Fayetteville Policies and Procedures  727.2 

Toxic Substances Use on Campus

The University of Arkansas is committed to the health and safety of its students, faculty and staff. It is recognized that during their work for the University, some people will be involved in activities that require the use of substances or materials that are hazardous or toxic in nature. The Environmental Health and Safety unit of the Physical Plant Department has prepared the UAF Chemical Hygiene plan. This document addresses the safe use of toxic substances in laboratories. In addition, it defines the minimum acceptable standard safety practices for execution of laboratory work for both research and teaching. The chemical hygiene plan is available from the EHS web page,  and is the full statement of the UAF campus policy and procedures for handling toxic substances.

Response to Significant and Immediate Health Risk to Laboratory or Building Personnel Due to Toxic Substances

When mishandling or improper storage of a chemical or chemicals leads to a significant and immediate health risk to laboratory or building personnel as judged by the Chemical Hygiene Officer and /or the Environmental Health and Safety Compliance Coordinator, the cost incurred by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety for any and all necessary special handling procedures will be charged to the associated department. Specifically, this will apply when the chemical is being released into the laboratory space at concentrations classified as an immediate danger to life and health (described in documents provided by Center for Disease Control at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/idlh/intridl4.html or when the chemical is or has the potential to become shock or friction sensitive to the extent that an explosion is possible.


Situations involving materials with the potential to become immediately dangerous to life and health often can be detected during routine laboratory audits before they become problematic. Should an audit reveal any such situation or condition, the auditor will note the condition in the audit report and will recommend immediate, on the spot correction.

Materials believed to present a significant and immediate health risk will be reported promptly to the Chemical Hygiene Officer. The Chemical Hygiene Officer has the authority, formally delegated by the Chancellor, to shut down any laboratory or operation posing such a risk.

Any laboratory shutdown must be reported within 24 hours to the Chair of the Toxic Substance Committee. However, in the event that an area is shut down because it presents a significant and immediate health risk, EH&S will immediately notify the Chair of the Toxic Substance Committee, or in his or her absence, another knowledgeable member of the committee.

The department chair, the appropriate college dean, and the Provost and will be informed of a shutdown and/or charges and included in all subsequent communications. In the event that a department is assessed charges, the department chairman can appeal to the Toxic Substances Committee.

With proper attention to chemical and waste storage, it is anticipated that implementation of the above policy should be a rare event. In this unlikely event, the following procedures will be followed:

  • Container will be isolated and contained before moving. Depending on quantity this may involve shut down of lab, floor, or building, possibly as long as 12-24 hours.
  • A special hazmat team (contractor) with minimum response time of 12-14 hours will be called. Current costs (2012), which are expected to increase yearly, include $4,000 for contractor to isolate, contain, and move material to EH&S and an additional $8,000 to stabilize and repack for safe storage until pickup and disposal. The responsible department will be charged at the rate in effect at the time services are provided by the contractor.

Reformatted for Web May 16, 2014
Revised May, 2012
January 25, 2002