The key information that must be collected and disseminated amongst all users in a laboratory are:
- Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) pertaining to all chemicals used in a laboratory; these are generally available from manufacturers of chemicals and provide safety-related information for a chemical. This broadly includes: hazards, safe exposure levels, over-exposure symptoms, safe handling practices, waste disposal methods, etc. MSDS of many chemicals are also freely available on the internet
- Interaction Matrices containing information on stability and reactivity of various chemicals (may be abstracted from MSDSs)
- Documents containing detailed information on safety practices to be followed for all other classes of substance under usage: biological, radioactive, nano materials, etc. Information on these materials may be sourced and consolidated from all possible sources.
- Relevant Laboratory Standards recommended by regulatory agencies and other apex bodies (for example: OSHA Laboratory Standard (US) and its Appendices available at the OSHA website under the regulation number “1910.1450”:
- Consolidated information on safe handling and disposal information on all chemicals for ready reference (to be prepared from MSDSs and any other source, and made available in both hard and online formats)
- Consolidated information on management of accidental spills / release of hazardous chemicals and other forms of abnormal situations that may potentially cause harm to personnel / environment (information may be obtained from MSDSs and other relevant sources)
For developing documents on the best practices in a customized manner at the laboratory level, the user of this manual is also advised to refer to the comprehensive compendium of safety and waste-disposal information related to all forms of laboratory hazards (including chemicals / biohazardous materials / radioactive substances, etc) available at: