OSHA/PESH Laboratory Standard (Chemical Hygiene Plan)

Policy Information
Policy TitleOSHA/PESH Laboratory Standard (Chemical Hygiene Plan)
Responsible OfficeEnvironmental Health and Safety (EH&S)
Policy TypeEnvironmental Health
Policy Number1011
Last Revision Date10/24/2023

OSHA’s/PESH laboratory standard (29 CFR 1910.1450) applies to all laboratories that use hazardous chemicals. It supersedes the provisions in all other health standards with the exception of permissible exposure limits (PELs) for the approximately 600 air contaminants in OSHA’s subpart Z and for the 26 substances covered by individual standards. Hazardous chemicals include any chemical meeting the definition of hazardous chemical with respect to health hazards as defined in OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard.

The standard requires every laboratory supervisor to formulate and implement a chemical hygiene program which must include the necessary work procedures and policies that will be used to ensure that laboratory employees are protected from all potentially hazardous chemicals used in their work areas.

Among other requirements, the standard provides for employee training and information, hazard identification, respirator use, record keeping, and when appropriate, medical consultation and examinations.

In order to comply with the requirements of the laboratory standard, the University has established a comprehensive chemical hygiene plan. Laboratories supervisors are encouraged to adopt this plan as their program for compliance.  However, individual departments or laboratory supervisors may change, modify, or revise the chemical hygiene plan to meet their individual needs as long as the program in effect meets the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.1450. When departments and/or laboratory supervisors choose to use an alternate plan, a copy of their chemical hygiene plan, including a list of laboratories for which it applies, must be forwarded to Environmental Health & Safety.

All laboratory chemical hygiene programs must be in writing. A program in its simplest form may be a memorandum adopting the University’s chemical hygiene plan as the laboratory’s program.

It is recommended that laboratory supervisors purchase a copy of the latest edition of the National Academy of Science’s Prudent Practices for Handling Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories. The University’s chemical hygiene plan is based on the criteria found in this reference book.  A copy may be renewed in the EH&S office upon request.

The standard also requires laboratory supervisors to provide information and training in both physical and health hazards associated with the chemicals used in the laboratory. Employees must receive training before assignments involving hazardous chemicals or prior to assignments involving new exposure situations.  Appropriate training records must be maintained.  In addition to the training provided by laboratory supervisors as required by the University’s chemical hygiene plan, all laboratory employees must attend annual lab safety training provided by Environmental Health & Safety.

Environmental Health & Safety will audit laboratory compliance biannually (two times per year), with follow up audits occurring as necessary.  All noted safety violations must be corrected.  Detailed procedures for laboratory audits can be found in the University’s chemical hygiene plan or at EH&S's website https://www.binghamton.edu/ehs/.  Laboratory supervisors must notify Environmental Health & Safety when they suspect that exposure levels to a chemical may routinely exceed the action levels or PEL.  In such cases, personal monitoring will be required to assure worker safety.

Copies of the laboratory standard and laboratory requirements are contained in the University’s chemical hygiene plan. Copies of chemical hygiene plan are located in science department offices and in the Environmental Health & Safety office.

For further information, contact the Chemical Hygiene Officer at 607-777-2211.