Wellesley College's Biosafety Program puts forth programs to protect faculty, staff and students from exposure to biohazardous materials, to guard against the release of biohazardous materials that may harm humans, animals, plants or the environment, and to protect the integrity of experimental materials. Responsibility for oversight of the program resides with the Environmental Health and Safety Office, the Science Center Office and the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC). All recombinant or synthetic DNA studies, pathogenic organisms, and bloodborne pathogens must be registered with the IBC.
Wellesley College Information:
- Biosafety Manual (includes info on risk assessment, roles and responsibilities, biosafety cabinets, PPE, autoclave use, and waste disposal)
- Registration Form for Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules and Infectious Agent Research
- Amendment Form for Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules and Infectious Agent Research
- Biosafety, Biosecurity, and Emerging Biotechnology - NIH Office of Science Policy Website
- American Biological Safety Assocation (ABSA) - Video - Working at Animal Biosafety Levels 1, 2, and 3
- ABSA - Risk Group Classification for Infectious Agents: Risk Group Database
- Biosafety Links from ABSA
- Center for Disease Control (CDC) Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) 5th Edition
- CDC Primary Containment for Biohazards: Selection, Installation and Use of Biological Safety Cabinets - 3rd Edition
- CDC's Online Lab Safety Training
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules
- Public Health Agency of Canada - MSDS for Infectious Substances
- World Health Organization (WHO) Laboratory Biosafety Manual
- Biosafety cabinets - BSC MythBusters
The OSHA Lab standard applies to all employees working with hazardous chemicals in the laboratory. The Chemical Hygiene Plan addresses how to safely work with hazardous chemicals to prevent occupational exposure in the laboratory.
- Standard Operating Procedures for Hazardous Chemicals
- OSHA Laboratory Standard - Safety & Health Topics Page and Lab Safety Fact Sheets
- OSHA Hazardous & Toxic Substances - Safety and Health Topics Page
- American Chemical Society - Committee on Chemical Safety - Booklet "Safety in Academic Chemistry Laboratories, 7th Edition Volume 1 Accident Prevention for College and University Students"
- American Chemical Society - Committee on Chemical Safety - Booklet "Safety in Academic Chemistry Laboratories, 7th Edition Volume 2 Accident Prevention for Faculty and Administrators"
- American Chemical Society - Committee on Chemical Safety - Brochure "Safety for Introductory Chemistry Students Brochure"
- Chemical Safety Board - Video on Lab Accidents entitled "Experimenting with Danger” is now available. See here for the news release by the CSB
- Laboratory Chemicals Safety Summaries from Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Disposal of Chemicals by the National Research Council in 1995.
The Radiation Safety Committee is responsible for ensuring that users of ionizing radiation are in compliance with existing regulatory requirements, such that any resultant radiation exposures are as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). These objectives are accomplished through a radiation safety program that includes protocol review, continuous accountability of materials and devices, radiation safety training, laboratory waste processing and personnel dosimetry. Responsibility for oversight of the program resides with the Science Center Office.
Hazardous Chemical Waste
Wellesley College is committed to pollution prevention and the management of hazardous chemical waste in compliance with applicable regulations. It is Wellesley’s goal to reduce, reuse or recycle, when possible. Hazardous chemical waste is managed by the EHS Office and the Science Center.
Other types of waste in the laboratory include biological, spill clean-up material, universal and medical wastes. Information on disposal practices can be found on under Waste Management
- American Chemical Society Less is Better - for waste minimization concepts for labs
- Science Center Rules for Working with Lab Animals
- Animal Handler Medical Questionnaire
- Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
- Rat Bites & Scratches Response Protocol
- National Research Council's Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals - 8th Ed
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration Guidelines for Workplace Exposures
- Safe Use of Anesthetic Gases from the University of Minnesota - Department of Environmental Health & Safety
- Safe Use of Anesthetic Gases in Laboratory Research from Stanford University - Department of Environmental Health & SafetyAnimals
The purpose of this Plan is to minimize and/or eliminate employee occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens. An occupational exposure, for the purpose of this standard, means reasonably anticipated skin, eye, mucous membranes, or parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) that may result from the performance of an employee's duties.
Information on Accidents, Injuries, and Chemical Release
- Police Department: x5555 or 2121 for non-emergencies
- Health Services: x2810
- EH&S: x3882
Department of Homeland Security
DHS's CFAT rule imposes comprehensive federal security regulations for high-risk chemical facilities which includes institutional research facilities.
Ergonomics is the scientific study of human work and considers the capabilities and limits of the worker during interaction with tools, equipment, work methods, tasks, and the working environment. It is, “fitting the task to the person and not the person to the task”. The EHS Office manages this program.
Fire Safety and Emergency Evacuation information.
