4-OP-G-4 Chemical Safety

Responsible Executive:‚Äč Finance and Administration

Approving Official: Vice President for Finance and Administration

Effective Date: January 1, 2014

Last Revision Date: Unrevised at this time



  • The primary objectives related to protection from chemical hazards fall into two general categories: those intended to protect personnel from immediately observable deleterious effects after an exposure and those intended to prevent latent injuries or conditions that may occur from much lower levels of chronic exposures. Engineering controls, administrative policies, and personal protective equipment, in that order of preference, when applied with adequate training, are the main tools utilized to afford protection in both of these categories. All use of chemicals and potential exposures should be kept to levels that are as low as reasonably achievable in order to most effectively reduce the potential for harm to personnel and any possibility of a resulting impact on the environment. The subjective part of this principle is obviously what is "reasonable", some of this is governed by law or covered in guidance documents from sources such as OSHA, NIOSH, ACGIH, and EPA and much is left to common sense. EH&S personnel and other best practice resources must be utilized in making this determination in cases where "reasonable" is not obvious.
  • Protection of the environment is directly addressed by federal and state regulations and programmatic policies aimed at precluding potential hazardous material releases to the environment during use, transport, and storage as well as for assurance of proper ultimate disposal. Voluntary efforts that target waste generation reduction methods such as purchasing only quantities that will be used expeditiously and substitutions of less hazardous chemicals when feasible need to be given a high priority by users. Waste reduction will continue to be the most important facet beyond prescribed compliance for achieving this objective; it is ultimately the most cost effective approach and represents the best practice for ensuring sound University-wide environmental stewardship.


  • The responsibility of the Chemical Safety section within the Department of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) is to ensure that the environment and all individuals at Florida State University (FSU) are protected against exposure to hazardous materials possessing the potential to harm people, property, or the environment. The majority of this responsibility is addressed through routine programs aimed at ensuring the safe storage, handling, and proper disposal of chemicals used on campus and through routine inspection and testing of related equipment such as safety showers, eyewashes, and chemical fume hoods.
  • Faculty, staff, students, and visitors at all FSU facilities and field sites must protect themselves, the environment, and others by adhering to all applicable federal, state, and local regulations.
      1. The Chemical Safety section of EH&S is responsible for the protection of personnel and the environment from the potential hazards associated with chemicals used in FSU operations or at any of our facilities. Individuals, and those supervising personnel, that may be working with these materials are also responsible for affording due protection to control any potential exposures or releases that may result from their actions.
      2. Chemical Safety section staff will ensure that all safety equipment used for the protection of people and the environment at FSU facilities is tested for functionality and adequate for the intended purpose. This includes routine inspections and/or physical testing of fume hoods, safety shower and eyewash stations, and specialized pre-staged spill control equipment. Additionally, EH&S will often provide waste collection containers, other materials, and instructions on their proper use to end users. However, the ultimate responsibility for procurement and provision of personal protective equipment, waste containers, and related hazardous material control materials is the responsibility of those personnel supervising operations requiring these items. Facility managers or others that install or contract installation of safety equipment covered by this policy should contact Chemical Safety personnel during planning to ensure adequacy and compliance and must contact the Chemical Safety section as soon as possible after it is installed to ensure that initial and routine inspection and testing will be performed.
      3. Compliance issues related to chemical safety are highly regulated and frequently scrutinized. Chemical Safety section staff should be consulted prior to any unusual operations involving these hazards or whenever there are any questions as to the proper controls that need to be utilized.
      1. Chemical Hygiene Plan
      2. Chemical Storage