Safety Policy & Procedure Manual
Section 300: Laboratory Safety
Revised: 10/01/2001


To protect employees and students from the health hazards presented by hazardous chemicals used in laboratories.

Background Information

There are a variety of physical and chemical hazards associated with work in a laboratory.  The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division has established safety regulations to guide employers in controlling these hazards.  The primary regulation is titled "Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories." This standard mandates that OSU develop a written program that sets forth procedures, equipment, and work practices that are capable of protecting employees from the health hazards presented by hazardous chemicals used in laboratories.  The OSU Chemical Hygiene Plan has been established to meet this requirement and the procedures apply to all OSU laboratories where hazardous chemicals are used.

There are hazards found in laboratories that are not directly related to chemical exposures.  The safety guidelines and requirements established to reduce these hazards are found in University documents such as the Radiation Safety Manual, the Biosafety Manual, and the Laboratory Safety Rules.  Hard copies of these documents along with the OSU Chemical Hygiene Plan can be obtained from Environmental Health & Safety or by accessing the EH&S web page.


Oregon State University requires that all work occurring in an OSU laboratory be conducted in a safe and healthful manner.  Although students are not considered employees under Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OR-OSHA) regulations, OSU policy applies the requirements of the OSU Chemical Hygiene Plan to teaching laboratories.

Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) Responsibilities

The University’s Chemical Hygiene Officer and members of Environmental Health & Safety are responsible for reviewing and updating the Chemical Hygiene Plan, monitoring compliance with the Plan requirements, and assisting employees in understanding the application of the Plan.

Supervisor and Lab Manager Responsibilities

Department heads, principal investigators, and laboratory managers must understand the requirements of the OSU Chemical Hygiene Plan and incorporate these safety procedures into the laboratory operations.  They are also responsible for evaluating the hazards related to their laboratory and establishing appropriate access rules that ensure visitors to the lab are provided with the appropriate guidance and personal protective equipment.

Employee and Student Responsibilities

Faculty, staff, students and volunteer workers in labs are required to follow the laboratory safety procedures established in the OSU Chemical Hygiene Plan, and any additional safety procedures required by the lab manager or supervisor.