Chemical Safety and the Institutional Chemical Safety Committee (ICSC)

The Institutional Chemical Safety Committee (ICSC) is charged with ensuring the safe handling of toxic/hazardous chemicals and carcinogens for research and teaching conform with guidelines and regulations, and providing assurance that campus research activities do not present unacceptable risks to the health or safety of staff, students, visitors and the local community. Environmental Health and Safety is represented on the ISCS. Together they work to develop policies and procedures related to personnel safety, equipment, and operations, and educational programs designed to promote safety awareness and safe practices.

In 2015 the ICSC approved a newly updated Lab Safety Manual/Chemical Hygiene Plan for the University.  The policies and procedures outlined in this plan are applicable to every laboratory or research space under the purview of UMass Amherst.  The document describes the procedures, equipment, personal protective equipment and work practices to be used at UMass to protect employees and students from the health hazards presented by hazardous chemicals used in laboratories and research spaces. 

The Lab Safety Manual/Chemical Hygiene Plan should be made readily available to, and be read and followed by, all laboratory personnel.  It should complement written standard operating procedures (SOPs) for processing in Individual Laboratories.  The Lab Safety Manual/Chemical Hygiene Plan will be reviewed and updated annually as best practices in the protection and safety change over time.  Adherence to these policies and procedures will be a significant component of ensuring the safety of the work and learning environment for all.