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The Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois is committed to providing a safe working environment for all its employees and students. The obligation to provide a safe and healthy workplace is clearly outlined in the OSHA standard for occupational exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in the Laboratory 29 CFR 1910.1450. This standard is commonly referred to as "The OSHA Laboratory Safety Standard." It was developed to provide increased protection to laboratory employees above that provided in the General Industry Standard.

Understanding the obligation to provide for the safety of laboratory employees is the first step in complying with the OSHA Lab Standard. The backbone of the Lab Standard is its requirement for employers to develop and carry out the provisions of a written Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP), well maintained chemical inventories and access to material data safety sheets (MSDS).

With the great diversity of lab activities on campus, it is impossible for any one person to define standard operating procedures (SOPs) for every activity in every laboratory. However, the performance-oriented nature of this standard makes it possible to construct a general framework that can be used by individual laboratories, to meet the requirements of the OSHA Lab Standard. The IGB Chemical Hygiene plan was developed to provide for the safety of IGB laboratory employees. It is designed to provide general information applicable to most laboratories, with specific information and procedures to be added by individual laboratories. Access to Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) is provided through the various venders websites. Links to these websites are listed below.

IGB Chemical Hygiene Plan


Sigma Aldrich MSDS search

Fisher MSDS search

VWR MSDS search

Bio-rad MSDS search

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