Routine lab operations should be conducted according to the practices listed in the American Chemical Society Publication "Safety in Academic Chemistry Laboratories". Operations involving new use of hazardous materials and/or equipment need to be approved by the principal investigator. An organized hazard assessment is required for experiments and apparatus which may pose a significant hazard to employees, students, visitors, or property. The requirement for these reviews is not limited to operations using hazardous materials, but may include physical and mechanical hazards such as high pressure, lasers, and materials stress testing. The hazard assessment procedure should be a group effort which including persons responsible for the process or experiment, safety staff, and other appropriate personnel, such as engineering or maintenance staff. Short training courses covering the hazard review process and techniques are available for engineering, maintenance, staff, and students. The requirement for conducting hazard reviews, approved by the University Hazardous Materials Committee, has been incorporated into the facilities modification and safety plan procedures to assure that these reviews occur where they are required.
This purpose of this program is to minimize the risk of serious injury, property damage, and the associated impact of these events by reviewing hazardous equipment and processes to eliminate unreasonable risks at the design stage. The review process will generate appropriate recommendations for equipment design and work practices. A secondary objective is to educate students and staff through this process so that these principles may be applied to other projects, in the course of both their present and future employment.
This section applies to laboratory applications involving use of chemical and physical agents or equipment. Lab scale use of biological materials, radioactive materials, or equipment which may generate ionizing radiation is covered by requirements listed in the Biological Safety Manual and the Radiation Protection Handbook, with new use applications reviewed by the respective safety committees.
1. New Equipment / Hazardous Materials - Time of Purchase Review - In order to assure that appropriate safety equipment is obtained and to assure that appropriate safety controls are in place prior to the use of certain hazardous materials or equipment, please check Safety Reviews / Approvals at Time of Purchase . This is a listing of those items which need to be reviewed with Environmental Health and Safety personnel at the time of purchase.
2. Typical Lab Operations - "Routine Chemical Use" - Standard Operating Procedures - These operations should be conducted according to the methods described in the American Chemical Society Publication "Safety in Academic Chemistry Laboratories", procedures listed in your lab safety plan, and according to requirements listed elsewhere in this safety manual.
3. Small Scale Lab Operations - High Hazard Materials, Equipment, Processes - Lab Manager Review - This includes the new use of particularly hazardous materials or new procedures (heating, reactions, etc.) which may involve exothermic reactions, pressurized systems, or other potentially hazardous conditions. These operations must be approved by the principal investigator prior to initiation. Peer reviews which involve other faculty or staff who are experienced in the experimental procedure are encouraged.
4. Larger Scale, Pressure Vessels, Lasers, Compressed Gases - Team Review
b. Use of Class 3b and Class 4 lasers
c. Use of corrosive, toxic, or pyrophoric gases. See the Compressed Gas section of this manual.
d. Large scale use of hazardous chemicals (e.g. pilot plant type operation such as Pulp and Paper, etc) or lab use of hazardous chemicals in greater than one gallon containers.
e. Bulk chemical storage and supply systems
f. Other equipment or processes as determined by EHSC
Reviews should be conducted as early as possible to avoid the need for rework. Some equipment, such as pressure vessels, must be reviewed by Environmental Health and Safety prior to construction. Contact 515-6860 to determine the best time for the review.
Each supervisor or principal investigator is responsible for the following:
1. Review their equipment against the list of equipment and processes that require a hazard review (see the Application section of this document).
2. Assure that new equipment (including home built or donated equipment) and existing "to-be-relocated" equipment obtains a hazard review prior to startup or relocation. A review early in the design stage is recommended.
3. Assure that exempted pressure equipment (e.g. autoclaves) contain a tag which indicates that the equipment has been inspected annually through Physical Plant. Contact Physical Plant to report equipment which is lacking a sticker or indicates a test date older than 1.5 years.
4. Contact EHSC at 515-6860 to schedule hazard reviews for covered equipment. Review the following sections of this manual and companion material on the EHSC home page to obtain an understanding of safety requirements in advance of the hazard review. Advance review of this information will be helpful to incorporate necessary features into the initial design.
b. Class 3b and Class 4 Lasers
The hazard review procedure described below applies to the Team Review approach. This review procedure may be simplified, in some cases significantly, for smaller scale experiments or routine procedures where established guidelines for safe use are available. Contact Industrial Hygiene (515-6860) early in the planning stage to determine the appropriate review procedure for your application.
1. The hazard review procedure is initiated in the following ways:
b. Equipment or process needed hazard review is identified through the facilities modification procedure, safety plan review process, work area Inspection process, or other review mechanism such as department self inspections.
3. The process owner completes a Hazard Review Preparation Checklist which identifies the chemical and physical hazards associated with the equipment. He/she then provides this checklist, along with a process description and drawings, to team members in advance of the review. This allows for questions to be formulated in advance of the review meeting, increasing the effectiveness of the review.
4. The review meeting is scheduled by the equipment owner.
5. The review session consists of:
b. An overview of the process by the owner, using the drawings provided.
c. An examination of each segment of the process, examining potential hazards and recommended actions to prevent or lessen consequences of undesired events.
d. Review session wrap-up. Includes identification of follow-up action required.
7. When final inspection is completed, equipment startup is approved.
Hazard reviews are conducted according to the following prioritization:
1. New equipment, donated, purchased, or home built, planned for future use
This order may be modified should concerns arise over existing equipment regarding its design, condition, or associated use of hazardous materials.
A self review of existing equipment and processes is strongly encouraged. This will permit the earliest possible identification of unsafe conditions, hopefully well in advance of a formal safety review. Immediate correction of serious deficiencys can be implemented, along with the formulation of longer term plans and budgeting for correction of concerns that permit longer lead time. In addition, the probability of serious concerns (and their accompanying corrective action requirements) being noted through a later team hazard review process will be reduced. Tools for assisting staff and students in conducting hazard reviews include training and checklists.
Two hazard assessment courses are available through the EHSC. Facilities Hazard Assessment Training provides an overview of hazard assessment techniques and regulatory requirements for personnel responsible for University facilities engineering and maintenance. Hazard Assessment Techniques for Research Personnel provide a review of how a hazard assessment can be conducted along with a review of key requirements for design of systems using hazardous materials and physical agents.
Copies of design specifications for equipment using hazardous compressed gases and a electrical design requirements for hazardous equipment are available through Environmental Health and Safety. These are excellent references for personnel who are at the early stages of equipment design planning. Please forward any comments or suggestions for improvements to this section or the referenced checklists to Ken_Kretchman@ncsu.edu.
One of the objectives of the EHSC is to provide staff and students with information to aid them in their work. We hope that we can provide you with designs, specifications, concepts, or contact points to permit you to achieve your equipment design in a safe manner, but also at minimal time and cost, eliminating waste by using previously developed designs and solutions. Please contact 513-1422 if you are at the planning or design stage of a new process or equipment. We also would like to hear from you if you have what you feel may be a clever design or problem solution that can be shared with others at the University.