Office of Chemical Safety
The UW-Madison Chemical Safety Office, working in conjunction with the campus Chemical Safety Committee, establishes policies and procedures for the safe acquisition, use, storage and disposal of chemicals on campus.
The Chemical Safety Office also advises campus chemical users on best practices and helps the university community comply with federal, state, and local chemical and environmental safety laws.
Hazard Communication Program and the New Globally Harmonized System (GHS)
OSHA’s Hazard Communication Program is currently being aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). This new system of classification will affect anyone who is producing, distributing, storing or using chemicals. This includes many students and workers here at UW-Madison ranging from those working with cleaning agents such as custodial operations to people using chemicals classified as hazardous which can include art facilities, research laboratories, etc.
The goal of the GHS system is to provide a standardized process for informing the public about chemical hazards and the necessary precautions to take while handling them. This will affect how information concerning chemical hazards is displayed on Safety Data Sheets and chemical labels. The chemical label now has six distinct sections and will contain standardized pictograms that depict the chemical’s hazard(s). Prior to this change, the language used on chemical labels varied from company to company. Under the new system the language used and the information provided on chemical labels will be standardized and must follow a specific format.
Due to the extent of these changes, it is important that anyone who handles chemicals be made aware of them. The Office of Chemical Safety provides information and training on GHS. ALL TRAINING FOR THE NEW SYSTEM MUST BE COMPLETED BY DECEMBER 1, 2013. You can contact Joyce Hinds at email@example.com or 608-890-3993 to schedule training or for additional information. More details can be found here:
For a printable poster depicting the new chemical label and pictograms follow this link
The chart not only provides the pictograms but also chemical examples for each pictogram and the specific hazards associated with it. Pictograms are the shape of a square set at a point and include a black hazard symbol on a white background with a red frame.
Laboratory Visit Program
The Laboratory Visit Program is an educational and advisory opportunity for improvement of overall lab safety. The program utilizes the expertise of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Environment, Health & Safety Department to inform Primary Investigators (PI’s) and laboratory managers what the safety requirements are for their specific lab.
Report an Incident or Concern
We would like to know if you have any safety concerns. Incidents often go under-reported and as a result, we lose valuable learning opportunties.
New Nanomaterial Information
OHSA has released a fact sheet providing basic information to workers and employers on the most current understanding of potential hazards associated with this rapidly-developing technology and highlighting measures to control exposure to nanomaterials in the workplace.
Click here for more.
The latest issue of the Chemical Safety Mechanism is out and can be found here.
The Chemical Safety Office now offers training on the proper use of chemical fume hoods. Go to our training page for additional information.