modules; and
comply with the radiation policies and procedures of the university (contained in the Radiation Protection Manual).
The Radiation Protection Manual contains information on a number of topics including license committees, the permitting process, purchasing procedures, transfer procedures, general safety, personnel dosimetry, waste management, emergency management (spill control), record keeping, and regulatory guides on occupational exposure and prenatal exposure.
Training is required for all personnel who require access to areas where radioactive materials are used or stored. This training can be completed on line at: http://www.dehs.umn.edu/rad_radmat_training.htm.
2.4 Other Lab Safety Procedures
Other lab and general safety information is available on the University of Minnesota website as indicated below:
Emergency Eyewash and Safety Shower Installation (https://cppm.umn.edu/sites/cppm.umn.edu/files/division13_10.pdf)
Personal Protective Equipment for Animal Care and Use (https://ohs.umn.edu/personal-protective-equipment-animal-care-and-use)
Respiratory Protection for Lab Animal Allergens (https://ohs.umn.edu/sites/ohs.umn.edu/files/laboratory_animal_allergens_related_respiratory_protection.pdf)
Research Occupational Health Program (ROHP) (https://ohs.umn.edu/rsrchocchlthprgrm)
Lock Out/Tag Out (http://www.dehs.umn.edu/train_factsheet_lkouttagout.htm)
Respiratory Protection Program (hhttps://ohs.umn.edu/rsprtryprotctnprgrm)
Hearing Conservation Program (https://ohs.umn.edu/hrngcnsrvtnprgrm)
2.5 Laboratory-Specific Standard Operating Procedures
Each PI must have written Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the research protocols conducted in his or her laboratory. Like the LSP, the SOPs must be accessible to all researchers. Keeping hard copies in the lab or having them on a computer in the laboratory fulfills the accessibility requirement. SOPs developed through DEHS will be posted periodically in Appendix E.
Laboratory-specific SOPs are valuable research tools that supplement the departmental LSP. The process of writing SOPs requires an individual to think through all steps of a procedure and perform a risk assessment before beginning work. The SOP provides a written means to inform and advise researchers about hazards in their work place, allows for standardization of materials and methods, and improves the quality of the research.
SOPs should include exposure controls and safety precautions that address both routine and accidental chemical, physical or biological hazards associated with the procedure. A template for writing new SOPs is available in Appendix F and guidance for writing biologically-related SOPs is available on the Biosafety section of the DEHS website.
Researchers should develop written procedures to deal with events such as loss of electrical power (affecting fume hoods, coolers etc.) or other utilities (water), or temporary loss of personnel due to illnesses such as pandemic flu. Guidance on factors to consider when developing shut-down plans is included in the Lab Hibernation Checklist in Appendix G.
2.8 Closing out a laboratory
Any researcher leaving the University needs to properly close down his/her lab. If the principal investigator does not take proper care to clean-up the laboratory, then the department for which they worked under becomes responsible. We strongly encourage departments to develop administrative controls to prevent this from happening. A good tool to use is the laboratory closeout checklist available on the DEHS website. Otherwise, DEHS does offer laboratory clean-up services for an hourly fee.
Chapter 3 – How to Reduce Exposures to Hazardous Chemicals DSO’s – note and delete: This section does not require extensive tailoring. However, Departmental Safety Officers for some departments have provided descriptions and floor plans that identify the location of equipment such as fume hoods, biological safety cabinets, glove boxes, showers, eyewashes, fire extinguishers, etc. Engineering controls, personal protective equipment, hygiene practices, and administrative controls each play a role in a comprehensive laboratory safety program. Implementation of specific measures must be carried out on a case-by-case basis, using the following criteria for guidance in making decisions. Assistance is available from DEHS.
