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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Water Quality - Safety

Water Quality

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Laboratory Safety

The Water Sciences Section's Chemistry Laboratory is committed to providing a safe and healthful work environment for its staff, those submitting samples to the laboratories and laboratory visitors. In the daily performance of duties in and with the WSS Chemistry Laboratory, it may be necessary to work with hazardous chemicals and equipment. This may include:

  • Flammable, corrosive, explosive, carcinogenic or toxic chemicals
  • Biological hazards
  • Physical hazards such as high-pressure gas cylinders, temperature extremes or high voltage equipment

The WSS Chemistry Laboratory fully intends to comply with 29 CFR 1910.1450, which is known as the Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories standard and any amendments specific for the State of North Carolina. Every Chemistry Laboratory employee has the responsibility to ensure the policies as set forth in this program are carried out. Those policies can be found in the laboratory Chemical Hygiene Plans.

Laboratory Chemical Hygiene Plans (CHPs)

Central Laboratory CHP (updated 10/02/2013)

Asheville Regional Laboratory CHP

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) for Chemical Preservatives

A material safety data sheet (MSDS) is a document containing information regarding the properties of a particular chemical or solution. An MSDS is created and periodically updated by the chemical manufacturer and is an important component of laboratory and field sampling safety. An MSDS is intended to provide employees and emergency personnel with procedures for handling and working with a chemical or solution in a safe manner. Each MSDS includes information such as hazards, protective equipment, first aid, toxicity, health effects, reactivity, storage, disposal, and spill handling procedures. The MSDS forms below are provided for laboratory and field staff, and should be consulted before working with any of these chemical preservatives.

Sodium Bisulfate(NaHSO4) Hydrochloric Acid (HCl)
Sodium Thiosulfate (Na2S2O3) Nitric Acid(HNO3)
Ferrous Ammonium Sulfate (FAS) Zinc Acetate (Zn(O2CCH3)2)
Sulfuric Acid (H2SO4) Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH)
Phosphoric Acid (H3PO4) Lugol's Solution

 

Safety Committee Meeting Minutes

Members of the Laboratory Safety Committee are chosen on a volunteer basis and each laboratory group/unit is required to send a non-managerial staff member to the scheduled meetings. Meetings are generally held on the first Monday of every month at 10:30 AM in the employee break room.

The duties of the Laboratory Safety Committee members are:

  • To assist the Division of Water Resources Safety Consultant in performing the periodic inspections of the Laboratory. A report of the inspections will include any deficient conditions or practices noted, corrective measures needed, and a time schedule for implementation of the corrective measures. The report will be forwarded to the Water Sciences Section Chief, the WSS Chemistry Laboratory Chemical Hygiene Officer, and the DWR Safety Consultant.
  • To review the circumstances and causes of accidents and reported near miss incidents, and to recommend corrective measures.
  • To observe and report any unsafe practices or conditions.
  • To report and discuss safety suggestions made by fellow employees.
  • To recommend any needed changes in the Laboratory's Chemical Hygiene Plan.
  • To set an example for safety at all times.   

Minutes for recent safety committee meetings can be found below:

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To report any unsafe conditions or make suggestions pertaining to safety, contact Max Overman or John Park at (919) 733-3908. 

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