How Chemical Safety Regulations are Changing Laboratory Processes
Blog Jan 27, 2015
Do you know all the regulations your lab is subject to? If you’re going to the Pittsburgh Conferences this year (www.pittcon.org), then you’ll want to put Technology Network’s Chemical Safety workshop on your agenda for Thursday afternoon, March 12.
Chemical safety regulations–such as EPA’s Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) or OSHA’s Lab Safety Standard 29 CFR 1950–cover a number of regulatory criteria from hazardous materials management to process safety that require research laboratories to have a detailed understanding of the materials being used in the lab. In addition, many of the regulations also have Chemicals of Interest Lists with very specific requirements about managing and reporting those chemicals if and when a certain threshold limit is reached.
Compliance with most of these regulations is extremely challenging. Worse, the frequency with which national, state and local chemical safety regulations are being updated is not only occurring more often, but also increasing in number and complexity. The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, or GHS, for instance, that has been adopted by OSHA requires new labels on just about everything in the lab. And right now the details of the upcoming Chemical Safety Act designed to replace TSCA are being argued in Congress; labs will soon need to become thoroughly familiar with the Act’s requirements when it gets signed into law.
Compounding these challenges is the fact that neither regulatory reporting deadlines nor data are coordinated, meaning that if the lab is subject to 10 different regulations there will be 10 different reporting dates and report formats.
Speakers for this workshop include Technology Network’s Editor Helen Gillespie as well as Yale University’s Dr. Chris Incarvito, BIOVIA’s Brian Stafford and the Laboratory Safety Institute’s Dr. James Kaufman. Together, they will examine how regulations are driving change at research organizations, and how labs are leveraging technology to ensure compliance and reduce chemical risk.
Find out more by visiting www.pittcon.org and searching on Informatics in the Technical Program.