3.1 Engineering controls
A. Fume Hoods
The laboratory fume hood is the major protective device available to laboratory workers. It is designed to capture chemicals that escape from their containers or apparatus and to remove them from the laboratory environment before they can be inhaled. Characteristics to be considered in requiring fume hood use are physical state, volatility, toxicity, flammability, eye and skin irritation, odor, and the potential for producing aerosols. A fume hood should be used if a proposed chemical procedure exhibits any one of the following characteristics:
flammable vapors might approach one tenth of the lower explosion limit
materials of unknown toxicity are used or generated
the odor produced is annoying to laboratory occupants or adjacent units
Procedures that can generally be carried out safely outside the fume hood include those involving the following:
water-based solutions of salts, dilute acids, bases, or other reagents
very low volatility liquids or solids
closed systems that do not allow significant escape to the laboratory environment
extremely small quantities of otherwise problematic chemicals. The procedure itself must be evaluated for its potential to increase volatility or produce aerosols.
In specialized cases, fume hoods will contain exhaust treatment devices, such as water wash-down for perchloric acid use, or charcoal or HEPA filters for removal of particularly toxic or radioactive materials. Fume hoods must not be used for work with infectious agents.
B. Safety Shields
Safety shields, such as the sliding sash of a fume hood, are appropriate when working with highly concentrated acids, bases, oxidizers or reducing agents, all of which have the potential for causing sudden spattering or even explosive release of material. Reactions carried out at non-ambient pressures (vacuum or high pressure) also require safety shields, as do reactions that are carried out for the first time or are significantly scaled up from normal operating conditions.
Biological Safety Cabinets (BSCs), are the primary means of containment for working safely with infectious microorganisms. Cabinets are available that either exhaust to the outside or recirculates HEPA filtered air to the laboratory. They are not to be used for working with volatile or hazardous chemicals unless they are specifically designed for that purpose and are properly vented. Generally, the only chemical work that should be done in a BSC is that which could be done safely on a bench top involving chemicals that will not damage the BSC or the HEPA filter. For proper cabinet selection and use see, the CDC publication Primary Containment for Biohazards and the DEHS website.
D. Other Containment Devices
Other containment devices, such as glove boxes or vented gas cabinets, may be required when it is necessary to provide an inert atmosphere for the chemical procedure taking place, when capture of any chemical emission is desirable, or when the standard laboratory fume hood does not provide adequate assurance that overexposure to a hazardous chemical will not occur. The presence of biological or radioactive materials may also mandate certain special containment devices. High strength barriers coupled with remote handling devices may be necessary for safe use of extremely shock sensitive or reactive chemicals.
Highly localized exhaust ventilation, such as is usually installed over atomic absorption units, may be required for instrumentation that exhausts toxic or irritating materials to the laboratory environment.
Ventilated chemical storage cabinets or rooms should be used when the chemicals in storage may generate toxic, flammable or irritating levels of airborne contamination.
3.2 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
A. Skin Protection
As skin must be protected from hazardous liquids, gases and vapors, proper basic attire is essential in the laboratory. Long hair should be pulled back and secured and loose clothing (sleeves, bulky pants or skirts) avoided to prevent accidental contact with chemicals or open flames. Shoes with closed-toed and heel covering must be worn by all individuals occupying laboratory area. Full-length pants or skirts are required to cover all skin that could be exposed during a spill.
Lab coats are routine equipment for all laboratory workers. Remember that lab coats should be worn to protect employees against both chemical and biological hazards. Working in a biosafety level 1 laboratory does not excuse an employee from wearing a lab coat. Lab coats are required when working with radioactive materials, hazardous chemicals and biologicals. The laboratory coats must be appropriately sized for the individual and be buttoned to their full length. Laboratory coat sleeves must be of a sufficient length to prevent skin exposure while wearing gloves.
Flame resistant laboratory coats are recommended when working with pyrophoric materials or large amounts (greater than four (4) liters) of flammable liquids. It is recommended that cotton (or other non-synthetic material) clothing be worn during these procedures to minimize injury in the case of a fire emergency.
It is the responsibility of the employer to purchase lab coats and provide laundry service for employees. Lab coats cannot be taken home for laundering.
