Academic Arts and Sciences Safety at the State University of New York at Geneseo

Section 2: Model and Departmental Chemical Safety Plans

Department of _______________ Chemical Safety Plan

2.1 Introduction
2.2 Scope and Application
2.3 Roles and Responsibilities
2.4 Chemical and Hazard Identification
2.5 Procedures for Specific Activities
2.6 Controlling Chemical Exposure
2.7 Fume Hood Performance Evaluation
2.8 Information and Training
2.9 Prior Approval for Laboratory Procedures
2.10 Unattended Activities and Working Alone
Medical Examinations and Consultations
2.12 Particularly Hazardous Substances
2.13 Laboratory Inspections and Audits
2.14 Building Equipment
2.15 For More Information

2.1 Introduction

This Chemical Safety Plan was developed in response to the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) regulation, Occupational Exposures to Hazardous Chemicals in the Laboratory (29 CFR 1910.1450), commonly referred to as the "Laboratory Standard". This standard is implemented and enforced by Public Employees Safety and Health Administration (PESH) for public employees in New York State.

The purpose of this Departmental Chemical Safety Plan is to provide guidelines for prudent work practices and procedures for the use of chemicals in art studios, performing arts and laboratories where work with small amounts of chemicals is conducted under the direction of a knowledgeable lab or studio director.

All individuals involved in studios, performing arts and laboratory activities must be made aware of this plan. All campus employees, including student employees, should review the plan and receive safety training prior to handling or working with hazardous chemicals. This plan is available to all employees at all times through this webpage version. Hardcopy versions are available at Department Offices.

2.2 Scope and Application

The Lab Standard, and thus the requirements of this Chemical Safety Plan, is directly applicable to all campus employees involved in activities conducted with chemicals in art studios, performing arts and science laboratories at SUNY Geneseo. This includes paid and non-paid student assistants, teaching assistants and research assistants. Art Studios and Theater Arts activities at SUNY Geneseo are considered laboratory activities and are therefore governed by the Lab Standard. Students, visitors and other non-employees performing activities in studios, theaters and laboratories are also expected to comply with requirements of this plan.

Work with hazardous chemicals outside of these areas is covered by the Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) and New York State Right-to-Know (12 NYCRR Part 800).

The goal of the Lab Standard is to ensure that employees are informed about the hazards of chemicals in their workplace and are protected from chemical exposures exceeding allowable levels (e.g., Permissible Exposure Limits). The Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) for Public Employees in New York State are listed in 12 NYCRR Part 800. These PELs supercede the federal PELs listed in 29 CFR 1910.1000 for SUNY Geneseo employees.

All individuals who work with hazardous chemicals in science laboratories, art studios, and performing arts are obligated to comply with the Lab Standard.


2.3 Roles and Responsibilities

A. ____________ Department Chemical Safety Team

The members of the ________ Department Chemical Safety Team include ______________ currently serving as Department Chair, ________, __________, and _____________. The Director of Environmental Health and Safety serves as a resource for the Chemical Safety Team.

The ____________ Department Chemical Safety Team is responsible for the following:


B. The Principal Investigators, Studio and Theater Directors and supervisors (hereafter referred to as "Directors") are responsible for the following:


C. Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)


D. Laboratory, Theater, or Studio Employees


2.4 Chemical and Hazard Identification

Chemical manufacturers or distributors perform an assessment of the physical and health hazards of each chemical they produce or import. This information is included in a material safety data sheet (MSDS) and, in part, on container labels.

The manufacturer's label should be kept intact. When a chemical is transferred to another container for storage, the new containers should be labeled with the name of the product, the chemical constituents and hazard warnings.

Material safety data sheets received with chemical shipments must be maintained and readily accessible to all campus employees working with the chemicals. MSDSs are available at Departmental offices, through the manufacturer, at via numerous websites. MSDSs often express their information based on use of very large quantities of the chemicals. See EHS Guide to Understanding MSDSs for additional information.


2.5 Procedures for Specific Activities

The Academic Arts and Sciences Safety Manual on the EHS web page provides general principles for working safely with hazardous chemicals. Directors are encouraged to develop and implement more detailed guidelines for specific operations and chemicals in their laboratories, theaters, and studios.


2.6 Controlling Chemical Exposure

The following are used to determine and implement control measures to reduce exposures to hazardous chemicals.

A Exposure Monitoring

Exposure monitoring is arranged by EHS upon request if there is reason to believe that exposure levels for a particular substance may routinely exceed either the action level or the permissible exposure limit (PEL) set forth by PESH in 12 NYCRR Part 800. Individuals may contact EHS directly at x5512 or notify the Departmental Chemical Safety Team.

