Chemical Hygiene Plan Redux by Muhammad Akram

The University’s Laboratory Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) is undergoing a major revision.  The CHP, which is a requirement set forth by the  OSHA Laboratory Standard 29 CFR Part 1910.1450, delineates the responsibilities for chemical management in the laboratory and provides essential information for operating a chemical laboratory safely.  The CHP also provides a framework for individual laboratories to develop a laboratory-specific plan.  The CHP addresses materials, activities and equipment present in research laboratories that can adversely affect the health and safety of workers, and covers employees on all University campuses engaged in the laboratory use of hazardous chemicals. The goals of the CHP include:

i.  Minimizing risk of chemical exposure;
ii. Minimizing risk of work-related injury and illness from hazardous chemical exposure;
iii. Minimizing risk to the environment;
iv. Compliance with applicable regulations and standards;
v. Achievement of these goals with a minimum burden on research activities.

All laboratory workers, including the Principal Investigator, the Laboratory Safety Manager, Post-Doctoral Fellows, students, technicians and others who work in a laboratory, must be familiar with the CHP.  EH&S provides familiarization information during required training sessions, offered monthly and available via RASCAL, as well as during post-survey laboratory meetings (see: Survey with a Purpose article in this edition of SafetyMatters). To facilitate the transition to an online system and minimize the effort required from each laboratory in updating its specific plan, EH&S is creating an online, laboratory-specific CHP portal for each laboratory.  Since EH&S currently maintains some of the information required by the laboratory-specific CHP, that information will be pre-populated into each laboratory’s plan, avoiding duplication.

The Principal Investigator has ultimate responsibility for compliance with the requirements of the Chemical
Hygiene Plan by:

  • Developing, updating and submitting the Individual Laboratory Chemical Hygiene Plan specific for their laboratory.
  • Ensuring laboratory personnel are familiar with the Chemical Hygiene Plan and its location.
  • Ensuring laboratory personnel attend Laboratory Safety & Chemical Hygiene Training.
  • Ensuring a Certificate of Fitness (COF) holder is on the floor at all times when personnel are working in the laboratory.

Should there be any questions about the Chemical Hygiene Plan or if assistance is needed in completing your laboratory’s plan, please contact a Research Safety Specialist:  http://www.ehs.columbia.edu/LabAssignment.html. Keep any eye out for the re-launch of the CHP this fall.

EH&S New Employees

EH&S is pleased to welcome Jeffrey Leavey as Radiation Safety Officer for Research Programs and Yuseph
Sleem as an Industrial Hygienist, both starting in September.

Please see the detail information on our website “http://www.ehs.columbia.edu/WhatsNew.html”.

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