Chemical Safety

Chemical safety is of paramount importance in the laboratory.  It is necessary to be able to properly protect yourself and others in the lab from the physical and toxicological hazards associated with chemicals in use in the laboratory.

Chemical Hygiene Plan

This Chemical Hygiene Plan reviews policies, procedures and responsibilities that protect faculty, staff and students from the health hazards associated with the hazardous chemicals within their particular lab. All lab workers must review those portions of the plan pertinent to their work and to any areas in the lab that may present hazards.

Safety Data Sheets

The SDS is to be used by as a source of information regarding hazards and safety precautions for the particular chemical. Safety Data Sheets can be accessed through the WFU Safety Data Sheet Web Page.

Chemical Inventory

Chemical inventories are located on the University managed database through Chemical Inventory and Chemical Ordering.  New chemical orders placed through Workday will be automatically entered in the inventory.  It is the responsibility of inventory managers (labs, studios, shops) to remove chemicals from the inventory as containers are emptied.

Additional Chemical Safety Sources

Information on handling and working with Particularly Hazardous Substances.

The CAMEO Chemical database provides detailed chemical information and reaction information when chemicals are mixed together.

Laboratory Chemical Safety Summaries provide detailed health, safety and reactivity data for 91 chemicals often used in the lab.

Standard Operating Procedures are in place to ensure lab workers are using identical protocols when working with potentially hazardous chemicals or equipment and within specific environments.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards

Department of Homeland Security Chemicals of Interest and Chemicals of Concern.

Controlled Substances

Controlled substances are regulated by the US Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Agency (USDOJ DEA). Information regarding storage requirements for controlled substances is located in the Wake Forest University Guidelines: Use of Controlled Substances in Research. This document provides detailed information on the registration process, procurement, storage, and use of controlled substances at the University. Security of controlled substances is essential in preventing illegal diversion.

Hazardous Waste

Many chemicals are considered hazardous waste when they are disposed. Hazardous waste must be managed and disposed of in accordance with EPA regulations.

DO NOT pour chemical waste down sinks or in storm drains.

Each laboratory and art studio where hazardous waste is generated has collection containers for waste. Do not put incompatible material in the same container, and always make sure the container is closed if not in use.

Hazardous waste is dangerous or potentially harmful to health and the environment. Hazardous wastes may be liquid, sludges, solids, or gases. Four main classifications of hazardous waste have been developed by the EPA: flammable, corrosive, reactive and toxic.

For Chemical spills, refer to the WFU Integrated Contingency Plan. In the event of a chemical or oil spill or release, call the Office of Environmental Health and Safety at 336.758.3427 and Campus Police at 336.758.5911.

Hazardous Waste Training

University faculty, staff & students who generate or handle hazardous waste are required to complete Hazardous Waste within two weeks of hire date. Current staff are required to complete the training as a refresher on an annual basis. Be sure to submit the certification for course completion!


Need to report an unsafe condition or incident?

Phone: 336.758.EHAS (3427)
Office Location: The EHS building is in the Facilities Compound on Wingate Road. It is the last building on the left up from Fleet Services, next door to Landscaping.