Laboratory Safety Program & Resources
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OSHA, recognizing the unique characteristics of the laboratory workplace, has tailored a standard for occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals in laboratories. This standard is often referred to as the “Laboratory Standard”. Under this standard, a laboratory is required to produce a Chemical Hygiene Plan which addresses the specific hazards found in its location, and its approach to them.
Protective equipment, including personal protective equipment for eyes, face, head, and extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices, and protective shields and barriers, shall be provided, used, and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition wherever it is necessary by reason of hazards of processes or environment, chemical hazards, radiological hazards, or mechanical irritants encountered in a manner capable of causing injury or impairment in the function of any part of the body through absorption, inhalation or physical contact.
Chemical laboratory sampling and analysis is used by occupational health and safety professionals to assess workplace contaminants and associated worker exposures. The validity of an assessment is based, in part, on the procedures used for sample collection and analysis, and data interpretation. In many instances these procedures use approaches that have been refined over many years and are accepted by the professionals as good practice. However, the multitude of variables within a specific workplace require the professional to exercise judgment in the design of a particular assessment.