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Environmental Health and Safety

Highly Hazardous Chemicals, Equipment and Processes

Your laboratory may store and use certain chemicals, equipment, and processes that present a high risk of injury or property damage when they are not properly handled.  Such chemicals, equipment and processes fall in the category of highly hazardous (HHCPs) and require written standard operating procedures and strict implementation of controls that include engineering, administrative, personal protection, and emergency preparedness.

Examples of HHCPs (non-inclusive)

  • OSHA select human carcinogens, reproductive toxins, mutagens, teratogens 
  • compressed gases especially those that are flammable, reactive, corrosive, and toxic
  • HF
  • Organic and inorganic mercury
  • unstable compounds that may explode (i.e., expired peroxide formers, dry picric acid)
  • water reactive substances (chemicals that form toxic or flammable gases upon contact with water)
  • pyrophoric substances (chemicals that will ignite spontaneously upon contact with air)
  • highly toxic liquids and solids
  • pressurized systems
  • equipment that poses significant physical hazards (cut, pinch, crush, high voltage, high pressure, others)
  • Category 1or 2 rating for most hazard classes according to GHS classification
  • Process that involves the use of any one or combination of the above

General Guidelines for Use and Storage of HCCPs

  • A written Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for use and storage must be reviewed by EH&S, Fire Safety, and/or the Chemical Safety Committee, approved by the Principal Investigator and signed by all authorized users
  • Required engineering controls and safety equipment (including but not limited to ventilated enclosure, blast shield,  gas sensors, fire extinguisher, spill kits, personal protective equipment)  must be put in place before the material is brought into the laboratory
  • The amount in storage must be reasonable and based on the amount and frequency of use specified in the procedure described in the approved SOP
  • A specific waste disposal strategy must be discussed with and approved by the EH&S Hazardous Waste Manager (Jeff Brannon,
  • A new written SOP must be reviewed, approved, and signed every time a scaling up of a procedure or process is planned

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.