Scope and Applicability

San Juan College continually strives to provide a learning, teaching, public service, and research environment that is reasonably free from recognized hazards.  Pursuant to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) Regulations (29 CFR 1910.1450), the college establishes this Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) to protect employees and students from potential health hazards associated with the handling, use, and storage of hazardous chemicals in laboratories.  


This Chemical Hygiene Plan applies to all laboratory scale usage of chemical products at SJC. “Laboratory scale is defined by OSHA as “work with substances in which the containers used for reactions, transfers, and other handling of substances are designed to be easily and safely manipulated by one person.  Laboratory scale excludes those workplaces whose function is to produce commercial quantities of materials.  

It should be noted that, although the standard is primarily directed at the laboratory usage of chemical products, the guidelines herein may also serve as a valuable resource for much of the campus usage, handling, storage, and disposal of chemical substances, as they may meet the definition of “laboratory scale.  The reader is also directed to the San Juan College Hazard Communication Plan for further guidance, as it also

applies to the usage and exposure to hazardous substances. This CHP is hereby incorporated into the college’s hazard communication program. 

The safe storage, use and disposal of chemicals in the laboratory require policies for the protection of students, employees, and the environment.  Chemicals, which include reagent grade materials through trade name products and wastes, have been the focus of increased regulatory action by federal, state and local governments.  The purpose of this CHP is to provide the chemical user with basic safety information regarding the use of chemicals.  This CHP forms the foundation of the safe use of chemicals in the laboratory. 

The manual is not intended as an encyclopedia of chemicals and their hazards. It will not contain listings of the thousands of chemicals that employees may potentially encounter while working in research, teaching, and development. Although numerous chemicals and compounds may be referred to herein, for the most part, they will serve as illustrations for broad categories of hazards, except in the case of chemical incompatibility charts or listings.  


The safe use of biological materials (e.g., potentially infectious medical waste such as human blood or other bodily fluids) requires control measures similar to those found in chemical safety.  However, biological agents may have the added dimension of infectious hazards, and require different disposal methods.  Please consult the San Juan College Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan (BPP) for proper work practices involving biological materials. Contact the Office of Health & Safety [OHS (-3775)] if you have any questions. 

PLEASE NOTE: IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT BIOWASTE NOT BE MIXED WITH CHEMICAL WASTE FOR WASTE DISPOSAL PURPOSES.  Chemical wastes, especially liquids, must not be placed in BIOHAZARD (RED) bags for disposal.  Not only does this create an unacceptable degree of hazard (in that the bags will leak), separate disposal companies, neither of which can take mixed waste, handle these two different types of wastes! Violation of this policy may result in the limitation or elimination of the college's waste disposal options or resources.




A.  The San Juan College Office of Health & Safety (OHS) is responsible for recommending to the Office of the Vice President for Business Affairs and the Safety Improvement Committee (SIT) the minimum requirements of the CHP that all laboratories must follow.  OHS and the SIT will review the CHP on an annual or as-needed basis. 

B.  Division Deans are responsible for establishing and maintaining compliance with the CHP.  To this end, they may wish to designate safety officers within the divisions or departments. A designated Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO) must be familiar with all the chemical activities of the department. 

C.  Laboratory Supervisors or Instructors have the overall responsibility for compliance with the CHP in his or her laboratory.  This responsibility may not be delegated. These responsibilities include: 

1.  Laboratory workers, students, and others entering the laboratory must know and follow chemical hygiene rules. 

2.  Personal protective equipment must be available, in working order, and used (where appropriate). 

3.        Appropriate training (as detailed in Section II) must be provided to all occupants of the laboratory. 

4.  Appropriate safety training records and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS’s) must be kept on file and be available. 

5.  Appropriate labeling of chemical containers must be provided and maintained (see Section IV). 

D.  Individual laboratory workers are responsible for: 

1.  Planning and conducting each operation in accordance with the standard operating procedures (SOP) outlined in this CHP and with all other applicable college policies. 

2.  Developing good hygiene habits. 

E.  The Office of Health & Safety (OHS) is responsible for working with faculty, staff, students, and others to develop and implement appropriate chemical hygiene practices and procedures. To accomplish this: 

1.  The College Health & Safety Officer or his or her designee shall be the College Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO). 

2. OHS will establish procedures to: 

  •                 monitor the procurement, use, and disposal of chemicals used in laboratories. 

  •                 assure, on a periodic basis, that appropriate laboratory chemical hygiene and housekeeping inspections are conducted and that records are maintained. 

  •                help Laboratory Supervisors and Lead Instructors develop proper precautions and adequate facilities. 

NOTE: OHS is also available for training/"curricular" classroom chemical safety presentations (call-3775)

  •                 know the current legal requirements for regulated substances, and serve as a campus-wide resource for such.


F.  Wherever hazardous chemicals are used on a laboratory scale, as defined by OSHA (see page 1 of this manual), a written Chemical Hygiene Plan must be available and implemented. 

This manual serves as the reference document for all Chemical Hygiene Plans developed at SJC. 

The Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) must be: 

1.  Available in the work area where chemicals are being used.

2.  Consistent with existing campus safety policies. 

3.  According to federal regulations and standards, and include, at a minimum: 

a.  Standard operating procedures (SOP’s) for each activity that uses hazardous materials.  The SOP’s may be generic in nature (i.e., similar operations using chemicals of the same general hazard class may be covered by one SOP). 

b.  Criteria used to determine the risk associated with chemicals and the procedures used. For example, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS’s) may be used for this determination.  NOTE:  To avoid underestimating risks, it must be assumed that a mixture is more toxic than its most toxic component and that all unknown substances are toxic. 

4.  Criteria used to determine and implement control measures to reduce laboratory workers' exposure to hazardous chemicals including engineering controls, the use of personal protective equipment, and hygiene practices.  Particular attention must be given to the selection of control measures for chemicals known or suspected of being carcinogens, reproductive hazards, or acutely toxic. 

5.  Provisions for laboratory worker training which must be commensurate with the severity of the hazard to which the  worker is exposed.  Specialized training may be required for laboratory workers using carcinogens, reproductive hazards, or acutely toxic chemicals.

Gary Lee
Director of Environmental Health
4601 College Blvd.
Farmington, NM  87401
(505) 566-3063 or (505) 566-3190