General Laboratory Safety

laboratory safetyWilliams College uses the OSHA Laboratory Safety Standard, 29CFR Part 1910.1450 as a guide to establish rules for laboratory safety. Although as written, this standard applies only to employees, the college extends these protections to non-employee students working in research labs. The college maintains a Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) that details policies and expectations for research and teaching labs as well as any other people wishing to work with hazardous materials. The CHP is reviewed periodically by the Chemical Hygiene Officer and is approved annually by the Chemical and Biological Safety Committee.

Laboratory supervisors are responsible for ensuring that this plan is implemented appropriately. Supervisors are also expected to supplement this plan with protocols and other information about hazards specific to their work. Laboratory supervisors should establish an appropriate policy for the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) which addresses hazards typically encountered in their lab. The Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO) can assist with this determination. Teaching lab instructors are responsible for ensuring that lab manuals contain all appropriate information on safe working practices.

Questions regarding the implementation of the Chemical Hygiene Plan should be directed to the Chemical Hygiene Officer. The CHO conducts periodic safety classes in general lab safety. Students and staff are expected to receive refresher training at least annually. Additionally, the CHO conducts periodic lab inspection and makes recommendations to lab supervisors in ways to improve safety in the lab.

Safety Data Sheet search

Chemical Hygiene Plan (PDF)

Chemical & Biological Safety Committee

OSHA Workers’ Rights