V(m). Chemical Safety - Information and Training


rev 9/2004

A. Employee And Research Student Information And Training

Under the OSHA Laboratory Standard all employees working in laboratories must receive specific information and training regarding the requirements of the Standard, chemical hazards, handling methods, and emergency procedures. Employees include anyone who receives compensation from Mount Holyoke College for their services; this includes faculty, staff, and students on work-study or grant funded. Students doing independent research must also receive this training.

New faculty and staff meet with the Chemical Hygiene Officer to review the requirements of the Safety Handbook. Departments provide the Chemical Hygiene Officer with the names of all new faculty and staff; the Chemical Hygiene Officer then schedules a training meeting.

Student training has two components, an interactive computer training program administered by the Chemical Hygiene Officer and individual instruction by the faculty member with regard to specific hazards, handling procedures and emergency procedures in their laboratory. Training must be accomplished prior to working with hazardous chemicals in the laboratory. The Policy for Training of Student Employees and Research Students is included in Appendix V(m)-A.

B. Student Information And Training

Faculty members are responsible for providing safety information and training to their students including information on:

  • the hazards of the chemicals being used,
  • safe handling procedures,
  • use of personal protective equipment,
  • emergency procedures (see Chapter III), and
  • sources of additional information (e.g., labels, SDS, this Safety Handbook).

Specific notification must be given if an experiment involves the use of an acute toxin (see Chapter V(h)), select carcinogen (see Chapter V(i)), or reproductive toxin (see Chapter V(j)).

At the beginning of each semester in laboratory courses, the faculty member must demonstrate the use of safety showers, eyewash stations, fire blankets, and fire extinguishers; and indicate the location of emergency exits, pull boxes, and evacuation routes. Activation of the safety equipment is not necessary as part of the demonstration.

C. Special Requirements For Formaldehyde

The OSHA Formaldehyde Standard requires annual training for all users of formaldehyde containing products containing greater than 0.1 percent formaldehyde or capable of releasing in excess of 0.1 ppm. That training is the responsibility of the faculty member supervising the use of formaldehyde containing products. The training must include:

  • a discussion of the contents of the regulation (required for employees only) and the MSDS,
  • a description of the potential health effects of symptoms of exposure,
  • reporting requirements for symptoms of exposure,
  • description of safe work practices and engineering controls (e.g., fume hoods),
  • the purpose of personal protective equipment (e.g., goggles and gloves), and
  • instructions for handling emergencies.

The fact sheet provided in Appendix V(m)-B may be used to accomplish this training and should be distributed or posted in all laboratories using formaldehyde in concentrations greater than 0.1 percent. The requirements for training will be discussed during initial faculty/staff Safety Handbook training.


A: Policy for Training

B: Formaldehyde Fact Sheet