Hazard Communication

Last Review Date: May 4, 2018


  • General

    The purpose of this program is to ensure that the University of Montana, Department of Laboratory Animal Resources is in compliance with the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) 29 CFR 1910.1200 (see attached information), http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=standards&p_id=10099.

    The IACUC Coordinator and Facility Manager act as the representatives of President Royce Engstrom who has overall responsibility for the UM programs.

    Each employee in LAR will be apprised of the substance and content of the OSHA HCS, the hazardous properties of chemicals they work with, and measures to take to protect themselves from these chemical hazards.

  • Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

    The LAR Facility Manager will maintain an SDS notebook on every hazardous substance in use by LAR.  The SDS will consist of a fully completed OSHA form 174 or equivalent.  The Facility Manager will ensure that the SDS notebook is maintained and located at the entrance to animal facilities in the Health Sciences Building (HSB) and the Skaggs Building (SB). 

  • Labels and Other Forms of Warning

    It is the responsibility of each LAR staff member to ensure that all hazardous chemicals in the facility are properly labeled.  Labels should list the chemical identity, appropriate hazard warning and manufacturer or responsible party.

    Immediate use containers (small containers into which materials are dispensed for use on that shift by the employee dispensing the material) do not require labeling.  All other in-house containers must be properly labeled and is the responsibility of the LAR staff member who dispenses the material into the container.

  • Chemical Hazards
    • The SDS notebook is located in the right-to-know compliance center in the main corridor just inside each animal facility entrance.
    • The primary chemicals used in LAR in large quantities are associated with the cage washer and are stored in the dirty cage washing area. An emergency eye wash station is located in the dirty cage washing areas of both HSB and SB. Rescue concentrate is used to clean floors. Rescue RTU is used for cleaning surfaces such as table tops and stainless steel surfaces. Animal rooms are cleaned withRescue RTU.
    • Isoflurane anesthesia is used in some procedure rooms. Doors are either marked clearly with a yellow hazard sign or allow only limited access. Anesthetic gases are scavenged either actively through house vacuum or passively using charcoal canisters.
    • Some research projects in LAR facilities involve the exposure of animals to very low levels of potentially hazardous substances such as arsenic, lead, asbestos, and silica, TCDD and MPTP. The rooms housing animals involved in these projects are well-marked by a magnetized yellow sign on each door.
  • Training and Procedures to Protect Against Hazards

    All LAR employees will receive initial training by the Facility Manager on the OSHA HCS and the safe use of hazardous materials in LAR.  Additional training will be provided by the Facility Manager for all staff whenever a new hazardous material is introduced into the work area. 

    Training will emphasize the following:

    • The chemical properties of certain hazardous material including visual appearance and odor.
    • Physical and health hazards associated with potential exposure to work place chemicals or other hazards.
    • Procedures to protect against chemical and biological hazards
      • Protective clothing/equipment may include (but are not limited to):
        • safety goggles
        • respirators
        • laboratory gloves
        • lab coats or disposable jumpsuits
        • BSL-2 cabinets
        • proper ventilation
      • Procedures to protect against hazards include (but are not limited to):
        • wear the correct protective clothing/equipment for the job
        • read all labels, and never place or use chemicals in an unlabeled container
        • never mix chemicals, or reuse empty containers
        • use common sense
      • Emergency procedures include (but are not limited to):
        • eye wash stations are located in the cage wash rooms in HSB and SB; flush eyes for 15 minutes and seek medical attention
        • wash skin with water (or check MSDS for other potential wash solutions)
        • report all accidents, chemical exposures, and unsafe conditions to the Facility Manager as soon as possible
    • Hazardous chemical spill and leak procedures.
      • Spills that can be readily cleaned up by LAR personnel
        • wear gloves
        • wear protective clothing if necessary
        • keep area ventilated
        • use caution with broken glass
        • wipe up area with paper towels and place towels into biohazard bag
        • clean area thoroughly
      • Spills that may threaten life, health or property or spills where trained people and/or proper clean-up equipment are not available within the lab or work area.
        • Before calling and reporting a biohazard spill, consider the following:
          • Personal exposure.  If the spill may cause personal injury to yourself or others, vacate the area.
          • Containment.  If it is feasible to stop the spill from spreading or going into a floor drain by containment, do so.
          • Prevent access.  If others might come to harm by entering the area, prevent access to the area.
          • Assessment.  If you can do so without exposing yourself, determine the type of material spilled and the extent of the spill.
          • Injuries.  Determine the type and extent of injuries, if applicable.
        • In the event of a hazardous materials spill or leak, the following should be notified: 

Kay Altenhofen 243-4503 or 544-1636 cell

Kelly Carrick 243-4892 or 210-4700

Kathy Heivilin 243-6395 or 370-5865

In the unlikely event that the above can be reached, call 9-911 and ask that the Health Officer on Call be dispatched to the scene.  Do this only if it appears that the risk is imminent and that sealing off the area is not sufficient.

    • Location of SDS notebooks, understanding the SDS form, and obtaining and using appropriate chemical hazard information.
  • Short-term Users Such as Contractors and Visitors

    Located at the entrance to each animal facility is a file containing an Occupational Health and Safety letter from the Vice President of Research.  This letter contains information regarding chemical hazards and other hazards within the animal facility that will be useful to short-term users.