Section 5.6


Approved by Richard DeBusk
Revised 01/08



LBNL Support Organizations

Chemical Hygiene and Safety Plan

Walking-Working Surfaces General Requirements Housekeeping Aisles and Passageways Covers and Guardrails Floor Loading Protection Ladders Scaffolds Work Surfaces Elevated Work Stations Exit Corridors

5.6.6 General Ventilation


Hazardous Materials

Personal Protective Equipment

Health Services

Emergencies and First Aid

Fire Protection

Compressed Gas

Compressed Air

Materials Handling and Storage



Responsible Parties


Related PUB-3000 Chapters


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5.6.1 Policy

It is LBNL's policy to prevent injuries and illnesses. Compliance with laws, such as OSHA regulations, is very important. However, a truly effective program looks beyond the specific requirements of law to address all potential hazards.

5.6.2 Scope

This policy applies to:

  • All Laboratory employees
  • Guests
  • Contractors
  • 5.6.3 LBNL Support Organizations

  • Environment, Health, and Safety Division
  • 5.6.4 Chemical Hygiene and Safety Plan

    The Chemical Hygiene and Safety Plan (CHSP) is Berkeley Lab's plan for controlling exposures to hazardous chemicals. Exposures to airborne chemicals are to be kept below the permissible exposure levels set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations (29 CFR 1910.1000) and the Threshold Limit Values (TLV) set forth by the American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists. These standards are met with the proper combination of engineering, administrative, and personal protective controls. See Chapter 4, Industrial Hygiene.

    5.6.5 Walking-Working Surfaces General Requirements

    Each division is responsible for all laboratory space assigned to it. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the divisions' line management to ensure that the requirements of this section apply to all personnel and to all space for which the respective division directors are responsible. Housekeeping

  • All places of employment, passageways, storerooms, and service rooms must be kept clean, orderly, and in a sanitary condition.
  • The floor of every workroom must be maintained in a clean and, so far as possible, dry condition. Where wet processes are used, drainage must be maintained, and false floors, platforms, mats, or other dry standing places should be provided where practicable.
  • Floors, working places, and passageways must be kept free from protruding nails, splinters, holes, and loose boards.
  • Solid or liquid wastes, refuse, and garbage must be removed to avoid creating a menace to health. Floors are to be swept as often as necessary or appropriate to maintain the workplace in a sanitary condition.
  • Aisles and Passageways

  • Where mechanical handling equipment is used, sufficient clearances must be allowed for aisles, at loading docks, though doorways, and wherever turns or passage must be made. Aisles and passageways must be kept clear and in good repair, with no obstruction across or in aisles that could create a hazard.
  • Permanent aisles and passageways must be appropriately marked.
  • Covers and Guardrails

  • Covers and/or guardrails must be provided to protect personnel from the hazards of open pits, tanks, vats, ditches, etc.
  • Floor Loading Protection

    In every building, other structure, or part thereof, the loads approved by the Facilities Department must be marked on plates of approved design. These plates must be securely affixed to the building in a conspicuous place. Such plates will not be removed or defaced.

    It is unacceptable to place a load on any floor or roof of a building or other structure that is greater than the load approved by the building official. Ladders

    Ladders must be in good condition, made of suitable material, of proper length, and of the correct type for the use intended. Damaged ladders must never be used; they should be tagged "Out of Service" and repaired or destroyed. Ladders used near electrical equipment must be made of a nonconducting material. Stored ladders must be easily accessible for inspection and service, kept out of the weather and away from excessive heat, and well supported when stored horizontally.

    A portable ladder must not be used by more than one person at a time. Such ladders must not be placed in front of doors or placed on boxes, barrels, or other unstable bases. Ladders must not be used as guys, braces, or skids. The height of a stepladder should be sufficient to reach the work without using the top or next-to-the-top steps. Bracing on the back legs of stepladders must not be used for climbing.

    All fixed ladders, along with their appurtenances and fastenings, must be designed to meet the following load requirements:

  • The minimum design live load must be a single concentrated load of 90 kg (200 lb).
  • The design must take into consideration the number and position of rated live load units of 90 kg (200 lb), as determined by the anticipated use of the ladder.
  • For each structural member, the live loads imposed by persons occupying the ladder are considered to be concentrated at the points that cause the maximum stress in the member.
  • The design of rails and fasteners must consider the weight of the ladder and attached appurtenances together with the live load.
  • Design stresses for wood components of ladders must not exceed those specified in 29 CFR 1910.25. All wood parts of fixed ladders must meet the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.25(b). As described in 29 CFR 1910.25 (c)(3)(ii), single, fixed ladders that consist of wood side rails and wood rungs or cleats are acceptable for pitches in the range 75– 90°, if they are intended for use by no more than one person per section.

