Chemical Hygiene Plans: Their Significance and Key Required Elements
Proper design and implementation of chemical hygiene plans are essential to helping decrease the risk of worker illness and injury associated with exposure to chemicals in the laboratory. In this blog post, we take a look at chemical hygiene plans and discuss their components and importance.
Chemical Hygiene Plans and the Laboratory Standard
A chemical hygiene plan (CHP) is a written program, designed and used by an employer, that outlines policies, processes, protective equipment, and more, to protect employees from hazardous chemical substances in the workplace, particularly in the laboratory setting. The CHP is integral to the OSHA Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories standard (29 CFR 1910.1450) (more commonly referred to as the Laboratory standard), the regulation enacted in 1990 to protect laboratory workers from workplace chemical exposures that exceed permissible levels.
According to regulation 29 CFR 1910.1450, chemical hygiene plans should incorporate several key elements, including:
- Standard operating procedures relative to laboratory tasks involving hazardous chemical use
- Criteria for establishing control processes (administrative controls, engineering controls, etc.) to decrease hazardous material exposure
- A requirement to ensure proper functioning of various laboratory protective equipment, such as fume hoods
- Various provisions for employee training and information (symptoms related to exposure, permissible exposure limits, etc.)
- Listing of conditions under which certain laboratory activities require employer approval
- Various provisions for medical examination and consultation (including medical surveillance and follow-up examinations if needed)
- Specification of individuals responsible for overseeing the plan and its implementation, including a Chemical Hygiene Officer
- Stipulations for providing added protection for individuals who deal with highly dangerous chemicals (e.g., use of equipment and procedures to protect against contamination)
Additional in-depth information on chemical hygiene plans and their required elements, as well as on the Laboratory standard, may be found on the OSHA website.
As a fundamental part of chemical safety, chemical hygiene plans are vital to helping ensure the well-being of individuals in the workplace laboratory setting. For chemical safety professionals, having access to a wealth of information on numerous hazardous substances is also essential. Contact ToxPlanet to learn more about our suite of solutions designed to help manage the impact of chemicals in the workplace and on the environment. Also, be sure to register for a Free Trial. Experience the ToxPlanet difference and see how we can help address your chemical hazard information needs.