Lab Chemical Hygiene Program

The purpose of the Laboratory Chemical Hygiene Program is to inform employees of potential chemical hazards associated with working in a laboratory. The program is mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) “Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories” standard (29 CFR 1910.1450), and is commonly referred to as the “Laboratory Standard.”

Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP)

The Chemical Hygiene Plan is a written program stating the policies, procedures and responsibilities that protect workers from the health hazards associated with hazardous chemicals used in the workplace.

Each laboratory must complete and maintain a Chemical Hygiene Plan. A template is available from EH&S, but must be amended to be made laboratory-specific. The plan must establish procedures, equipment, personal protective equipment, and work practices that are capable of protecting employees from hazardous chemicals while performing work in the lab.  All employees must know the location of the CHP in their laboratory/work area. Additionally, the plan must be immediately accessible (i.e., not in a locked office) to all staff throughout each work shift.

The Chemical Hygiene Plan must be reviewed/updated annually by the PI or Lab supervisor/manager. Annotate the name of the reviewer and review date on the CHP Update Form (available on the EH&S Forms Page), then insert the form in the beginning of the CHP. 

Lab-Specific Training

Each PI/lab supervisor is responsible for ensuring all lab employees are appropriately trained on the hazards within their specific work environment. Training must occur at the time of initial assignment and whenever a new chemical hazard is introduced into the lab.

Worker Training Must Include, at a minimum:

  1. The physical and health hazards of chemicals in the work area
  2. Measures workers can take to protect themselves from these chemical hazards
  3. Methods and Observations that may be used to detect the presence or release of a hazardous chemical
  4. Standard Operating Procedures developed specifically for the safe handling of chemicals in the work area
  5. Spill response and other emergencies

The Lab Specific Documentation Checklist is the required training record which outlines the information to be discussed. It is available on the EH&S Forms page. Chemical hygiene training records must be readily available for inspection by EH&S and the location, of which, must be known by all employees. 

Chemical Inventory

An inventory of hazardous chemicals in GU laboratories is maintained in the EH&S Chem Bio Portal. This chemical inventory is updated by the owner of these chemicals (i.e., PI/ lab or facility manager), with oversight provided by the Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) office. EH&S training modules and “Portal” are accessible via the EH&S homepage. This portal allows researchers/ lab staff to manage personnel, training, multiple inventories, and inspection results.

EH&S portal access is requested by contacting EH&S via email ( Please include the names of all individuals requiring access and the respective GU NetID.

NOTE: The EH&S training modules and portal are ONLY accessible from computers physically located at Georgetown University.

Safety Data Sheets

In addition toSafety Data Sheets (SDSs) being a major requirement of the Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200), the retention of Safety Data Sheets is also a requirement of the Laboratory Standard (29 CFR 1910.1450). For detailed information on Safety Data Sheets, please visit our Hazard Communication/Safety Data Sheets.