    All ladders must be maintained in a safe condition and inspected regularly, with the intervals between inspections to be determined by use and exposure. Scaffolds

    All scaffolds, whether fabricated on site, purchased, or rented, must conform with the specifications found 29 CFR 1910.28-29 and 29 CFR 1926.450-454.

    The footing or anchorage for a scaffold must be sound, rigid, and capable of carrying the maximum intended load without settling or displacement. Unstable objects such as barrels, boxes, loose brick, or concrete blocks must not be used to support scaffolds or planks. No scaffold may be erected, moved, dismantled, or altered unless the operation is supervised by competent persons. Scaffolds and their components must be capable of supporting at least four times the maximum intended load without failure.

    Guard rails and toeboards must be installed on all open sides and ends of scaffolds and platforms more than 3 m (10 ft) above the ground or floor. Scaffolds 1.2–3 m (4–10 ft) in height having a minimum horizontal dimension in either direction of less than 1.1 m (45 in.) must have standard railing installed on all open sides and ends of the platform. Work Surfaces

    Workroom floors must be clean and dry as much as possible. Drainage mats, platforms, or false floors should be used where wet processes are performed. Floors must be free from protruding nails, splinters, holes, and loose boards or tiles. Permanent aisles or passageways must be marked. Floor holes must be protected by covers that leave no openings more than 2.54 cm (1 in.) wide. Floor openings into which persons can accidentally walk must be guarded by standard railings and toeboards. Open-sided floors, platforms, and runways higher than 1.2 m (4 ft) must be guarded by standard railings. Toeboards must be used wherever people can pass below or when hazardous equipment or materials are below. Elevated Work Stations

    When workers are required to work from elevated surfaces that are unprotected by railings, the following procedures and guidelines are to be followed:

  • Before selecting personnel for work at elevated work stations, supervisors must consider the workers' physical condition, such as medical problems, fear of heights, and coordination. The Health Services Group should be contacted for information in this regard.
  • Approved fall-arrester systems are required for all work at heights of equal to or greater than 1.8 m (6 ft). A recommended fall-arrester system consists of a full body-harness, a lanyard consisting of 1.27 cm (1/2 in.) nylon rope or equivalent with a breaking strength of 2,450 kg (5,400 lb) and a maximum length to provide for a fall no greater than 1.8 m (6 ft), fall-arrester block (optional), and an anchored hook-up location. Alternate equipment must be approved by the EH&S Division (Reference 29 CFR 1926.500-502).
  • Fall-arrester systems are not required when work is being done while standing on a ladder. Ladders should be tied off.
  • Use of a controlled-descent device is not necessary unless it is impossible to reach a stranded person by another means.
  • The EH&S Division will advise, on request, regarding usage and procedures.
  • Exit Corridors

    Exit corridors must not be used for storage. The Life Safety Code, NFPA 101, requires that buildings designed for human occupancy must have continuous and unobstructed exits to permit prompt evacuation of the occupants and allow necessary access for responding emergency personnel. The intent of the code is to keep exits free from obstructions and clear of combustible materials. Therefore, attention to housekeeping is very important.

    "Temporary" storage of furniture, equipment, supplies, or anything else is not permitted in exit ways. Combustibles, including recyclable waste paper, are not permitted in exit ways.

    5.6.6 General Ventilation

    Refer to Chemical Hygiene and Safety Plan, and PUB-3000, Chapter 4, Industrial Hygiene.

    Local Exhaust Ventilation

    Refer to Chemical Hygiene and Safety Plan: Local Exhaust Ventilation (hoods), and PUB-3000, Chapter 4, Industrial Hygiene.

    5.6.7 Noise

    Refer to PUB-3000, Chapter 4, Industrial Hygiene, Noise.

    5.6.8 Radiation

    Refer to PUB-3000, Chapter 21, Radiation Safety.

    5.6.9 Hazardous Materials

    Refer to PUB-3000, Chapter 4, Industrial Hygiene.

    Refer to PUB-3000, Chapter 20, Hazardous Waste Disposal.