Results of the monitoring will be made available by EHS to the individual(s) monitored, applicable Director and the Departmental Chemical Safety Team within 15 working days of the receipt of results. Based on the monitoring results, periodic monitoring may be scheduled at the discretion of EHS, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local regulations.

B. Control Measures

B.1. Engineering Controls

Engineering controls are the primary means of control for exposure to hazardous chemicals. Local ventilation, including fume hoods, ducted biosafety cabinets, glove boxes, vented storage cabinets, and vented canopies are the most common types of engineering controls. Upon request, EHS can provide assistance in determining the appropriate type of engineering controls for specific operations. Specific design of ventilation systems may required consultation with a Professional Engineer. Funding for purchases of equipment or capital improvements for ventilation or other renovations must be secured through Departmental or Divisional requests.

B.2. Personal Protective Equipment

Protective equipment, including gloves, face shields, safety glasses, safety goggles, lab coats and aprons, are used when engineering controls cannot be guaranteed to adequately control exposure. Specifically, this equipment is used to prevent exposure to the skin or eyes. Personal protective equipment is carefully selected to ensure that it is compatible with the chemicals used. Information about selection of appropriate protective equipment is available in the Academic Chemical Safety Manual.

Directors will specify PPE required for activities conducted in their areas.

When feasible engineering controls are not adequate to reduce inhalation exposure to acceptable levels, a respirator may be used to minimize exposure to airborne contaminants. Use of a respirator, whether half- or full-face cartridge, air pack or airline respirator, is subject to numerous additional federal and state occupational health and safety regulations. Included in these requirements is an annual physical and fit testing. Individual requiring or requesting use of a respirator must contact EHS for additional details.

B.3. Administrative Controls

It may be necessary to supplement engineering controls and protective equipment with administrative controls, such as restricting access to an area, restricting use of particular chemicals to a limited group of people, or limiting the length of exposure.

The Department Chemical Safety Team has identified the following activities as requiring Administrative Controls:


2.7 Fume Hood Performance Evaluation

Laboratory fume hoods are evaluated at least annually by EHS staff. An inspection sticker is affixed to each hood to document the evaluation and to provide information to the hood user regarding the measured performance and sash hood opening limits for safe operations within each hood.

In the event that a hood does not appear to be operating properly, hood users may contact EHS at 5512 for a performance evaluation. Routine maintenance and repairs of fume hoods are conducted by Department of Facilities Services. Hood users may route requests for hood repair directly to Department of Facilities Services. Upon request, EHS will re-inspect the fume hood following maintenance or repairs.


2.8 Information and Training

All employees of the Academic Sciences and those involved with chemical use in art studios and performing arts must receive safety training when they are first assigned to a work area where hazardous chemicals are present and before assignments involving new exposure situations. General safety training is provided by EHS. More specific training for particular materials or operations in a particular work area is provided by the appropriate Director.

A. EHS Laboratory Safety Training

EHS provides Laboratory Safety Training sessions each semester and by request. EHS may be reached at or at 5512 to request a session or a particular topic.

The general training offered by EHS covers the following topics:

    1. An overview of the OSHA Laboratory Standard. Full text of the standard is available on the web at
    2. The content and availability of the Departmental Chemical Safety Plan and Academic Chemical Safety Manual.
    3. The availability of material safety data sheets and how to use them.
    4. An explanation of permissible exposure limits and action levels for chemicals
    5. An overview of methods to recognize hazards, how to evaluate hazards, and common methods to prevent
    6. The use, function and selection of personal protective equipment
    7. Emergency procedures for fire, injury, chemical exposure, and chemical spill situations
    8. Waste disposal procedures


B. Departmental Information and Training

Each Departmental employee conducting activities involving chemicals must be made aware of the following information:

C. Training Records

EHS maintains the original copies of sign-in sheets noting attendance for training sessions given by EHS. Attendance lists are sent to the Departmental Chemical Safety Team after each EHS training session. Departmental Chemical Safety Team maintains the departmental attendance records both for EHS and other sessions.


2.9 Prior Approval for Laboratory Procedures

The Department Chemical Safety Team has identified the following activities as requiring specific, written approval of the Team prior to being conducted.

