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SEC-003: Chemical Safety and Waste Training

Date: 05/27/2005 Status: Final
Last Revised: 10/17/2023
Policy Type: University
Oversight Executive: Vice President for Research
Applies To:

Academic Division, the Medical Center, and the College at Wise.

Reason for Policy:

The generation of hazardous wastes resulting from the use of chemicals or chemical products requires that individuals be trained in proper disposal to ensure their safety, the safety of others, and the environment. Proper disposal and training on proper procedures is required by Federal (Environmental Protection Agency) and State (Department of Environmental Quality) regulations.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Hazardous (Chemical) Waste:According to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, any waste or combination of wastes which pose a substantial, present or potential, hazard to human health or living organisms because such wastes are non-degradable or persistent in nature or because they can be biologically magnified, or because they can be lethal, or because they may otherwise cause or tend to cause detrimental cumulative effects. Hazardous (Chemical) Waste at the University of Virginia may include but is not limited to the following:
    • Unwanted and expired chemicals.
    • Waste from laboratory processes.
    • Waste from maintenance processes.
    • Waste from landscaping and turf management processes (e.g. fertilizers and pesticides).
    • Waste from construction processes.
    • Aerosol cans, fluorescent light bulbs, and ballasts.
    • Damaged/defective batteries (e.g., lithium, lithium-ion).
  • Hazardous Chemical:Any chemical that can cause a physical and/or a health hazard. Hazardous chemicals include but are not limited to: cancer- causing agents (carcinogens), reproductive toxins (teratogen, mutagen), acute toxins, corrosives, irritants, sensitizers, and flammables.
  • Instructional Environments:Shops, studios, makerspaces, fabrication shops, laboratories, classrooms, or other areas where education, hands-on instruction, training, research, or student-supported activities are conducted, in both on- and off-grounds locations.
Policy Statement:

Chemical Safety and Waste Training, provided by the Office of Environmental Health & Safety (EHS), is required for any individual who meets any of the following criteria:

  1. The individual handles or has the potential to be exposed to hazardous chemicals in a work or instructional environment.
  2. The individual generates hazardous waste at the University of Virginia.

The Medical Center provides equivalent training required for all Medical Center employees as applicable to their roles and responsibilities who meet the above criteria.

It is the responsibility of the supervisor (or designee) to provide additional training that communicates chemical hazard and safety requirements specific to the work or instructional environment to any person who meets the criteria above.

Compliance with Policy:
Failure to comply with the requirements of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion in accordance with relevant University policies and may result in prosecution in accordance with applicable state and federal laws.

Non-compliance with safety, health, and environmental regulations may be subject to enforcement and penalties as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 29 CFR 1910.1200 & 1910.1450 and the Virginia Administrative Code (Virginia Department of Environmental Quality 9 VAC 20-60).

Questions about this policy should be directed to Environmental Health and Safety.


See the Chemical and Laboratory Safety Webpage for both the Chemical Hygiene Plan and the Written Hazard Communication Program.

Major Category:
Safety, Security and Environmental Quality
Next Scheduled Review:
Approved By, Date:
Policy Review Committee, 05/27/2005
Revision History:
Updated 10/17/23; 9/25/20; 2/25/14, 7/18/08.
Supersedes (previous policy):

XIV.R.1, Chemical Safety and Waste Training.