Chemical Safety and the ICSC

The Institutional Chemical Safety Committee (ICSC) is charged with ensuring the handling of toxic/hazardous chemicals and carcinogens for research and teaching conform with guidelines and regulations, and providing assurance that activities at the University of Massachusetts do not present unacceptable risks to the health or safety of staff, students, visitors and the local community. Environmental Health & Safety is represented on the ISCS.  The ICSC and EH&S’ staff collaborate to develop policies and procedures related to personnel safety, equipment, and operations, and educational programs designated 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 outline 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.  This document should complement written standard operating procedures (SOPs) for processing in Individual Laboratories.  The Lab Safety Manual/Chyemical 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.