Use of the following chemicals will also require specific, written approval from the Department Chemical Safety Team:


2.10 Unattended Activities and Working Alone

A. Faculty/Staff

The Department Chemical Safety Team acknowledges that unattended activities or activities conducted alone by Faculty or Staff members occur within this Department. When necessary for these types of activities to be conducted, the following steps must be implemented.

When unattended activities occur, such as an experiment that must run overnight, it is the responsibility of the Director to design these experiments so as to prevent the release of hazardous substances in the event of interruptions in utility services such as electricity, cooling water, and inert gas.

Signs should be posted on the room door identifying the nature of the experiment and the hazardous substances in use. The signs and directions for their completions are included in the Departmental Emergency Plan. The Emergency Information Poster MUST include contact information for the responsible individual in the event of an emergency.

If working alone is absolutely necessary, a phone must be available in the immediate area. The individual working alone should be in contact with another person (who knows that he or she is being relied upon) at regularly scheduled intervals occurring at least every 30 minutes.

If no one from the department is available for this contact, the individual is to contact University Police at -5651 and request that the dispatcher check back by phone at regular intervals.

B. Students

It is contrary to safe practices to allow students to work alone in laboratories and art studios. The Director is responsible for ensuring that students in his or her area are not placing the campus, the Department and themselves at risk by allowing them to work without supervision.


2.11 Medical Examinations and Consultations

A. Medical Consultation Policy

Employees should seek medical attention under the following conditions:

B. Incident Reporting

In the event of any incident that results in a possible overexposure to a chemical, regardless of whether any signs or symptoms of exposure are noted or whether the laboratory worker seeks medical attention, the laboratory worker must report the incident to the Departmental Chemical Safety Team.

In addition, Accident or Injury Forms (call UP) must be completed for all injuries and accidents.

C. Medical Consultation Procedure

In an emergency situation, any injured employee or student will be immediately be assisted by University Police. Serious injuries will be transported off-campus to local hospitals or emergency care facilities in accordance with UP and Lauderdale Health Center procedures.

The employee, director, or Chemical Safety Team must provide the off-site emergency care facility with the identity of the offending hazardous chemical(s) and the details of exposure. Whenever possible, the material safety data sheet or other safety information resource (in some instances, the offending chemical sealed in a closed container) should accompany the injured person to the hospital. If retrieval of the MSDS will delay travel to the hospital, the Director is to FAX the MSDS to the hospital while the injured person is en route.

This section is under review by Personnel Services. It is draft only.
The examining physician will submit a written opinion to the injured employee and the campus per requirements of New York State Workers Compensation Law. Findings or diagnoses unrelated to the occupational exposure will not be made available to the college. The opinion will include the following information:

1.Recommendations for further medical follow-up;

2.Results of the medical examination, and any test results;

3.Any medical condition revealed during the examination that may place the worker at increased risk as a result of exposure to the hazardous chemical found in the workplace.

The individualís return to work will also be in accordance with New York State Workers Compensation Law.


2.12 Particularly Hazardous Substances

OSHA identifies Particularly hazardous substances as select carcinogens, reproductive toxins and substances that have a high degree of acute toxicity (such as cyanides and dimethyl mercury).

A. Select carcinogens include any substance that is included on any of the following lists of carcinogens:

  1. OSHA Carcinogen List (29 CFR 1910 Subpart Z)
  2. Annual Report on Carcinogens published by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), including all of the substances listed as "known to be carcinogens" and some substances listed as "reasonably anticipated to be carcinogens
  3. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), including all of Group 1 "carcinogen to humans" and some in Group 2A or 2B, "reasonably anticipated to be carcinogens"

B. Reproductive toxins includes any chemical that may affect the reproductive capabilities including chromosomal damage (mutagens) and effects on fetuses (teratogens).

C. High acute toxicity includes any chemical that falls within any of the following categories:

    1. Oral - A chemical with a median lethal dose (LD50) of 50 mg or less per kg of body weight when administered orally to certain test populations

    2. Dermal - A chemical with an LD50 of 200 mg or less per kg of body weight when administered by continuous contact for 24 hours (or less if death occurs within 24 hours) to certain test populations

    3. Inhalation - A chemical with a median lethal concentration (LC50) in air of 200 parts per million (ppm) by volume or less of gas or vapor, or 2 mg per liter or less of mist, fume, or dust, when administered to certain test populations by continuous inhalation for one hour, provided such concentration and/or condition are likely to be encountered by humans when the chemical is used in any reasonably foreseeable manner.

    A list of the more commonly used Particularly Hazardous Substances has been compiled however, this list is not exhaustive.