    5.6.10 Personal Protective Equipment

    Refer to PUB-3000, Chapter 19, Personal Protective Equipment.

    5.6.11 Health Services

    Refer to PUB-3000, Chapter 3, Health Services.

    5.6.12 Emergencies and First Aid

    Refer to PUB-3000, Chapter 3, Health Services.

    5.6.13 Fire Protection

    Policy and planning for fire safety at LBNL takes into account special fire hazards for specific operating areas, protection of high-value property, and the safety of employees. Listed below are the important aspects of the fire protection plan.

  • Noncombustible or fire-rated materials and construction practices suitable to the assigned uses of buildings and facilities.
  • Alarm systems and automatic extinguishing systems.
  • Availability of suitable hand-held extinguishers and local hose lines for use before firefighters arrive.
  • A professional fire department, always staffed and trained in the control of emergencies that could occur at the Laboratory. (The Fire Department makes the initial response to all requests for emergency aid received on the Laboratory emergency telephone number, ext. 7911.)
  • Refer to PUB-3000, Chapter 12, Fire Prevention and Protection.

    5.6.14 Compressed Gas

    Refer to PUB-3000, Chapter 7, Pressure Safety and Cryogenics.

    5.6.15 Compressed Air

    Refer to PUB-3000, Chapter 7, Pressure Safety and Cryogenics.

    5.6.16 Materials Handling and Storage

    Handling. Lifting and moving of objects must be done by mechanical devices rather than by manual effort whenever this is practical. Employees must not be required to lift heavy or bulky objects that overtax their physical condition or capability. The equipment used must be appropriate for the lifting or moving task. Lifting and moving devices must be operated only by personnel trained and authorized to operate them.

    Manual lifting and handling of material must be done by methods that ensure the safety of both the employee and the material. It is Laboratory policy that employees whose work assignments require heavy lifting be properly trained and physically qualified, by medical examination if deemed necessary.

    Storage. All areas controlled by the Laboratory must be kept in an orderly and clean condition and used only for activities or operations for which they have been approved.

    5.6.17 Electrical

    Refer to PUB-3000, Chapter 8, Electrical Safety.

    Everyone should be aware of potential electrical hazards and safety practices in their work areas. Use only approved and properly maintained equipment such as 3-conductor extension cords. Do not link extension cords together or run them through doorways or windows or across walkways.

    Many research activities involve the use of electrical equipment. Recognizing the degree of hazard is paramount for working safely with such energized equipment. If you work on high-voltage electrical equipment, always work in pairs. Above all, always work on equipment that is in a completely de-energized state. Apply shorting, grounding, and lock-and-tag procedures as appropriate.

    5.6.18 Signs

    Signs alert you to the nature and level of the hazard and the protection required (safety glasses, ear protection, etc.) in an area. For example, signs are used to indicate the presence of radioactive materials, high-voltage electricity, lasers, carcinogens, biohazards, or magnetic fields.

    Danger indicates the presence of an immediate danger, requiring special precautions to ensure employee safety. For instance, high-voltage electricity requires a Danger sign.

    Caution warns against potential hazards or indicates safety practices. These signs indicate a possible hazard for which proper precautions must be taken, for example, the Caution signs in an Eye Hazard Area, where safety glasses must be worn.

    Notice is used to provide general instructions or information related to safety. Dosimeter areas for radiation workers are indicated by Notice signs.

    Refer to PUB-3000, Chapter 5, Section 5.9, Warning Signs and Devices.

    5.6.19 Responsible Parties

  • All Laboratory employees
  • Guests
  • Contractors
  • 5.6.20 Standards

  • 29 CFR 1910, Occupational Safety and Health Standards
  • 29 CFR 1926, Safety and Health Regulation for Construction
  • 5.6.21 Related PUB-3000 Chapters

  • Electrical Safety (Chapter 8)
  • Fire Prevention (Chapter 12)
  • Hazardous Waste Disposal (Chapter 20)
  • Health Service (Chapter 3)
  • Industrial Hygiene (Chapter 4)
  • Personal Protective Equipment (Chapter 19)
  • Pressure Safety and Cryogenics (Chapter 7)
  • Radiation Protection (Chapter 21)
  • 5.6.22 References

  • Berkeley Lab Environment, Safety and Health Self-Assessment Program, LNBL/PUB-5344, latest revision
  • ANSI A10.8, Safety Requirements for Scaffolding
  • LBNL Chemical Hygiene and Safety Plan (CHSP), latest revision
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