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Health, Safety and Environment / Safety / Chemical substances and biological material

Chemical Safety

HSE guidelines.


HiOA should have as few hazardous substances and products as possible and ensure that these are handled properly. Environmental, fire and health hazards must be taken into consideration when storing chemical substances. Access for unauthorized persons must be prevented.

HiOA’s chemical database must contain updated list of chemicals with associated covering letters of safety data or information sheets.

Hazardous materials should be disposed of as hazardous waste. Substances that are no longer in use should be decontaminated.

All use of carcinogenic, mutagenic substances or lead /lead compounds must be registered in an exposure registry.


These guidelines apply to all entities that purchase, store or use chemical substances. They include both students and staff.


Chemical substances include all chemicals, chemical products and gases that are used and kept in the college.

Gases include gas under pressure and cryogenic gases.

Hazardous substances are chemical substances that could represent a hazard to health or safety or that could be flammable or explosive.

The chemical database is an archive listing all chemical substances in the unit.

The exposure registry is a list of employees (students and staff) that have worked with or may have been exposed to carcinogenic and mutagenic substances or lead and lead compounds.

ECOonline is the college's electronic chemical database. The exposure registry is an integral part of this.

A safety covering letter is a covering letter that should contain information about the hazardous properties of a substance and recommended precautions for the use of it. The safety covering letter must be available in the chemical database. The layout and the content must meet regulatory requirements.

An information sheet is a simplified safety covering letter and must be available in the chemical database for the hazardous substances that do not require safety covering letters.

Substitution Duty. Through the chemical legislation, authorities impose companies to replace hazardous substances with less hazardous substances (substitution) when possible.

The senior lecturer /course supervisor /laboratory supervisor is the teacher /engineer /course leader or others who prepares student papers and guides and assists or is responsible for supervision of students in their practical work.

The chemical database coordinates and is responsible for the daily operations of the chemical database in the faculty / department


The line manager must ensure that the work environment is fully justifiable and that the procedures meet government and college requirements.

The senior lecturer /course coordinator must follow the requirement for a full working environment and plan the work to avoid the use of hazardous substances whenever possible. He/ she must furthermore seek to replace hazardous substances with substances less dangerous (substitution).


Purchase and registration

The purchase procedures should ensure that:

  • The substitution duty is safeguarded; if purchase of a hazardous material is planned it must always be considered whether other materials could be used or whether the process / experiment can be changed to take use of less hazardous substances
  • substances that are or may be carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic or that contain lead/ lead compounds are not purchased without prior needs and risk assessments
  • the quantity is limited to a maximum of one year's consumption
  • the number of suppliers is limited and that the chemical database is used as an adviser when choosing a supplier
  • all substances are registered in ECOonline with the required information


Materials must be stored so that:

  • no one accidentally comes into contact with hazardous substances
  • unauthorized are denied access to dangerous substances
  • flammable substances and gases are stored in a fireproof environment
  • gas cylinders are stored to prevent them from falling and so that leaks do not occur
  • toxic substances are locked away

Use and training

All use of hazardous substances must be risk assessed before work starts.

Any use of chemical substances should be carefully risk assessed if conducted by pregnant women who may need special arrangements.

All staff and all students who use chemical substances must be trained in safe usage and in the use of the chemical database.

All staff and all students who in their work could be exposed to carcinogenic and mutagenic substances and lead /lead compounds must be registered in the college exposure registry.

Protective equipment should be available and staff and students should have the necessary personal protective equipment

Fume hoods and other fixed installations should be checked regularly

The chemical database must always be updated.

Disposal and decontamination

The units must have procedures that ensure disposal of hazardous waste at least once a year. Substances that are no longer in use should be decontaminated.


Accidents, near-accidents and violation of procedures must be reported as deviations.


Routines must be based on written procedures.

All information and training given to employees and students must be written. Students and employees must sign to confirm that they have received such training.

The distribution of responsibilities and duties must be documented.

Internal documents