Neumann University - Chemical Hygiene Plan

Section 4         Standard Operating Procedures for Laboratories, Chemicals,

            and Compressed Gas Cylinders                   


date:  7/1/2003 


4.1 Rules for the Chemical Lab. These can also be found in the introduction to the laboratory manuals used for each course.


·        Safety goggles, laboratory apron and shoes are to be worn at all times in the laboratory.  Personal eyeglasses are not acceptable as safety goggles. Contact lenses are not recommended for use during any laboratory work. Any student wearing contact lenses must inform the instructor at the first lab meeting.


·        Laboratory work is permitted only when a qualified instructor is present. Student assistants are not permitted to work alone or unsupervised.


·        No food or beverage is permitted in the laboratory at any time, even when a laboratory course is not in session.


·        Learn the location of safety equipment:  fire extinguishers, safety shower, eye wash stations, fire blanket, first aid kits, and any other specified equipment.


·        Dispose of all waste properly in the appropriate waste containers. Any reagents or solutions requiring special disposal will be identified at the beginning of each lab. Dispose of solids in the waste cans provided, never in the sinks.  Dispose of glass in the specifically designated container.


·        Read labels on reagent bottles before using.  Never put unused reagent back in a reagent bottle.


·        Lubricate glass, including thermometers, before inserting through tubing or a stopper.


·        Use a funnel to transfer liquids into container with a small opening.


·        If used, the Bunsen burner requires particular care.  Never reach over a lit burner. Never leave a lit burner unattended.  Tie back long hair.  Never point a heated test tube at a person. Never use a Bunsen burner when flammable liquids are on the bench.


·        Never put a chemical, reagent solution or pipette in your mouth.


·        When diluting acid, always add the acid slowly into water.

·        Follow directions given for the experiment.  Do not innovate.

·        Flush any chemical spills on the skin immediately with cold water.


·        Immediately report all accidents, spills and breakage to the laboratory instructor.


·        In the event of a spill, follow the instructions of the Laboratory Instructor promptly and carefully.

·        Clean and dry all glassware and replace it and all laboratory hardware in the correct laboratory drawers or cabinets before leaving the laboratory. 


·        Thoroughly wash hands with soapy, running water or designated cleansing solution before leaving the laboratory.



4.2 Chemicals Procurement, Handling and Storage.

















4.3 Handling and Storage of Compressed Gas Cylinders.


·        Cylinders of compressed gases are hazardous for several reasons. They are under high pressure and therefore contain a large amount of energy. They may contain a toxic or flammable chemical.


·        The only cylinders of compressed gas used by the chemistry labs at Neumann contain helium or nitrogen. Helium and nitrogen are inert, non-toxic and nonflammable. Note however, that release of a large quantity of either gas in a poorly ventilated area could displace enough oxygen in the surrounding atmosphere to cause asphyxiation.

·        Cylinders should always be stored and used in a well-ventilated area and away from any heat source.


·        A stored cylinder must always have a cylinder cap and be strapped firmly in place.


·        A cylinder in use must be firmly secured with a strap or chain to insure that it cannot tip or fall.


·        An empty cylinder must be tagged and labeled as “EMPTY” or “MT”.


·        A cylinder can only be moved with a cylinder cart and must be strapped onto the cart.


·        A cylinder should be checked for leaks when first put into service.


·        The proper two-stage regulator shall always be used. The regulator should be inspected prior to use.


·        Regulators must never be lubricated. Teflon tape may be used on fittings to insure a snug fit.


·        Following delivery of compressed gas cylinders to the lab, only a chemistry faculty member may handle them.


4.4 Safety Inspections