The University of Alabama, Division of Finance and Operations

Chemical Hygiene Policy

Unit:  Environmental Health and Safety
Contact: Juliette Commodore Botoklo, PhD
Title:  Laboratory Safety Manager and Radiation Safety Officer
Effective Date: 5/26/2023
Revision Date: 05/26/2023



The purpose of this policy is to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations regarding the use of hazardous materials on University of Alabama ("University") property, with a specific focus on laboratory spaces, and to promote the safe operation of the University's teaching and research laboratories.


Roles and Responsibilities

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) is responsible for developing, implementing, and managing programs involving chemical safety at the University through the Chemical Hygiene Policy and other guidance documents. EHS is also responsible for the following: 
  • Working with administrators, faculty, and laboratory personnel to develop and implement appropriate chemical hygiene practices.
  • Monitoring procurement, use, storage, and disposal of laboratory chemicals.
  • Ensuring that adequate documentation is maintained by the individual departments.
  • Conducting laboratory safety surveys.
  • Assisting with training programs as needed or requested.
  • Providing assistance to departments, administrators, laboratory personnel, students, and the campus community as needed.
  • Providing industrial hygiene monitoring and services as needed.
  • Serving as the University subject matter expert, providing a record of required documentation, and serving as an information source.
The Principal Investigator or laboratory supervisor has overall responsibility for chemical hygiene in the laboratory, including, but not limited to, responsibility for: 
  • Developing and implementing a Lab Chemical Hygiene Plan for each laboratory-related space.
  • Ensuring that workers and students know and follow the chemical hygiene and safety guidelines.
  • Ensuring that protective apparel and equipment are available and appropriate for potential exposure.
  • Ensuring that appropriate training has been provided and documented.
  • Providing regular chemical hygiene, housekeeping, and emergency equipment inspections.
  • Ensuring that facilities and training are adequate for the use of any material (hazardous and non-hazardous) that is present in the lab.
  • Reporting when an incident/accident or near miss occurs within the lab by completing an Injury or Illness Report.
  • Implementing and enforcing the use of safety procedures.
  • Ensuring the availability of Safety Data Sheets and relevant reference materials.
  • Consulting with EHS for safety matters as they pertain to specific lab and research aspects.
  • Providing necessary and appropriate documents to EHS.
  • Meeting all requirements of the Guidelines and Procedures for Decommissioning of a Laboratory whenever a lab is relinquished for any reason. 
In addition, it is the responsibility of colleges, schools, departments, and other units using or generating hazardous materials to maintain accurate records and to track hazardous materials from their purchase or generation through their storage and eventual disposal. In addition, records must be maintained for proper review or approval for hazardous materials prior to ordering and use of these materials. 

Colleges, schools, departments, and other applicable units may develop additional procedures or policies for use of hazardous materials within their establishment, but such procedures and policies must be reviewed by EHS. Prior to implementation, EHS will review and provide feedback related to these safety procedures or policies.

Chemical Hygiene Plan

The Chemical Hygiene Plan (pdf) provides guidance and basic rules for a range of information including, but not limited to, the following:
  • Purchase, receipt, storage, security, transportation, use, and disposal of hazardous materials.  
  • Design, implementation, and documentation of lab-specific training programs necessary for the development and maintenance of a safe laboratory on campus.
  • Safety equipment, ventilation, signage, and design of laboratory spaces.
  • General laboratory practices, chemical management, procedures for working with hazardous chemicals, and medical surveillance.
For immediate feedback regarding Hazardous Materials or concerns related to the Chemical Hygiene Policy or Plan, contact EHS at 205-348-5905. In the case of an emergency contact UAPD at 205-348-5454 or 911. For supplemental guidance documents pertaining to specific hazards or the Chemical Hygiene Plan, refer to the EHS website.


Failure to comply with the requirements specified in this policy may violate various federal and state laws and regulations and expose the University to fines and penalties. Failure to comply with the requirements specified in this policy can also result in disciplinary actions for the individual(s) involved, and such individuals may be billed for necessary repairs due to damages incurred.


  • Chemical:  Any substance or mixture of substances produced or used in a process/reaction involving changes to atoms and molecules.
  • Hazard:  Any source of potential damage, harm, or adverse health effects on the worker, public, and the environment under certain conditions.
  • Hazardous Material:  Any substance or material designated or reflected in Title 29 CFR 1910.210. Exposure to these materials may result in adverse effects on the worker, the public, and the environment.
  • Laboratory Personnel:  Any individual who works in the laboratory.
  • Laboratory Supervisor:  The individual responsible for overseeing/supervising day-to-day activities in the laboratory.
  • Principal Investigator (PI):  The primary individual with ultimate responsibility for the preparation,  conduct, and administration of a research grant, cooperative agreement, training or public service project, institutional-based or affiliated project, contract, or other sponsored project in compliance with applicable laws and regulations and institutional policies governing the conduct of said sponsored research. 



This policy applies to all UA faculty, staff, students, and guests who work in laboratory environments that present any hazards associated with the use of chemical or other hazardous materials. 

Office of the Vice President of Finance and Operations

Approved by Cheryl Mowdy, Assistant Vice President for Finance and Operations, 05/26/2023