Prior Approval for Work with Particularly Hazardous Materials or Processes

Experiments that can be classified as high risk must receive prior written approval by the P.I., Department Head/Chair, EH&S and the Institutional Chemical Safety Committee (ICSC).  These experiments must be conducted in a labeled designated area segregated from the normal operations of the laboratory.  The designation of what constitutes a high risk experiment should be determined by a thorough risk assessment.  Some experiments may be classified as high risk because they utilize, generate, or have the potential to generate hazardous materials that present exceptional hazards.  These materials included anything that can be classified under GHS as a:

  • Pyrophoric liquid
  • Flammable gas, category 1 with the hazard statement: Ignites spontaneously on contact with air
  • Organic Peroxide, Type A-B
  • Explosives, Division 1.1-1.3
  • Self-Reactive, Type A-B
  • Acute Toxicity, category 1-2 inhalation route exposure for any material which is a gas
  • Acute Toxicity, category 1 for any route of exposure

There are a few exceptions to the above.  Small scale use of sodium azide as a preservative does not require prior approval, however, a designated area should be established for weighing of the bulk material.  Other exceptions may be granted through the ICSC.

Additionally, any process which may be classified as high risk through an appropriate risk assessment should receive prior approval.  These include, but are not limited to:

  • Other chemicals/activities that have a significant probability (based on incident history in the literature) to cause a lethal event (e.g., explosion).
  • Any chemical process or procedure which the Department Head/Chair has determined to be particularly hazardous and requires approval.
  • Any laboratory procedure or activity that cannot be conducted in accordance with the guidelines established in this Laboratory Health and Safety Plan / Chemical Hygiene Plan and other state and federal regulations and guidelines.
  • Any operation using 50% or greater hydrogen peroxide
  • Any operation using 85% or greater perchloric acid (or ≤ 85% and heated)

To submit experiments for approval, provide an SOP (you may use the template in the link at the top of this page) for the procedure to the Department Head/Chair, EH&S, and the ICSC.