Standard Laboratory Safe Handling/Storage Requirements

Hazard Identification

Identifying the specific hazard associated with a chemical greatly reduces chances of misuse by laboratory employees or visitors. Hazardous chemical containers must have the chemical name(s) and hazard identification(s). With respect to identifying containers, storage areas and laboratory entranceways, the following conditions entail hazard identification:

  1. The PI must ensure that labels on incoming containers of hazardous chemicals for laboratory use are not removed or defaced. Labels contain information on the identity of the chemical in the container and its hazard identification. It is recommended that incoming containers be labeled with the PI's name and date of receipt.
  2. The PI must ensure that laboratory containers (those containers filled from the original shipping container) of chemicals are labeled.
  3. The PI must ensure that hazardous chemical storage areas are labeled.
  4. The PI must ensure that entranceways to laboratory facilities are labeled with the appropriate warning signs.
  5. The PI must ensure that employees have access to MSDS and are  familiar with the risks and safety measures that have to be taken.

Chemicals Developed in the Laboratory

The following requirements apply to chemical substances developed in the laboratory:

  1. If the composition of the chemical substance which is produced exclusively for the laboratory's use is known, the PI must determine if it is a hazardous chemical. This can be done by a literature search for similar substances. If the chemical is determined to be hazardous, the PI must provide appropriate training to protect employees.
  2. If the chemical produced is a product or a byproduct with an unknown composition, the PI must assume that the substance is hazardous.

Labeling

Container Labels

All containers of chemicals must be labeled with the name of the chemical and the hazard(s). If a chemical has more than one hazard, it must be labeled with all hazards. For example, acetaldehyde is both a flammable and a carcinogen, and must be labeled appropriately. Additionally, the subsequent guidelines shall be followed:

  1. All peroxide forming chemicals must be labeled with the date the container was opened. After the recommended disposal date,dispose it properly.
  2. As per the WIS Safety Plan,
    •  Anything available over the counter to the general public is exempt from labeling requirements if it has already been labeled by the manufacturer.
    • Stationary process containers such as tanks may be identified with signs, placards, process sheets, batch tickets or other written materials instead of actually affixing labels to process containers. The sign or placard must convey the same information that a label would and be visible to employees throughout the work shift.
    • Portable containers into which hazardous chemicals are transferred from labeled containers and which are intended to be under the use and control of the person who transferred it, within the work shift in which it was transferred, are exempt from labels. However, it is recommended that a temporary label identifying the chemical and its primary hazard be affixed to the container.
    • All sample containers or prepared solutions must be labeled. If there is a large quantity of containers with the same chemical, labeling of the container, tray, cupboard or refrigerator will suffice.

Waste Containers

All hazardous chemical waste should be segregated and labeled according to the WIS Hazardous Waste Disposal Guide. Upon initial waste collection, attach a WIS Materials coloured disposal tag. For more specific information regarding hazardous wastes, reference the WIS Waste Disposal Guidelines