Natural Resources Conservation Service soil survey office laboratory safety guide

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Courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Since the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) in 1970 for employee health and safety, laboratory safety has greatly improved as a result of regulation. Careful pre-planning has been shown to mitigate the potential health hazards of the laboratory environment. NRCS Soil Survey Office Laboratory workers need to assess potential hazards before executing any laboratory method or procedure, always making safety a fundamental consideration. The purpose of this document is to help NRCS Soil Survey Office Laboratory personnel prevent unwanted events from occurring, to mitigate them if they do occur, and to improve the personnel’s knowledge and understanding of the requirements for a safe environment.

One section of this document is devoted to the Chemical Hygiene Plan of the laboratory. An individual directly involved with laboratory operations should be designated as the Chemical Hygiene Officer, who will be responsible for developing and implementing the Chemical Hygiene Plan. The Chemical Hygiene Officer can also serve as a general Laboratory Safety Officer.

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