Stanford University

Chemical Safety

Hazardous materials, such as chemicals or compressed gases, pose a wide range of health and physical hazards. Health hazards range from mild irritation to carcinogenicity. Physical hazards, such as flammability and reactivity, can also have serious consequences. This section provides information on best practices for the use and storage of chemicals for laboratories.

Cal/OSHA regulations require all laboratories using hazardous chemicals to take specific safety measures to ensure safe lab operations.

This topic provides guidance to PIs, laboratory supervisors, and lab personnel on compliance with the institutional Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP). If you’re looking for information on Toxic Gas, read about it in the Hazardous Materials topic.


It is the joint responsibility of the PI or laboratory supervisor and the laboratory personnel to implement the CHP. (Review laboratory safety responsibilities on the Principal Investigator and Lab Manager role pages.)

Review this topic, as well as the Lab Safety topic, to establish the following key elements of the institutional CHP:

  • Safety training
  • General lab practices
  • Standard Operating Procedures
  • Required work approvals
  • Laboratory inspections
  • Emergency procedures

Creating a Laboratory-Specific Chemical Safety Plan:

To aid in compiling your lab’s safety information, you have the option to create a Laboratory-Specific Chemical Safety Plan. To do so:

  1. Print out a Laboratory Chemical Safety Plan. (Note that this document is pre-formatted for double-sided printing.)

  2. Add on lab-specific safety documents, which can be created using the Toolkit (e.g. standard operating procedures, required work approvals, safety training records, and laboratory inspections records).

EH&S is available to assist with preparation and/or review of your Laboratory-Specific Chemical Safety Plan. Please contact the Safety & Compliance Officer for your building.

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