Department Chemical Hygiene Plans

Chemical Hygiene Plans (CHP) are the foundation of sound laboratory safety programs and can assist in promoting a culture of safety to protect employees from exposure to hazardous materials.  Written CHPs are mandated by the OSHA regulation Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories (29 CFR Part 1910.1450) which states:

“Where hazardous chemicals as defined by this standard are used in the workplace, the employer shall develop and carry out the provisions of a written Chemical Hygiene Plan.”

The OSHA Laboratory Standard defines a Chemical Hygiene Plan as:

“A written program developed and implemented by the employer which sets forth procedures, equipment, personal protective equip­ment and work practices that are capable of protect­ing employees from the health hazards presented by hazardous chemicals used in that particular work­place.”

All academic departments and other administrative unit (i.e. research centers) at NMSU, that have one or more laboratories that meet the definition described above, must have a written CHP which describes:

  1. How department employees will be protected from health hazards associated with hazardous chemicals in laboratories.
  2. Methods and controls used to keep lab worker exposures below the OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) for substances specified in 29 CFR Part 1910, subpart Z.

The department CHP must be readily available to all employees working with or in close proximity to hazardous chemicals.