Exposures, Accidents, and Emergencies

Monitoring potential exposure to hazardous chemicals, providing access to appropriate medical consultation and evaluations, responding quickly and effectively to support individuals should an injury occur, and responding to spills, fires or other incidents are all important components of a comprehensive laboratory safety program. Contact EHRS at 215-707-2520 if you have any questions or require further information in any of these areas.


Contact Temple University Campus Police at 1-1234

Immediately Report all Fires, Injuries and other Emergencies

EHRS Emergency Telephone Contacts
EHRS Emergency Response & Spill Management

Chemical Spill Response

Chemical Spill Planning

Exposure Monitoring

Exposure monitoring should be performed in the laboratory as required by specific regulatory mandates or when there is reason to believe exposures are in excess of OSHA Permissible Exposure Levels (PELs).  The Principal Investigator (PI), Laboratory Supervisor or Instructor should review their existing practices, chemical inventories (CEMS), Safety Data Sheet (SDS), or other relevant chemical safety information and determine what chemicals used in their labs have a potential for over-exposure or have a specific mandate for exposure monitoring.

EHRS is available to monitor and evaluate exposures to chemicals in the workplace or to measure the success of a hazard control programs or to assess level of exposure prior to design a program.  Contact EHRS for additional information.

Medical Evaluations

Medical consultations and/or examination are made available to laboratory personnel under the following circumstances:

  • An individual develops signs or symptoms associated with exposure to the hazardous materials being used in the laboratory.
  • Monitoring reveals exposure above the PEL or “ Action level ( typically ½ PEL)” established for the chemical.
  • An accident such as a splash or equipment failure results in possible over exposure to hazardous materials.

Medical consultations and exams should be conducted by a licensed physicians at no cost to the employee. Records of medical evaluations should include results of all test and recommendation from the physician concerning the need for further medical testing.

Injury Management


Temple University Campus Safety Services
Temple University Campus Safety Services-Emergency Preparedness


The Chemical Hygiene Program (CHP) is a written plan for ensuring the safe use and management of chemicals by employees in laboratories at Temple University (TU).  It describes policies, procedures, and control measures that must be understood and observed by all laboratory personnel. Major components of the program include:

  • Employee information and training,
  • Hazard identification,
  • Personal exposure monitoring,
  • Medical surveillance,
  • Standard operating procedures,
  • Personal protective equipment, and
  • Containment and engineering controls.


The purpose of the CHP is to provide guidance for the safe handling of all hazardous chemicals by laboratory personnel in compliance with OSHA, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other applicable regulations.  This plan meets or exceeds the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)  requirements for a Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) as specified in 29 CFR 1910.1450 (Lab Standard),

Regulatory Basis

On January31, 1990, OSHA promulgated a final rule entitled Occupational Exposures to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories (commonly known as “The Laboratory Standard”- see 29 CFR 1910.1450. The basis for this standard is a determination that laboratories differ from industrial operations in their use and handling of hazardous chemicals and that a different approach than that found in OSHA’s substance specific health standards warranted to protect workers.  This standard does not establish new exposure limits but sets performance provisions designed to protect laboratory workers from potential hazards in their work environment.

The development and implementation of the Chemical Hygiene Program is a central requirement of the “Laboratory Standard”.  The Laboratory Standard defines a laboratory as a “workplace where relatively small quantities of hazardous chemicals are used on a non-production basis. It is clear from this definition that the Laboratory Standard applies to all laboratories that use chemicals at TU. 

Laboratories that do not meet the above definition or areas where chemicals are used for non-laboratory purposes are governed by other state and federal regulations including OSHA’s “Toxic and Hazardous Substances” standard (19 CFR 1910 subpart Z) which contains the Hazard Communication (HazCom) standard and permissible exposure limits for all hazardous chemical usage. Assistance in determine which regulatory requirements apply to specific work areas is provided by EHRS.


The procedures identified in the CHP apply to all students, faculty, staff, and visitors who use hazardous chemicals while working in teaching/instructional, research or clinical laboratories at Temple University (TU).