OSHA Safety and Health Topic - Formaldehyde
A laboratory fume hood is a three-sided enclosure with an adjustable front opening. It is designed to capture, contain, and exhaust hazardous fumes generated inside its enclosure. Fume hoods accomplish this by exhausting air through the hood face to the outside of the building. Fumes are then drawn away from the worker's breathing zone. Because exposure to volatile chemicals is one of the top health and safety hazards to laboratory workers, a fume hood operates as a principle safety devise in a laboratory setting.
Links on Fume Hood Operation & Safety:
- Laboratory Chemical Hood Users Guide - Univ. of Louisville
- Fume Hoods and Biosafety Cabinets Safety Library - OSU EHS
- Video (7 min) on Various Types of Hoods from Jove.com
- Brochure on safe handling and storage of compressed gas cylinders.
- Scott Specialty Gases - Technical & Safety Data
- Check out the MythBusters: Air Cylinder Rocket on YouTube to watch a cylinder go straight through a block wall!
Properly labeled containers are important in protecting your health and safety as well as first responders. It is also an OHSA requirement.
Labels on purchased chemicals must include:
- The common name of the chemical
- The name, address and emergency phone number of the company responsible for the product
- An appropriate hazard warning
- Signal words used to indicate degree of hazard are "DANGER", for the most serious hazard, "WARNING", for moderate hazard, and "CAUTION" to indicate a lesser degree of hazard.
- Cornell EHS Label Program
The Laser Safety Program at Wellesley College follows ANSI Z 136.1 and 136.5 "The Safe Use of Lasers" and the MA DPH Regulations. Copies of the written program and ANSI standards are available in the EHS Office.
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health Regulations 105 CMR 121 : To Control the Radiation Hazards of Lasers, Laser Systems and Optical Fiber Communication Systems Utilizing Laser Diode or Light Emitting Diode Sources
- DPH Radiation Control Program Registration Form for ANSI Class 3b or 4 Lasers
- Wellesley College Laser Inventory Form for all ANSI Class Lasers
- Recommended Vendors for Laser Safety Products
Safety Data Sheets
A Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is designed to provide both workers and emergency personnel with the proper procedures for handling or working with a particular substance. SDS's include information such as physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point etc.), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill/leak procedures.
Medical Screening & Surveillance
Medical screening is a method for detecting disease or body dysfunction before an individual would normally seek medical care. Medical surveillance is the analysis of health information to look for problems that may be occurring in the workplace that require targeted prevention. Working with some lab chemicals (ie. formaldehyde) or equipment (lasers) may require faculty, staff or students to be involved in these programs.
EPA defines nanotechnology in their Final Nanotechnology White Paper as "Research and technology development at the atomic, molecular or macromolecular levels, in the length scale of approximately 1 - 100 nanometer range; creating and using structures, devices and systems that have novel properties and functions because of their small and/or intermediate size; and the ability to control or manipulate on the atomic scale." Click here for access to the EPA paper.
- OSHA's Safety & Health Topics on Nanotechnology
- OSHA Fact Sheet
- CDC & NIOSH Approaches to Safe Nanotechnology. Managing the Health and Safety Concerns Associated with Engineered Nanomaterials. March 2009.
- NIOSH Guidance and Publications
- UMass Lowell EHS Page for the Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing
- ASTM standards on safe handling
- ISO standards on safe handling
Personal Protective Equipment or PPE
- OSU's Chemical Guide - for info on Glove breakthrough time
- North's Section Guide for Respiratory and Hand Protection
- SHOWA BestGlove - Gloves by Chemical, CAS#, or Style
Select Agents & Toxins
- Wellesley College Requirements for Possession of Permissible Amounts of Select Agent Toxins
- CDC Select Agent Program
- Select Agent Toxins List
Shipping and Receiving of Hazardous Materials
Small spills can be cleaned up by the user if prepared, trained and spill response equipment is readily available.
- Evaluate the situation (including a review of the SDS)
- Notify manager/supervisor
- Secure the area
- Control and contain spill
- Clean up
- Ensure proper disposal of spill material
For large spills, unknown materials, or extremely hazardous materials, immediately secure & post the area. Contact Campus Police 24/7 at x 5555 and or EHS at x 3882 during work hours.
Large spills may require reporting to local, state or federal agencies. Contact EHS at x 3882 to ensure proper reporting.
American Chemical Society Guide for Chemical Spill Response Planning in Laboratories
Links & Resources:
- Science Center - Animal Care Facility
- Science Center: Lab Safety /sciencecenter/facilities/safetymanual
- OSHA Safety & Health Topics - Labs
- Yale University's Office of Environmental Health and Safety - Lab Safety
- Princeton University's Laboratory Safety
- NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards
- American Cancer Society Known and Probable Human Carcinogens
- Carolina Biological Lab Safety Do's and Don'ts