Laboratory safety is an integral part of laboratory teaching and research. Safety is critical to achieving the University’s goal of preventing workplace injuries and illnesses, environmental incidents and property losses or damage. It is also essential in complying with all applicable health, safety and environmental protection laws, regulations and requirements.
The risks associated with participating in laboratory activities are greatly reduced or eliminated when proper precautions and practices are observed in the laboratory. Each laboratory using hazardous materials or participating in hazardous operations are required to maintain a laboratory safety manual. Laboratory Safety Manuals will consist of written programs describing work practices and/or standard operating procedures pertaining to how the laboratory maintains their safety program.
UNC Asheville’s Chemical Hygiene Plan provides information regarding protection from health hazards associated with the laboratory environment in accordance with Department of Labor regulations and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970 including 29 CFR 1910.1450, “Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories”.
Chemical Safety Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
SOPs are a written set of instructions or guidelines that delineate the safe procedures and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to wear while performing particular experiments or activities. The development and implementation of SOPs is critical for ensuring a safe, healthy, and environmentally sound workplace. SOPs are recommended for all experiments. Lab Supervisors must approve a written SOP for operations involving Category 1 Acute Toxic Substances; Pyrophoric, Explosive or Highly Reactive Materials; and any Overnight/Unattended Operations.Chemical Hygiene Plan
Laboratory Supervisors are responsible for submitting their chemical inventory to the EH&S Office. The inventory is required to be updated on an annual basis and resubmitted to the EH&S Office by the end of January. Chemical Inventories are important to the University as they pertain to Emergency Response and Regulatory Reporting. The chemical inventory can also be used to promote chemical sharing throughout the University.
Green chemistry, also called sustainable chemistry, is an area of chemistry and chemical engineering focused on the design of products and processes that minimize the use and generation of hazardous substances. Whenever possible, UNCA encourages the use of green chemistry.