CHP Control Measures - Safety
Laboratory ventilation is designed to provide protection from toxic gases, vapors, aerosols, fumes and dusts. All work with chemicals should be performed so that skin contact and the potential for vapor or dust exposure is minimized. For all practical purposes, this means that the many manipulations involving hazardous chemicals will need to be performed inside a laboratory ventilation hood.
Chemical fume hoods should be used during hazardous chemical use.
- PIs must ensure that chemical fume hoods are tested annually. This service is provided by the BUMED Industrial Hygienist (IH) servicing NPS.
- Chemical fume hoods must not be used if they do not pass inspection. They must be repaired and recertified prior to use. Chemical fume hood repair or replacement is accomplished through a public works work order.
- Chemical fume hoods should have a continuous monitoring device or alarm to indicate improper functioning.
- Chemicals normally used in a fume hood should not be used unless the fume hood is fully operational.
Biological safety cabinets shall be used for primary containment devices when working with infectious agents.
PIs are responsible for ensuring that these are tested and certified annually. Biological safety cabinets must not be used if they are not certified and must be taken out of service until they have been certified.
This testing is also provided by the BUMED IH servicing NPS. The NPS CHO or BUMED IH can provide a list of sources for new or replacement Biosafe cabinets when required.
Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be provided to all laboratory personnel by the PI to minimize chemical exposures. The PPE must provide protection from the specific hazards in the laboratory.
The following personal protective equipment will be readily available in or near laboratory areas where chemical operations are performed:
Employees are required to wear gloves when the potential for direct skin contact with hazardous chemicals, blood and other infectious materials exists. Gloves must be suitable for the materials being used. The NPS CHO or BUMED IH can provide guidance on selection of appropriate glove types.
Note: Gloves must be removed prior to leaving the immediate work area. Gloves must be removed prior to entering public areas such as hallways, elevators, etc., and hands washed to avoid inadvertently contaminating such public facilities. If you are carrying specimens, biohazards or chemicals in public areas, they should be placed in secondary containment to avoid the need for gloves.
- Eye Protection
This includes safety glasses, goggles and face shields. These are used to prevent contact of hazardous chemicals, blood and other infectious agents with the eyes, nose or mouth.
- Respirators (if applicable)
Respirators are used as a last resort to control exposure to inhalation hazards. Respirator use and type will be determined by the Respiratory Program Manager and BUMED IH and specified in the SOP, based on air monitoring results. If respirator use is required (i.e., exposure exceeds OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits), employees must be medically cleared to wear a respirator and be fit-tested and trained by the Respiratory Program Manager beforeusing a respirator.
Note: Personnel using dust masks must contact the Respiratory Program Manager. Dust masks do not require medical clearance or fit-testing; however, training is required.
All Personal Protective Equipment must be inspected by employees prior to each use. Supervisors (PIs) are responsible for ensuring proper use, storage, and cleanliness of respirators.
- Eyewash and body wash stations (report unavailability to the OSHE Directorate and NSAM Public Works)
- Chemical aprons
- Lab coats
- Fire extinguisher (report unavailability to the OSHE Directorate and NSAM Fire Marshal)
- Fire alarm (report unavailability to the OSHE Directorate and NSAM Fire Marshal)
- Telephone with an emergency contact phone list posted near it (provided by the department)
- Do not smell or taste chemicals.
- Ensure that appropriate eye protection and other appropriate personal protection are worn by all individuals entering the laboratory, including visitors when necessary.
- Vent apparatus which may exhaust toxic chemicals (vacuum pumps, distillation columns) into local exhaust devices or hoods.
- Inspect gloves and test glove boxes prior to each use.
- Use only chemicals that can be handled safety with the available ventilation system.
- Do not use mouth suction for pipetting or starting a siphon.
- Eating, drinking, gum chewing, smoking or application of cosmetics in areas where chemicals are present are all prohibited.
- Do not store food or beverages in storage areas, refrigerators, glassware or utensils which are also used for laboratory operations.
- Wash hands before and after using chemicals.
- Confine long hair and loose clothing.
- Avoid practical jokes or other behavior which might confuse, startle or distract another worker.
- Wear shoes in the laboratory that cover the entire foot. Sandals are not permitted.
- Use of a lab coat is required when chemicals are out of storage and in active use.
- Work areas should be kept clean and free from obstructions.
- Chemical wastes must be placed in appropriate waste containers that are kept closed and are labeled properly.
- Spilled chemicals must be immediately managed in accordance with the Chemical Spill Response Plan (see NSAM HAZWASTE Plan).
- Unlabeled chemicals and chemicals that are no longer needed should be disposed of in accordance with the NPS HAZMAT Control Program.
- Floors, shelves and countertops should be cleaned regularly.
- Lips should be installed on shelves where chemicals will be routinely used.
- Equipment and chemicals should be stored properly, in accordance with the NPS HAZMAT Control Program
All laboratory equipment should be inspected and maintained as recommended by the manufacturer. Broken equipment should be repaired immediately or tagged as out of service.