Frequently Asked Questions in Chemical Safety - University of Houston
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Frequently Asked Questions

What can I wear in the lab?

  • Legs and feet must be covered by closed-toe shoes
  • Long pants or skirts which fully cover the legs (no sandals, open-toed shoes, or shorts)
  • Long hair must be confined and loose clothing and jewelry must be secured
  • Wear a properly fastened lab coat or apron specific for the hazards of the procedures perrformed in the laboratory
  • This includes, but is not limited to, using flame resistant clothing for use with pyrophorics, acid resistant protection when working with acids (especially HF or strong acids), and protective items when working with hot or cold materials

How can I manage my lab's chemical inventory with EHS-Assistant?

  • EHS-Assistant is the cloud-based software portal that UH purchased to manage safety inspections, safety equipment, and inventories for chemical, biological, and radiation equipment.  
  • EHS can assist the lab in uploading their chemical inventories and provide training on managing the inventory. 
  • Contact EHS for more information. 

How can I find out if a certain chemical requires an SOP?

  • Chapter 5 of the Chemical Hygiene Plan details Particularly Hazardous Substances (PHS)
  • Appendix 4 has a partial list of PHS; however, the list isn’t exhaustive
  • Each lab is responsible for reviewing the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for all chemicals in its inventory and determining whether or not an SOP is required based upon the criteria in Chapter 5
Review the University of Houston Chemical Hygiene Plan

What if I move into a lab with unknown or legacy chemicals? 

  • Please contact EHS immediately
  • In most cases these materials can be identified and removed so they no longer represent a safety concern. 
  • We will coordinate removal of the chemicals or incorporate them into the CHEMSWAP program
  • Ignoring unknowns not only increases your safety risk but also reduces the chance of contacting a previous occupant, thereby making identification of the material that much more difficult