Gloves made of appropriate material are required to protect the hands and arms from thermal burns, cuts, or chemical exposure that may result in absorption through the skin or reaction on the surface of the skin. Gloves are also required when working with particularly hazardous substances where possible transfer from hand to mouth must be avoided. Thus gloves are required for work involving pure or concentrated solutions of select carcinogens, reproductive toxins, substances which have a high degree of acute toxicity, strong acids and bases, and any substance on the OSHA PEL list carrying a "skin" notation.
Since no single glove material is impermeable to all chemicals, gloves should be carefully selected using guides from the manufacturers. General selection criteria are outlined in Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Disposal of Chemicals (National Research Council, 2011), and glove selection guides are available on the DEHS website. However, glove-resistance to various chemical materials will vary with the manufacturer, model and thickness. Therefore, review a glove-resistance chart from the manufacturer you intend to buy from before purchasing gloves. When guidance on glove selection for a particular chemical is lacking, double glove using two different materials, or purchase a multilayered laminated glove such as a Silvershield or a 4H.
B. Eye Protection
Eye protection is required for all personnel and any visitors whose eyes may be exposed to chemical or physical hazards. Side shields on safety spectacles provide some protection against flying particles, but goggles or face shields are necessary when there is a greater than average danger of eye contact with liquids. A higher than average risk exists when working with highly reactive chemicals, concentrated corrosives, or with vacuum or pressurized glassware systems. Contact lenses may be worn under safety glasses, goggles or other eye and face protection. Experts currently believe the benefits of consistent use of eye protection outweigh potential risks of contact lenses interfering with eye flushing in case of emergency.
C. Respiratory Protection
Respiratory protection is generally not necessary in the laboratory setting and must not be used as a substitute for adequate engineering controls. Circumstances which may require the use of a respirator include the following:
Working with chemicals that are highly toxic and highly volatile or gaseous
Experimental protocols that require exposure above the action level (or PEL) that cannot be reduced by engineering or administrative controls
A rare experimental situation that potentially involves Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH) concentrations of chemicals
Prior to use of respiratory protection, researchers must contact DEHS to conduct a hazard assessment, and enroll in the University of Minnesota Respiratory Protection Program through the Office of Occupational Health and Safety.
3.3 Hygiene Practices
Eating, drinking and chewing gum are all strictly prohibited in any laboratory with chemical, biological or radioactive materials. Researchers must also be careful to restrict other actions (such as applying lip balm, rubbing eyes or using iPods or cell phones) which could inadvertently cause exposure to research materials. Consuming alcohol or taking illegal drugs in a research laboratory are strictly prohibited, as such actions potentially endanger the health and safety of not only the user, but everyone in the building. Infractions will be met with serious disciplinary action.
Important Notes Regarding PPE
Before leaving the laboratory, remove personal protective equipment/clothing (lab coat and gloves) and wash hands thoroughly. Do NOT wear laboratory gloves, lab coats or scrubs in public spaces such as hallways, elevators or cafeterias.
3.4 Administrative Controls
Supervisors shall consider the hazards involved in their research, and in written research protocols, detail areas, activities, and tasks that require specific types of PPE as described above. Researchers are strongly encouraged to prioritize research so that work with hazardous chemical,
biological or physical agents occurs only during working hours (8 am – 5 pm, Monday through Friday). After-hours work (on nights and weekends) should be restricted to nonhazardous activities such as data analysis and report writing. If hazardous materials must be used at nights or on weekends, ensure that at least one other person is within sight and ear-shot to provide help in an emergency. Undergraduate workers are prohibited from working alone in the laboratory unless there is a review and formal approval by the department’s DSO and/or safety committee.
Persons under 18 years of age are not allowed in university laboratories or other areas where hazardous materials are present or hazardous activities take place except under the following circumstances:
1. is employed by the University or has been formally accepted as a volunteer worker; and
has been trained in safe laboratory procedures; and