Chemical Hygiene Plan

Responsibility and Authority


The President of Wellesley College

The President of Wellesley College, Paula A. Johnson, has the final responsibility for the safety and health of the faculty, students, and staff working at the College.

Director of the Science Center

The Director of the Science Center is Cathy Summa, room E402, ext. 3104.

  • The Director of the Science Center has the responsibility and the authority to see that the Chemical Hygiene Plan is written, updated and implemented.
  • The Director of the Science Center has appointed the Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO) in accordance with the definition in paragraph (b) of the 29CFR1910.1450 and requirements outlined in Section IIb.

Chemical Hygiene Officer

The Chemical Hygiene Officer of the Science Center is Suzanne Howard, EHS Director
Environmental Health and Safety
Extension 3882

The Chemical Hygiene Officer is an employee designated by the Institution, and who is qualified by training or experience, to provide technical guidance in the development and implementation of the written Chemical Hygiene Plan.

Duties include the following:

  • Work with the Faculty and Administration to develop and regularly update the Chemical Hygiene Plan for the Science Center.
  • Work with Faculty and Administration to monitor safe procurement, use and disposal of chemicals.
  • Assist responsible Laboratory Supervisor with required safety audits and their documentation including documentation of training.
  • Advise Laboratory Supervisor concerning adequate facilities and procedures under the regulation.
  • Seek ways to improve the Chemical Hygiene Program. 

In addition, the Chemical Hygiene Officer is responsible for knowing the contents of the relevant regulation (Occupational Exposures to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories,29CFR1910.145) as well as the Chemical Hygiene Plan.

Laboratory Supervisor

The laboratory supervisor or the instructor for the course is the person responsible for the research laboratory and the prep rooms. The primary responsibility of the supervisor is to institute the Chemical Hygiene Plan and ensure compliance with the OSHA Laboratory Standard.

Duties include the following:

  • Ensure that all work is conducted in accordance with the Chemical Hygiene Plan.
  • Define the location of work areas where toxic substances and potential carcinogens will be used.
  • Obtain, review, and approve standard operating procedures, detailing all aspects of proposed activities that involve hazardous agents.
  • Prepare a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for use of substances when this use involves alternate procedures not specified in these guidelines. The SOP will include a description of the alternate procedure and an assessment of alternate controls that will be used. For SOP's press here.
  • Define hazardous operations, designate safe practices, and select protective equipment.
  • Ensure that program and support staff receive instructions and training in safe work practices, use of personal protective equipment, and in procedures for dealing with accidents involving toxic substances.
  • Ensure that staff and students understand the training received.
  • Monitor the safety performance of the staff to ensure that the required safety practices and techniques are being employed.
  • Arrange, when requested, for workplace air samples to determine the amount and nature of airborne contamination, inform employees of the results, and use data to aid in the evaluation and maintenance of appropriate laboratory conditions.
  • Conduct formal laboratory inspections periodically to ensure compliance with existing laboratory SOP's;
  • Prepare procedures for dealing with accidents that may result in the unexpected exposure of personnel, or the environment, to a toxic substance.
  • Investigate accidents with assistance of the Chemical Hygiene Officer and/or the Safety Committee and report them to the Chemical Hygiene Officer. Include procedures that will minimize the repetition of that type of accident.
  • Report to the Chemical Hygiene Officer or the Safety Committee incidents that cause
    • serious exposure of personnel to hazardous chemicals or materials, such as the inoculation of a chemical through cutaneous penetration, ingestion of a chemical, or probable inhalation of a chemical, or
    • a danger of environmental contamination.
  • Ensure that action is taken to correct work practices and conditions that may result in the release of toxic chemicals.
  • Properly dispose of unwanted and/or hazardous chemicals aSeptember 16, 2011
  • Clean spills with the Chemical Hygiene Officer's assistance when necessary.


Safety Committee

 The Safety Committee will ensure that all laboratories in the Science Center are conducted in a safe manner and that compliance with OSHA, EPA, and DEP regulations is maintained. (For radiation and biosafety issues consult the Radiation and Biosafety Committee.)


The Safety Committee is comprised of representatives from the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, and Physics as well as the CHO, Administrative Director, Campus Safety Officer, and outside consultant. Other members will be appointed as deemed necessary.

Safety Committee Membership

 Duties and Responsibilities

  • Approve and annually update the Chemical Hygiene Plan;
  • Provide liaison to their respective departments regarding the formulation of safe working rules;
  • Attend periodic committee meetings and conduct safety inspections of the facilities each semester;
  • Approve protocols prior to the use of hazardous substances;
  • Review accidents in laboratories;
  • Conduct an annual reassessment of the Science Center Safety Manual;
  • Act as a resource for resolving student, faculty, and staff concerns.

Faculty, Students and Staff

All faculty, students, and staff working in laboratories have the following responsibilities.

  • Understand and follow all Standard Operating Procedures;
  • Understand all training received;
  • Understand the function and proper use of all personal protective equipment. Wear personal protective equipment when mandated or necessary;
  • Report to your supervisor any significant problems arising from the implementation of the Standard Operating Procedures;
  • Report to your supervisor all facts pertaining to every accident that results in the exposure to toxic chemicals, and any action or condition that exists which could result in an accident;
  • Contact your supervisor or, if not available, the Chemical Hygiene Officer if any of the above safety procedures are not clearly understood.


Visitors entering laboratories at Wellesley College will abide by the same rules and regulations as faculty, students, and staff.

Children under 16 years are not allowed in the laboratories. At the discretion of the Science Center Office exceptions may be made. All visitors to the laboratories must be in compliance with the safety policies set forth by the Science Center Safety Committee and everyone who works in the laboratory must receive chemical hygiene and safety training prior to starting work.

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