02. Definitions


Action level - The concentration designated by OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1000 et seq for any specific chemical, calculated as an 8-hour time-weighted average, which initiates certain limited OSHA- required compliance activities such as exposure monitoring and medical surveillance.

Chemicals - Any element, chemical compound or mixture of elements and/or compounds.

Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO) - An NPS employee, normally assigned within the NPS Safety Department designated in writing by the NPS Safety Director who is qualified, either by education, training, or through extensive experience, to provide technical guidance in the development and implementation of the provisions of the chemical hygiene plan.

Chemical hygiene plan - A written program developed and implemented by the laboratory management which sets forth procedures, equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE) and work practices that are capable of protecting employees from adverse health hazards associated with excessive exposures to those chemicals used in the laboratory.

Laboratory Chemical Safety Officer (CSO) - A laboratory employee designated by his/her PI or department who is qualified, either by education, training or through extensive experience, to provide technical guidance in the development and implementation of the provisions of the chemical hygiene plan for the laboratory. At NPS the designated departmental HAZMAT representative functions as the laboratory Chemical Safety Officer.

Hazardous chemical - All chemicals present some type of physical or health hazard at sufficiently high concentrations or levels. “All substances are poisons; there is none which is not a poison. The right dose differentiates a poison from a remedy." (from Paracelsus in Von der Besucht 1567) .

Laboratory - A workplace where relatively small quantities of hazardous chemicals are used on a non-production basis, chemical manipulations are carried out on a "laboratory scale", and multiple chemical procedures or chemicals are used, most often by single individuals.

Laboratory scale - Work with substances in which the containers used for reactions, transfers and other handling of substances are designed to be easily and safely manipulated by one person, and excludes those workplaces whose function is to produce commercial quantities of materials.

Particularly Hazardous Substance (i.e. capable of posing a significant health hazard) - Any chemical or chemical substance that can lead to adverse acute or chronic health effects that may be caused by excessive exposure to any specific chemical or combination of chemicals, such that they may be classified as carcinogens, reproductive toxins, or have a high degree of acute toxicity such as sensitizers, hepatotoxins, mutagens, teratogens, nephrotoxins, and neurotoxins, etc.

Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) - A limit defined as a concentration of a specific chemical, calculated as an 8-hour time-weighted average or as a short-term exposure limit, which when exceeded, triggers various OSHA-mandated requirements such as respirator usage, use of PPE, medical exams, use of engineering and administrative controls, and many other requirements.

Physical hazard - A chemical that has been shown with scientifically valid evidence that it is combustible, explosive, flammable, reactive, a compressed gas, water-reactive, pyrophoric, an organic peroxide or an oxidizer.

Principal Investigator (PI) - That researcher, member of the faculty, staff, or person who is responsible for initiating and subsequently directing the research, teaching, or demonstration that requires the use of controlled or hazardous chemicals. This person is hereafter referred to as the PI and is overall responsible for all aspects of laboratory, classroom, or use area safety including Chemical Safety.

Threshold Limit Value (TLV) - The greatest concentration, designated by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) for a specific chemical, to which a healthy adult male in the occupational environment may be repeatedly exposed during their 8- hour workshift and 40-hour workweek over a working lifetime without any known adverse effects. This value may be used as a guideline when it is lower than the OSHA PEL.