Chemical Hygiene Plan/Laboratory Safety

Female wearing a lab coat, safety goggles and gloves, while working in a lab.

TWU is committed to protecting laboratory users from health hazards associated with the laboratory use of chemicals, as well as other laboratory safety hazards. To that end, TWU has developed a 2018 TWU Laboratory Safety and Chemical Hygiene Plan that sets the minimum standards for all TWU laboratories. Additional lab-specific procedures going above and beyond these minimum standards may also need to be developed for hazards not covered in the CHP.


This program applies to all laboratory users working in laboratories, including TWU employees and students, as well as visiting scientists and laboratory personnel. All laboratory users are to follow the procedures set forth in the CHP. The employee supervising a student or other subordinate’s activities is responsible for ensuring good chemical hygiene practices.

Laboratory users must follow all safe work practices, and complete all required training (both the TWU Chemical Hygiene training and lab-specific training required by the lab supervisor).

General Principles

The following principles guide implementation of TWU's CHP:

  • Minimize all chemical exposure - Because few laboratory chemicals are without hazard, general precautions for handling all laboratory chemicals should be adopted, in addition to specific guidelines for particular chemicals. Skin contact with chemicals should be avoided as a cardinal rule.
  • Avoid underestimation of risk - Even for substances of no known significant hazard, exposure should be minimized; for work with substances which present specific hazards, special precautions should be taken. One should assume that any mixture will be more toxic than its most toxic component and that all substances of unknown toxicity are significantly toxic.
  • Observe exposure limits - The Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) of OSHA, Recommended Exposure Limits (RELs) of the National Institutes of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH), and Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) must never be exceeded.

Additional Information

All laboratory users must be familiar with the requirements of the 2018 TWU Laboratory Safety and Chemical Hygiene Plan.

The Office of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) functions as the Chemical Hygiene Officer for TWU, and should be contacted if you have any questions or concerns about laboratory safety.

Page last updated 2:37 PM, November 19, 2018