Chemical Hygiene

Chemicals may be solids, liquids, or gases and include acids, bases, solvents, oils, lubricants, oxidizers, polymers, resins, coatings, cleaners, paints, strippers, adhesives, mastics, pesticides, herbicides, rodenticides, compressed gases, etc. It is important for both contractor and University employees to understand the hazards of chemicals to which they may be exposed and to comply with the regulatory requirements for hazard communication.

PRIOR TO BEGINNING WORK, SUPPLY SAFETY DATA SHEETS (SDS's) to the Catholic University facilities project manager or to the Environmental Health & Safety department for chemical products to be used during contract work. Include the SDS's in your bid package to avoid delays during the actual work. This requirement does not include latex paints and common household soaps, detergents, and cleaners.

All chemical containers must be labeled. If a manufacturer's label is removed or obscured, or if a chemical is transferred to another container, place the chemical name and its hazard on the container.

Ensure that chemicals are handled so as to prevent their release to the environment. Provide necessary personal protective equipment for your employees and ensure adequate ventilation. When using chemicals indoors, provide additional mechanical ventilation if harmful vapors, mists or dusts are generated or if strong odors will result from the work.

Report all chemical spills to the Department of Public Safety at (202) 319-5111. Contractors shall be responsible for immediate containment, clean up, and disposal of any of their spilled material.

Store chemicals brought onto University property in a clean , dry, well-ventilated area away from heat or direct sunlight. Store incompatible chemicals in separate storage areas. When storing flammables indoors, place them in flammable storage cabinets. Keep flammables away from any ignition sources. Do not store more chemicals than you expect to need for the job. Remove chemicals no longer required on the job site from University property.

Your employees have a right to know the hazards of University owned chemicals present in areas in which they are working. To obtains SDS's and other information, contact the University Facilities project manager or the Environmental Health & Safety department. Your employees must comply with all hazard warning signs and wear protective equipment required in any area they enter.


29 CFR 1910.106, 1200; 29 CFR 1926.59; 40 CFR 260-270, 761; 49 CFR 106-180; District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR) Title 20, Chapter 40.