Chemical Safety in Research and Teaching Laboratories

One of the most critical aspects of laboratory safety is the safe use of hazardous chemicals.  There are many Federal, State and local regulations that cover the broad range topics that go into a comprehensive Chemical Safety Program.  A key safety regulation applicable to many NMSU laboratories is the OSHA Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories (29 CFR Part 1910.1450).  Commonly called the OSHA Lab Standard, this regulation was created to ensure that employee exposure to hazardous chemicals in laboratory settings are minimized and sets forth safety requirements for both employers and trained laboratory personnel engaged in the use of hazardous chemicals

Under the Lab Standard the laboratory use of hazardous chemicals means the handling or use of chemicals where all of the following conditions are met:

  • Chemical manipulations are carried out on a laboratory scale;
  • Multiple chemicals or chemical procedures are used;
  • Procedures are not part of a production process or don’t simulate a production process;
  • Protective laboratory practices and equipment, designed to minimize the potential for worker exposure to hazardous chemicals, is available and in common use.

However, as noted above, the Lab Standard is just one of many regulations governing the safe use, storage and disposal of hazardous chemicals and materials at NMSU.  The information presented on pages in this section include detailed information on several critical aspects of the overall NMSU Chemical Safety Program, specifically as it relates to the use of hazardous materials in laboratories and other research environments.

Contact NMSU Environmental Health Safety & Risk Management by phone at 646-3327 or email at if you have questions or need more information about any Chemical Safety Program topic.