    Consult the product MSDS or contact the manufacturer for assistance in determining whether a substance is classified as by OSHA as a Particularly Hazardous Substance.

    Before using a Particularly Hazardous Substance, an individual must:

    1. Discuss alternatives with the Director and the Departmental Chemical Safety Team.
    2. Determine if the use should be accomplished in an isolated area. If so, the area where the substance will be used should be posted with a Designated Area sign, available from the Departmental Chemical Safety Team.
    3. Identify appropriate PPE.
    4. If the particularly hazardous substance is to be used by students, the Director must explain the hazard posed by the substance and what precautions, PPE and disposal procedures must be used during the lab or studio.
    5. Students may not use particularly hazardous substances without direct supervision, unless specifically approved to do so by the Departmental Chemical Safety Team.

2.13 Laboratory Inspections and Audits

The Departmental Chemical Safety Team has developed the form, included as Appendix A to assist Directors as they complete annual audits of their areas.

The Director will complete the form annually and forward a copy to the Departmental Chemical Safety Team.


2.14 Building Equipment

A. Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguisher are inspected monthly by Department of Facilities Services personnel. Annual fire extinguisher inspections and other extinguisher maintenance is performed by an contracted inspection firm. Access to fire extinguishers should not be impeded by equipment or other storage.

B. Safety Showers and Eyewash Fountains

Safety showers and eyewash fountains are inspected by Department of Facilities Services. Access to Safety showers and eyewash fountains should not be impeded by equipment or other storage.

C. Fire Alarms

The fire alarm is activated by smoke sensor or manual pull box stations. The system is monitored by University Police and serviced by the Department of Facilities Services. The fire alarm has a distinctive sound consisting of a loud, blaring horn and is accompanied by a brilliant white flash.

When a fire alarm is activated, the Director must provide guidance to students and others in their lab or art studio as to immediate actions to be taken to secure the room (shut off all flames, terminate or do not terminate reactions, drain or do not drain equipment, etc.) and then evacuate the building. UP does not typically plan evacuation drills during active lab or studio time, thus if an alarm is activated at these times, it must be assumed to be an actual emergency and securing the room followed by immediate evacuation is required.

D. Fume Hoods and other local ventilation

Rooms used by this department have the following types of local ventilation:

  • vertical sash fume hoods
  • horizontal sash fume hoods
  • storage fume hoods
  • slot hoods
  • elephant trunks
  • BioSafety Cabinets
  • Specific Equipment venting
  • Canopy hoods
  • ____________
  • ____________
  • ____________
  • ____________

All personnel involved in chemical use should be familiar with the local ventilation in their area, including what signs would indicate the ventilation is not functioning properly.

E. Natural Gas

Natural Gas is supplied to many Departmental Spaces. Natural gas connections and tubing must be inspected prior to each use. Tubing in areas of high solvent and/or acid use will deteriorate more rapidly than in non-chemical use areas. Signs of deterioration include cracking, crumbling or powdering tubes.

The valves that will terminate natural gas service to all equipment in departmental spaces is readily identified by labels. While these are generally located near room exit doors, in some cases, the shut-offs are located in adjacent rooms.

It is the responsiblity of the Principal Investigator, Lab Instructor or Art Studio professotr to identify the locations of emergency shut-offs to all students and other personnel owrking in their lab or studio.

Unless natural gas is required on a regular basis (once or more per week), the natural gas supply should be turned off at the room supply valve.

F. Electrical Supply

Electricity is supplied to all classrooms. Some departmental spaces receive higher voltage electrical supply for equipment operation. Department of Facilities Service Personnel or certified contractors must conduct all electrical repairs and rewiring.

The Electrical Panels that include an emergency shut-down switch for all electrical service to a room is readily identified by labels. These are generally located near room exits (except in Brodie, where they can be located in the equipment areas). All equipment "kill switches" should be easily identifiable and all involved in equipment operation should be familiar with both types of emergency shut-offs.

Lock-outs may not be placed on powered circuit boxes. No power supply may be locked in the "On" position.

G. Compressed Air

Air is supplied to some departmental spaces. Repairs to the supply system and compressors must be made by Facilties Services personnel or contracted vendors.

All guns must be OSHA-approved and set at no higher than 25 psi. Tubing and guns must be inspected prior to each use.

2.15 For More Information

Persons requesting more information on specific activities conducted in their lab or art studio should request that information from the Director.

General information on lab and art studio safety can be found in the SUNY Geneseo Academic Chemical Safety Manual.

This plan must be reviewed by ______/_____.