Writing an Effective Chemical Hygiene Plan

All schools with small-scale, non-production laboratories where small experiments occur must develop a chemical hygiene plan (CHP). OSHA’s Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories standard, effective May 1, 1990, specifies the requirements of a CHP.

A chemical hygiene plan seeks to control chemical and physical hazards associated with the exposure and use of chemicals in a school laboratory.

CHP Required Elements

A CHP must be developed under OSHA’s laboratory standards and has a variety of requirements that must be met. The laboratory safety standard requires the following:

  • Designation of a chemical hygiene officer (CHO)
  • Management and use of safety data sheets
  • Hazard recognition and control
  • Waste Management
  • Exposure monitoring, medical consultations and examinations
  • Standard operating procedures
  • Emergency response and waste management
  • Record Keeping and inspection of safety equipment

Chemical Hygiene Plan Best Practices

While OSHA has a variety of requirements for a CHP, there is always room for improvement when it comes to the safety of children and the community. There are a variety of best practices that can ensure your management plan is effective:

  • OSHA requires annual maintenance of a CHP, but it is best practice to review the CHP monthly and update all expired information
  • Safety data sheets may be kept in one place and be accessible by those who need them, but it is best practice to keep all SDS’s in a cloud format to ensure none are lost or misplaced
  • Sharing information between multiple personnel and delegating tasks like updating an SDS, having different people conduct internal audits, and updating staff changes in the CHP will keep it up-to-date

Overall, delegating responsibilities ensures that a variety of people are well-versed in your CHP and helps you keep safety at the forefront of faculty and staff’s minds.

At Maine Labpack, Inc. we understand that writing a chemical hygiene plan can be daunting. We are here to guide you, conduct a walk-through of your facility, and help you write or rewrite a CHP. Request a quote today!