Writing an Effective Chemical Hygiene Plan

All schools that have small-scale, non-production laboratories where small experiments occur are required to 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 standard 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

CHP 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, the delegation of 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 a daunting task. We are here to give you guidance, conduct a walk-through of your facility, and help you write or rewrite a CHP. Request a quote today!