Chemical Hygiene Responsibilities


Has ultimate responsibility for overall safety within the institution and must, with other administrators, provide continuing support for institutional health and safety programs.


  • Working with the Chemical Hygiene Officer, administrators, and other employees to develop and implement appropriate chemical hygiene practices and policies.
  • Ensuring that appropriate lab audits are conducted
  • Working with PIs to develop precautions and provide adequate facilities for research being conducted
  • Ensure that policies and regulations are enforced 


  • Work with administrators and other employees to develop and implement appropriate lab safety policies and procedures.
  • Conduct laboratory inspections/audits of laboratories where hazardous materials are used to assess hazards in the labs and convey deficiencies and violations to laboratory personnel
  • Assist laboratory personnel in assessment and selection of Personal Protective Equipment when assistance is needed
  • Provide technical expertise to help departments develop Standard Operating Procedures for laboratory operations for particularly high hazard operations that might include explosives, select carcinogens, highly reactive materials, etc.
  • Seek ways to improve the Chemical Hygiene Program
  • Review and, if necessary, update or revise the Chemical Hygiene Plan annually.
  • Develop and maintain a laboratory safety training program.
  • Maintain knowledge of the current legal requirements concerning regulated substances by attending annual training conferences/courses and reading/reviewing necessary publications.
  • Review reports of lab accidents, incidents, chemical spills, and near misses and make recommendations to help reduce or eliminate these events.
  • Conduct in lab training and encourage the use of self-inspections.
  • Participate in the review of new construction and laboratory renovations and provide technical assistance.
  • Assist with the close-out process for laboratories
  • Assist Department Chairs and PIs in the development of proper precautions and adequate facilities
  • Provide customer oriented resources and tools to enhance laboratory staff 


  • Work with the Chemical Hygiene Officers, administrators, and other employees to develop and implement appropriate chemical hygiene policies and practices.
  • Ensure that workers know and follow the chemical hygiene/lab safety rules
  • Conduct hazard assessments and determine the required levels of protective apparel and equipment for lab workers beyond minimum requirements established by RS
  • Ensure that protective equipment is available and in working order and that appropriate training has been provided.
  • Provide regular, lab safety and housekeeping inspections including routine inspections of emergency equipment.
  • Know the current legal requirements concerning regulated substances they are using in their research. ORS is available for assistance with information and resources.
  • Ensure that lab personnel have access to, understand, and are able to comply with the information provided on Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and other sources of information on the hazards of lab chemicals.
  • Ensure that facilities and training are adequate for all research conducted and materials being used
  • Ensure that any necessary Hazard Assessments have been conducted and recorded
  • Ensure that they and their employees have received required Chemical Hygiene and Hazardous Waste Management training 

*For more efficient implementation of the CHP, department heads should select one or more individuals to serve as departmental safety coordinators.  Department safety committees can also assume these responsibilities. 


  • Complete required training on the Lab Standard, either on-line or in person and to stay informed about the chemicals used in their work areas. 
  • Follow the Institutional Chemical Hygiene Plan and Lab Safety Manual policies and procedures
  • Use safe work practices and use protective equipment required for safe performance of their job.
  • Plan and conduct each experiment/process in accordance with the lab specific rules and any University Chemical Hygiene procedures.
  • Know the location of and how to use emergency equipment
  • Inform their supervisors of accidents and conditions or work practices they believe to be a hazard to their safety or health or to the safety or health of others.
  • Know the location of the Chemical Hygiene Plan and how to access SDS for chemicals used