Regulatory Review-Environmental Health & Safety - Carnegie Mellon University

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Regulatory Review

Training Topic of the Month

The OSHA Laboratory Standard addresses worker exposures to hazardous chemicals in laboratories. It specifies that employers are required to do a number of things to ensure the safety of laboratory workers.

  1. Prepare a written Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) that outlines how the employer will comply with the regulation and make this document available to all laboratory personnel. Carnegie Mellon's CHP is available on the EH&S web site, http://ehs-alert.fms.bap.cmu.edu/pdf/CHPFinal.pdf.  All lab personnel should know where to access this program, should they be asked this by an OSHA official during an inspection.
  2. Provide training to new employees or employees with changes in lab activity. EH&S offers this training on a monthly basis; all new employees should take this class within 30 days of the start of their work in a lab. The training includes details of the OSHA standard and of the CHP. It also includes information on working safety in the lab, reading MSDS and labels, using protective equipment and responding to emergencies. While the training supplies some details, it is the individual lab's responsibility to provide the specific procedures for the handling of its particular chemicals. EH&S is happy to assist in this lab-specific activity. Although EH&S has many activities in place to ensure that all lab people are identified for training, it is ultimately the PI's responsibility to ensure that all appropriate people, including themselves, receive training.
  3. Ensure that worker exposures to hazardous chemicals are kept below the OSHA permitted levels.
  4. Provide medical consultation to employees who may have been overexposed to hazardous chemicals.
We think we have a good, thorough program to address all of these items. If you have any questions regarding our OSHA Lab Standard activities, please contact EH&S at 8-8182.

It is also important to remember that EH&S offers training classes for other required activities on campus. Employees who work with biological agents or human blood, cell lines or tissue must attend Biological Safety Training and/or Bloodborne Pathogens training. Employees who work with either radioactive material (sealed or unsealed) or any radiation producing device must attend appropriate safety training for these issues.

Finally, employees who work with lasers should attend Laser Safety Training. Contact Mark Banister at 8-1493 if you have any questions about these other training requirement or if you have any questions as to whether you need a particular class. You can also check out the EH&S training page for further information.