Chemical Safety (in non-lab settings)
Hamilton College has a number of non-laboratory departments (outside of the Science Center) that regularly rely upon chemical materials. These include administrative departments like Physical Plant and the Print Shop, and academic departments like Studio Art and Theater (at Minor Theater). The use/possession of chemicals in a non-lab setting is subject to regulation by the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA). The "Hazard Communication Plan" is a formal, written document required by OSHA, and is intended to give the Hamilton College community the necessary guidance with regard to the management of chemical hazards outside of lab settings.
Further, there are a number of information sources available to the Hamilton College community, which facilitate its chemical safety information needs (see the three links to the left hand column of this page under Informational/Technical Links). The "Chemwatch" link is a chemical specific database that Hamilton subscribes to, which is accessible by any student or employee on the College's network. This database contains chemical safety information on more than 140,000 individual chemical species, and is most useful for virgin chemical types (i.e. sodium hydroxide, acetone, etc…). The other 2 links, "MSDS Search Engine" and "SIRI MSDS Index", are chemical safety search engines on the public domain that can be searched by chemical or manufacturer, and is most useful for chemical products (i.e. WD-40, DAP caulk, Sherwin Williams paint, etc…).
Departments whose employees are required to use hazardous chemicals are encouraged to use the following document for the purposes of summarizing a chemical's hazard information found on its Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). This short summary can be used to both facilitate chemical safety "HAZCOM" training, or as a posting tool to remind users of the specific nature of the chemical hazards within their respective work stations.