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All Safety Plans will be specific to the work area and the hazards present.  Although safety plans are not identical, minimum uniformity is required for quick referral and ease of use by various agencies.  All Safety Plans for occupied spaces will include a Cover Sheet, Safety Information, Chemical Inventory, Training, and an Evacuation Plan.  Unoccupied storage areas require modifications to the Safety Information and Training sections.  The following information is a guide for accurate safety plan development:

For specific information concerning laboratory use, please visit our Lab Safety page. For non-laboratory information, please visit our Health & Safety page.


The Safety Plan Database will produce a cover sheet, which lists all the basic information for that specific plan.  The following information will be included on this cover sheet:

  • Building and Room Number(s) of the “area”.  All areas not on the NCSU main campus must provide a complete street address.
  • Name of Principal Investigator(s) or designee.  Current office location, box number, office phone, and home phone of each Principal Investigator or designee is required.
  • Names of Persons Authorized.  Identification of all individuals working in the area.  Class names may be provided in lieu of individual names when applicable.
  • General Emergency Information.  All applicable emergency numbers appropriate for the area, e.g., Poison Control, Radiation Office.
  • Signatures and Dates.  Signatures of both the Principal Investigator and the EH&S reviewer.


This will serve as the body of the plan.  It will contain all the particular processes of your area.

  1. Process- List the processes or process types, associated with hazardous materials.  Processes may be described in general terms, such as “extraction” and “distillation”, or you may use more detailed terms such as “spectrophotometric analysis of cholesterol.”  All major processes in an area must be accounted for.  Attach additional sheets to describe hazard processes as needed.
  2. Hazardous Chemical and Chemical Class- All hazardous chemicals involved in each of the above processes and any expected by-products must be listed.
  3. Potential Hazards- Describe all potential hazards for each process (physical, biological or chemical).  If the laboratory contains numerous chemicals, it is acceptable to define the hazard for a class of chemical such as corrosive, oxidizer, flammable, etc.  Give specific examples of chemicals used in the laboratory.  Permissible exposure limits and exposure signs/symptoms must be detailed if not available on the material safety data sheet (MSDS).
  4. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Identify the PPE and hygiene practices required for each process, class of chemicals, individual chemicals, or physical hazards.  PPE includes gloves, eyeglasses, goggles, faces shields, and respirators.  If eye protection or respirators are required, indicate when and why they must be used. The laboratory written Respiratory Protection Program must be kept with the Safety Plan.  For each respirator, you must:
    • develop a separate, specific written procedure
    • attend a training course and complete fit testing provided by Environmental Health and Safety personnel
    • complete a medical clearance form
    • include the type of respirator to be worn and the specific cartridge used 
    • Engineering/Ventilation Controls – Described all engineering controls used to reduce employee exposures to hazardous chemicals or physical agents, such as ventilation devices, aerosol suppression devices, shielding and safety features on equipment.  Additional information on control measures is provided below.
    • Special Handling Procedures and Storage Requirements- List all storage requirements (i.e. segregation, flammable storage cabinets, etc) for hazardous materials in your area.  Include specific storage locations, special containment devices, restricted access plans, designated area and additional information on the proper storage and handling of hazmats.
    • Spill and Accident Procedures- Indicate how spills or accidental releases will be handled and by whom.
    • Special Precautions for Animal Use- Indicate whether any hazardous chemicals are being administered to animals.  Describe applicable safety procedures when working with animals.
    • Decontamination- Address decontamination procedures for equipment and glassware.  If biologicals are used, describe all methods of sterilization.


List all chemicals used in your facility, stating the common names where applicable and average quantity in your facility.  Do not use chemical abbreviations or chemical structures.  List all gas cylinders currently stored/used in the area.  All chemical inventory information must be prepared on the Excel template provided by EH&S and should be submitted electronically via the Safety Plan database as an attachment


Each safety plan is intended to serve as an instructional tool for all individuals working in an area, to apprise them of potential hazards, as well as the procedures necessary to foster a safe work environment.  The responsible individual must provide or arrange for employees to receive information and awareness training on chemical and physical hazards in the work area.  Training must be provided prior to working in an area where hazardous materials are used or stored, or where hazardous processes exit.  The information provided to employees must include:

  1. Hazard awareness for all chemicals, biological and radiological agents in an area
  2. Use of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
  3. Permissible exposure limits and/or recommended exposure limits
  4. Signs and symptoms of exposure for each chemical
  5. Location of reference materials
  6. Methods and observations to detect the presence of hazardous materials
  7. Function-specific work practices
  8. Selection, care, and use of available or required Personal Protective Equipment or clothing
  9. Review emergency procedures for fire, chemical spill, accident or other potential emergency situations

A brief description of the material and procedures for training of personnel who will use the area and a schedule stating when the training will be given must be clearly outlined on the Safety Plan.

The training material conveyed in the Safety Plan is intended to serve as the minimal training information.  Location-specific hazardous material training is required prior to use of the area with annual refresher training.  EH&S Center personnel is available as an additional resource.  Additionally, Environmental Health and Safety training may be required for select workplace hazards. 


Every Safety Plan must include a schematic drawing of the laboratory, which shows equipment, aisles, egress, fire extinguisher, and emergency power shutoffs, if available.  These should be written protocols addressing evacuation procedures and emergency conditions requiring evacuation of the laboratory.  A schematic must be attached with the safety plan in the database.