The University of Arizona

Chemical Safety FAQs

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Campus Mail:
PO Box 245101

Phone: (520) 626-6850
Fax: 620-626-2583

rlss-help@email.arizona.edu


Mailing Address:
Research Laboratory & Safety Services
PO Box 245101
Tucson, AZ 85724

Street Address:
1717 E. Speedway Blvd, Suite 1201
Tucson, AZ 85719

What is an Approval Holder (AH)?

An Approval Holder (AH) is someone who is ultimately responsible for a laboratory or set of laboratories (administratively and operationally) that use or store hazardous chemicals. Usually, the AH is a Principal Investigator. The AH works with their Approval Safety Coordinator (ASC) and the RLSS to maintain compliance with the Laboratory Chemical Safety Program within his/her laboratories.

What is an Approval Safety Coordinator (ASC)?

An ASC is a laboratory worker that is designated by the Approval Holder (AH) to undergo advanced chemical safety training, help with the responsibilities of the AH and to facilitate compliance with the Laboratory Chemical Safety Program. The ASC also has delegated authority from the AH to be a main point of contact for the RLSS.

How do I register my laboratory into the Laboratory Chemical Safety Program?

Prospective Approval Holders register their laboratory or set of laboratories in the Laboratory Chemical Safety Program by completing the “Chemical Research Laboratory Registration Form” on the RLSS website located under “New Hazardous Chemical Laboratories.” Once completed, send it to the RLSS following the instructions on the form. You will be contacted by the RLSS within 2 business days after registration submission to schedule an initial visit.

What is the RLSS User Dashboard?

The RLSS User Dashboard (rlss.arizona.edu/services) is the major communication hub between the laboratory and the RLSS. It maintains pertinent records related to safety and compliance for the Approval Holder’s laboratory. These records include training requirements and completion records, laboratory hazardous chemical inventories, relevant plans (i.e. the University Chemical Hygiene Plan and the Approval Holder’s Laboratory Chemical Hygiene Plan), and worker affirmations to these plans. All laboratory workers under a Hazardous Chemical Approval have access to their training and affirmation records, can read and affirm to updated chemical hygiene plans, and access/edit that Approval’s hazardous chemical inventory and safety data sheet management system.

What training is required for the use of hazardous chemicals?

Hazardous chemical workers must complete the online General Laboratory Chemical Safety Training provided through the RLSS website (rlss.arizona.edu/train) and receive laboratoryspecific training from their Approval Safety Coordinator or their Approval Holder. Additional training may be required, such as respirator or fire extinguisher training. Click on the “Chemical Safety Training Information” link on the RLSS website under “Training” for more information.

What is Laboratory-Specific Chemical Safety Training, and how do I document it?

Laboratory-Specific Chemical Safety Training is required by the UA Laboratory Chemical Safety Program for all hazardous chemical laboratory workers, in addition to the online General Laboratory Chemical Safety Training. This training must be provided by the Approval Holder or Approval Safety Coordinator of a laboratory to every hazardous chemical worker under their Approval. The laboratory-specific training must cover, at a minimum, the storage and use of hazardous chemicals, required control measures when using hazardous chemicals, the location of safety equipment in the laboratory, and any other laboratory-specific plans, procedures or related hazardous chemical guidelines.

A template for this training can be found on the RLSS website. By affirming to reading and understanding the Laboratory Chemical Hygiene Plan, a laboratory worker also affirms to having been provided adequate Laboratory-Specific Chemical Safety Training. This fulfills the documentation requirements of the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard. The AH/ASC should maintain documentation of the information covered during the Laboratory-Specific Chemical Safety Training.

Why do I need to affirm to chemical hygiene plans, and how do I do this?

To be compliant with OSHA regulations, all laboratory workers under a Hazardous Chemical Approval must read both the University Chemical Hygiene Plan and the Laboratory Chemical Hygiene Plan for that Approval. All laboratory workers must also affirm that they understand the information within these plans, and are aware that they can seek assistance from the RLSS and their Approval Holder if needed. Workers will be reminded by the RLSS User Dashboard to complete this affirmation annually, or upon amendment of the plans.

Using the RLSS User Dashboard, laboratory workers can easily access the University Chemical Hygiene Plan, as well as the Laboratory Chemical Hygiene Plans for any Approvals under which the laboratory worker is registered. Workers can then read and affirm to these documents through their User Dashboard after logging in with their NetID.

Who can I contact for guidance or help with chemical use in my laboratory?

The RLSS is always available for assistance or guidance regarding laboratory chemical use by emailing rlss-chem-support@email.arizona.edu or calling 520-626-6850.

Additionally, other University departments are available for specific questions:

  • Facilities Management: for facilities-related issues (e.g. fume hoods, fire extinguishers etc.) call 520-621-3000
  • Risk Management Services: for waste disposal, air quality concerns, or respirator fit testing call 520-621-1790

Do I need a chemical spill kit for every laboratory?

No, a chemical spill kit may be shared between an Approval’s laboratories, as long as the laboratories are only separated by a single doorway (i.e. not a hallway). A reference guide for chemical spill kits is available on the RLSS website for more information.