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The ACS Joint Board–Council Committee on Chemical Safety has prepared this
volume for the prevention of accidents in college and university educational chemistry laboratories. The information herein can be adapted to practices in all laboratories in which chemicals are used, including research, clinical, quality control, and
development laboratories, as well as in other workplaces. The general recommendations herein can serve as a basis for preparing a chemical hygiene plan or other
detailed instructions by those directly responsible for accident prevention in chemical
There is a preferred way to perform work with chemicals that can reduce the probability of accidents, including toxic exposures, to a negligible level. To reduce the
probability of accidents,
● practice the habit of accident prevention;
● use personal protective equipment (e.g., goggles, lab apron, or lab coat) at all times
in the laboratory;
● use the smallest quantity of material necessary to accomplish the goal of the
● when possible, substitute a less hazardous chemical for a more hazardous one; and
● anticipate the possible consequences of the work you do in the laboratory.
Before you begin an operation or perform an experiment, ask yourself, “What would
happen if ... ?” Answers to this question require an understanding of the hazards associated with the chemicals and equipment involved. The reactivity, flammability, corrosivity, and toxicity of the chemicals you use will dictate the precautions you take.
Such precautionary information might well form an introductory section in all written routine procedures.
Effective safety programs require the active and enthusiastic support from the top
administrative officer, the faculty and staff, and the students working in the laboratory
facility. An accident-prevention program intended to achieve safe conditions for students and other laboratory workers must include
● regular safety inspections at intervals of no more than three months (more frequently for certain types of equipment, e.g., safety showers and eyewash fountains...
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- Spring '07