Training & Chemical Hazard Information

Training & Chemical Hazard Information

Training Requirements

The OSHA Lab Standard requires that individuals who will be working with chemicals in the laboratory be provided with sufficient training and information to enable them to conduct their work safely.  Training must be provided prior to the time when individuals begin their duties involving chemicals and whenever there is a significant change in the types or quantities of chemicals used.

Principal Investigators (PIs), Laboratory Supervisors or Instructors must ensure that all laboratory personnel are provided with information and training for the hazards present in laboratories under their control. Principal Investigator (PI) and/or Laboratory Supervisors are also responsible for ensuring that anyone conducting work activities in their laboratory has completed general laboratory safety training and applicable laboratory-specific training.

General Laboratory Safety Training

Prior to beginning any laboratory work, all personnel who work in laboratories are required to take the Initial Safety Training for Researchers offered by EHRS.

The training covers the following safety modules:

  • Hazard Communication
  • Basic Radiation Safety ( Awareness training only)
  • Chemical Hygiene
  • Chemical Waste
  • Security of Hazardous Materials
  • BioSafety
  • Ergonomics
  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Airborne Pathogen

Refer to the Training Program for additional information and access to online training database.

Laboratory Specific Training

In addition to general laboratory safety training provided by EHRS, all laboratory personnel, including students, must receive laboratory specific training on the following topics:

  • Location and content of this Chemical Hygiene Manual
  • Physical and chemical hazards in the work area, including signs and symptoms of exposure and allowable limits
  • Location of references describing hazards and safety practices associated with laboratory materials. (e.g., SDS, Merck Index, etc.)
  • Protective measures necessary to avoid exposure or injury, as specified in the laboratory’s Standard Operating procedures.
  • Procedures for responding to laboratory emergencies (chemical spill(s), fire, etc.) as outlined in the laboratory’s emergency action plan.
  • Methods to detect the presence of contamination or the release of chemicals
  • Procedures for obtaining medical care in the event of exposure/injury
  • Proper waste management and disposal procedures.
  • Proper record keeping.

This additional laboratory-specific training is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator (PI) and/or laboratory supervisor and must be specific to the activities in the laboratory as possible. The Site Specific Training form created by EHRS should be used to assist in this documentation.

Training must be provided at the time of an employee’s initial work assignment and prior to assignments involving new potential exposure situations. Laboratory specific training records must be accessible and maintained for five years.

NOTE: EHRS recommends an annual review (refresher) of all laboratory-specific training topics with all laboratory personnel.

Other Training

The Initial Safety Training for Researchers is a fundamental requirement which must be met by an individual wishing to perform any laboratory activity; however, it is not necessarily the only training requirement.

Refer to the EHRS training matrix for assistance on determining any additional training requirements for laboratory personnel specific to individual laboratory activities.

Training Documentation

Principal Investigators (PIs), Laboratory Supervisors, and Instructors are responsible for documenting the safety training provided to individuals working within their laboratories.  All training records must be made available upon request.

Site Specific Training Sheet

Temple University EHRS maintains training records of any individual that attends any training session provided by EHRS.

Chemical Hazard Information

Chemical Toxicological and Routes of Exposure

Chemicals enter the body via five routes of entry. Chemicals may affect the route-of-entry organ, or they may travel and target specific organs that they may damage:

  1. Respiration-primary target lungs (asbestos, osmium tetroxide, phosgene), other target organs (carbon monoxide-blood, methylmercury-brain).
  2. Ingestion-primary target: gastrointestinal tract (acids); other target organs (lead-bones).
  3. Dermal Absorption-primary target: skin, including mucous membranes (phenol, solvents); other target organs (solvents, phenol-Central Nervous System).
  4. Ocular-primary targets: eyes (acids, bases, lachrymators); targets other organs (solvents).
  5. Subcutaneous-injected into the blood, transferred to the target organ.

Acute Exposure

Short-term, large exposure which results in an acute effect, including:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin rash
  • Burning eyes

Chronic Exposure

Long-term, low exposure which may result in a chronic effect, including:

  • Asbestosis (asbestos)
  • Central nervous system disorders( organic mercury, metallic mercury)
  • Various cancers, lung, kidney, bladder, liver.

Information on Chemical Hazards

There are many different types of chemical and physical hazards that may be encountered in University laboratories.  There are several different places to find chemical hazard information. This manual is one source of information. Several other sources are utilized at Temple University and are listed below:

Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) provide basic information about the safety and health hazards posed by a chemicals and precautions to take when using it.

The OSHA Lab Standard and the Hazard Communication Standard require that:

  • SDSs be maintained for every hazardous chemical used and stored in each laboratory.
  • SDS be readily accessible to all personnel working in the laboratory and available to all emergency response personnel.
  • All laboratory personnel know where the SDSs are kept.

All laboratories should receive a SDS from the chemical manufacturer at the time of purchase. If the SDS is not provided with the chemical shipment, the chemical owner must obtain the SDS within a reasonable amount of time. Chemical owners may obtain a copy of the SDS by downloading it from the manufactures’’ website or contacting EHRS for assistance.

Chemical users can obtain SDS by:

  • Downloading it from the manufacturer’s website,
  • Retrieving it from CEMS SDS database from a TU IP-connected computer, tables or smart phone visit the CEMS SDS Search page, or
  • Contacting EHRS for assistance.

NOTE: If synthesizing a hazardous chemical, the Principal Investigator (PI), Laboratory Supervisor and/or Instructor must generate a Globally Harmonized System (GHS) compliant label and SDS before shipping or transporting the chemical off campus.

Chemical Labels

A chemical label is the easiest and quickest way to get information about a chemical. Included on most chemical labels is information about hazards of the chemicals, instructions on emergency situations and instructions on safe storage conditions. If the chemical is not in its original manufacturer’s container, a secondary label must be on the container describing the chemicals and the primary hazard associated with the material.

Refer to the OSHA Chemical Labeling Guidelines or the OSHA Label Quick Card for additional information.

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Diamond

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) classifies chemicals based on their hazards and displays this information using the NFPA diamond.

Department of Transportation Labels

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires label to be placed on packages that contain chemicals to communicate the hazards of those chemicals to anyone involved in their transportation. This information is also provided so that emergency responders to incidents with these chemicals can know what type of chemical may be involved in the incident from a safe distance.

Additional Sources of Chemical Hazard Information

It is essential that laboratory personnel have access to information on the hazards of chemicals and procedures for working safely. Principal Investigators (PIs), Laboratory Supervisors, and Instructors must ensure that laboratory personnel are informed about this information and have access to this information.

Environmental Health and Radiation Safety

EHRS maintains a collection of various sources of information, including printed publications, and online reference material available. Visit the EHRS website or contact EHRS at 215-707-2520 for additional assistance.

Manufacturers and Suppliers

In addition to providing SDS, many manufacturers have website and customer service or technical representatives who may be able to provide additional information about a product.

Governmental Resources

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and OSHA all have published information related to chemical hazards/exposures which are available or can be requested on their websites.