Handling and Transporting Chemicals

To work with chemical safety, it is important to do a risk assessment prior to beginning work with the chemical. The risk should be reevaluated if you change to your procedures.

The MSDS for the chemical will help you evaluate these hazards. The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) will minimize the risks.

Prudent practices and good housekeeping is directly connected to the level of safety in a laboratory. Prudent practices are common sense rules used to keep workers safe in the laboratory. Commmon sense is not as common as you think!

Prudent Practices

  • Never block aisles, exits or safety equipment
  • Do not store chemicals on the floor
  • Shelves and counters should be clean and not overcrowded
  • Label and date all chemicals
  • Pour liquids with the label facing up to prevent damage to the label
  • Never use abbreviation or scientific formulas when labeling chemicals
  • Always transport chemical in a secondary container
  • Work with the smallest amounts possible
  • Confine loose hair and clothing
  • Wear closed-toed shoes when working with hazardous chemicals
  • No eating or drinking in the lab
  • Never smell or taste chemicals
  • No mouth pipeting
  • Minimize direct contact with PPE

Shipment of scientific samples must comply with applicable guidelines which may included regualations associated with the carrier (USPS, FedEx or UPS), DOT, IATA or A person who knowingly violates the Federal hazardous material transportation law shall be fined or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both (49 CFR Part 107.333).

Use of extremely hazardous chemicals (40CFR Part 355 Appendix A, EPA EPCRA, 40 CFR 302.4), requires a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and be approved by the EH&S Officer before you place the order for chemical.

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