The goal of the chemical safety program is to provide an environment for employees and students that is free from potential exposure to the chemicals that are used in the college. This program provides information and guidelines to addresses proper use, handling and storage of chemicals, which are mandated by federal, state and local regulations. This program encompasses the chemical hygiene program for laboratories, and the hazard communication program for non-laboratory settings.
Below, find links to information, training and standard operating procedures for the safe handling of chemicals:
All personnel that are responsible for an area where chemicals are stored or used at Weill Cornell Medicine are required to maintain a complete inventory of all chemicals and report to Environmental Health and Safety annually on the types, quantities, and storage locations.
To assist in this process, EHS provides members of the WCM with access to Salute, a web-based EHS management system that allows authorized users to access and edit their chemical inventory. Chemical owners and their delegates may update chemical inventory information, prepare inventory reports, and obtain chemical safety information through the system. View step-by-step instructions on how to view and manage your inventory in Salute.
Hazard communication is a system for providing chemical users with information about the physical and health hazards of the chemicals they use. This system includes employee training, chemical container labeling and safety data sheets. This page provides an overview of the hazard communication program and other available resources.
In New York City, whenever a laboratory is in operation, a C-14 holder must be present. This is a Fire Department of New York requirement. This page provides information for laboratory personnel to obtain their certificate.
The manuals and guides provided by EHS detail guidance and compliance programs regarding proper use, handling and storage of chemicals, and emergency response in the event of a chemical release in the college. The guides also provide information regarding various other topics related to chemical safety.
A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is a detailed fact sheet summarizing information about a chemical's hazardous ingredients, health, physical and fire hazards, emergency procedures and first aid, chemical reactivity and incompatibilities, spill, leak and disposal procedures, and protective measures required for safe handling and storage. The objective of an MSDS is to concisely communicate the hazards of materials at work, so that you can protect yourself and respond to emergency situations.
New York City Fire Department (FDNY) Hazardous Material Inspection
The FDNY performs inspections throughout NYC for the proper storage of hazardous chemicals. The storage and use of hazardous chemicals requiring FDNY permits will be inspected by the FDNY annually. Detailed information on FDNY inspection is available at the FDNY Hazardous Material Inspection FAQ. In preparation for inspection, EHS provides consultation, pre-inspection walkthroughs and in-service trainings. A list of common FDNY HazMat violations is available to provide information about items that the FDNY frequently cite during their inspection.
Due to the fire department storage limits for use or storage of flammable liquids in laboratories, principle investigators and manager/supervisors may request temporary storage of excess flammable liquids with EHS. This service is intended solely for the storage of overstock flammable liquids, and not for general reagent storage.
High Hazard Operating Procedure
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s “Occupational Exposures to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories” standard requires that all laboratories which store or use Highly Hazardous Substances (HHSs) must develop and implement a High Hazard Operating Procedure (HHOP) for each substance. Anyone working with highly hazardous substances must consult laboratory HHOP documentation prior to using them.
This section provides frequently asked questions about safety and regulatory issues faced when handling chemicals in your workplace.