The CHP applies to all laboratories covered by the OSHA Laboratory Standard where the “laboratory use” of hazardous chemicals occurs.  Laboratory use of hazardous chemicals is defined as the use or handling of chemicals in which the following conditions are met:

  • Chemical manipulations are carried out on a “laboratory scale”. Laboratory scale is defined as work with substances in which containers used for reactions, transfers, and other handling of substances are designed to be easily and safely manipulated by one person. This definition excludes those workplaces whose functions is to produce commercial quantities of materials.
  • Multiple chemical procedures or chemicals are used.
  • The procedures involved are not part of a production process, nor in any way simulate a production process.

The CHP does not apply to:

  • Uses of hazardous chemicals which do not meet the definition of laboratory use, and in such cases, the University must comply with the relevant standard of 29 CFR 1910 subpart Z, even if such use occurs in a laboratory.
  • Laboratory use of hazardous chemicals that provide no potential for employee exposure

Where the CHP does apply, it will supersede, for laboratories, the requirements of all other OSHA health standards in 29 CFR 1910 subpart Z, except as follows:

  • For any OSHA health standard, only the requirement to limit employee exposure to the specific permissible exposure limit (PEL) will apply for laboratories, unless that particular standard states otherwise or unless the action level ( or in the absence of an action level, the PEL) is routinely exceeded. Where the action level ( or in the absence of an action level, the PEL) is routinely exceed for ana OSHA regulated substance with exposure monitoring and medical surveillance requirements, the employee exposure and medical monitoring requirements of the laboratory standard will apply.

Any substance specific standard can require coverage to remain under the standard rather than under the laboratory standard. In the absence of a stamen of preemption in a substance specific standard, the determination on whether the laboratory standard applies must be dependent on both “laboratory use” and “laboratory scale” criteria. Where these criteria are met, the CHP applies.  

Organization and Content

The CHP is intended to serve as an operational guide for the incorporation of prudent safety practices into the day-to-day use of chemicals within laboratories. It was developed and issued in general form, which must be adapted and expanded, by departments and research groups to meet their specific needs. The CHP is organized in a format that enables desired information to be quickly found and readily updated.   The CHP is not intended to be comprehensive but should supplement laboratory specific procedures developed by the person(s) responsible for unique laboratory hazards.   The content of the CHP was developed directly from the requirements of the Laboratory Standard and includes the following information:

  • Designation of the personnel responsible for the implementation of the CHP
  • Provisions for personnel training and sources of information
  • Hazard identification
  • Criteria that the employee will sue to implement control measures to reduce individual exposure to chemicals. These measures include, administrative controls, containment and engineering controls, procedural controls, and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) relevant to the safety and health considerations that must be observed for the use of hazardous chemicals in the laboratory. Generic SOPs and/or Chemical Hazard Guidelines for the handling of all hazardous chemical groups are included in the CHP. However, each laboratory group must develop and add specific SOP(s) that are appropriate for their particular use of chemicals.
  • Personal exposure monitoring, when necessary
  • Provisions for medical consolations and examination, when necessary

Role of Environmental Health and Radiation (EHRS)

The principal role of EHRS is to serve as the primary universal resource for all matters pertaining to chemical safety, biological safety, radiation safety, occupational safety, and emergency response support within Temple University (TU). EHRS provides technical guidance, compliance assistance, remediation oversight and training to the TU community.

For this program, the main role of EHRS is to oversee the adoption and implementation of the content in this program at all levels of responsibility as it pertains to the laboratory use of hazardous chemicals.  EHRS will designate an Institutional Chemical Hygiene Officer to oversee the Chemical Hygiene Program.

On an annual basis, this program will be reviewed, evaluated for effectiveness, and updated as necessary to reflect changing regulations and circumstances. The most current copy of the CHP as well as guidelines and policies for other laboratory specific hazards and conditions are available on the EHRS website.

Contact Environmental Health & Radiation Safety (EHRS) if you have any questions about the content of this program.

Environmental Health & Radiation Safety (EHRS)

Pharmacy-Allied Health Building

3307 N. Broad Street, Room B-49

Philadelphia, PA 19140

Phone: 215-707-2520


Web: www.temple.edu/ehrs

Your Responsibility

The success of the Chemical Hygiene Program depends on the conscientious efforts of all Temple University personnel. All faculty, staff and students are expected to follow all applicable practices and procedures contained in the Chemical Hygiene Program, complete designated training, and report hazardous and unsafe laboratory conditions to the Principal Investigator (PI), Laboratory Supervisor, Instructor, or Environmental Heath and Radiation Safety (EHRS).

Refer to Roles & Responsibilities for specific information.