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Chemical Safety Resources: EHRS Resources

Key resources in chemical safety and industrial hygiene recommended by EHRS and the Penn Chemistry Library.

When you’ve identified hazards in your work you must then decide how to reduce the risks of those hazards. 

BioRAFT ( is the laboratory safety platform that Penn EHRS uses for lab inspections and managemetn of other lab safety information.  The site is accessible by PennKey to anyone who has been added to a lab's member list in BioRAFT.  Users can view their lab group's information, including inspection results, biological agent registration, lab hazard survey, Safety Assurance & Chemical Hygiene Work Plan documents (see below), and lab-specific hazard control plans.

The following resources on the EHRS website and in BioRAFT are available to assist you with the hazard control process and also provide information about the laws, policies, and Penn standards that apply to your research.

The Chemical Hygiene Plan

The purpose of the Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) is to acquaint students and employees with the University of Pennsylvania's safety and health policies and to inform employees of their rights and obligations under federal and state regulations.

Hazardous chemicals must be handled according to the Labeling, Chemical Storage and Transport, and general Chemical Handling procedures detailed in the Chemical Hygiene Plan.

The CHP also includes information about types of chemical toxicity and how to respond to a chemical emergency in the lab.

Standard Operating Procedures

Section XVI of the CHP includes SOPs and Safety Fact Sheets.  The standard operating procedures (SOPs) describe the minimum safety procedures and equipment for handling various hazardous material types (e.g. corrosives, flammables, etc.)  You must read and follow the guidance in the SOP for all hazard classes that are present in your work.

Safety Fact Sheets

Safety Fact Sheets are similar to the SOPs and are found in the same section of the CHP, however, Fact Sheets are written about a specific material as opposed to a general hazard class.  For example, there is an SOP for hazardous gases, but there is also a Fact Sheet specifically for the use of hydrogen gas in anaerobic chambers.

A hyperlinked screenshot image of the home page of the BioRAFT website.

Hazard Control Plans

This is one of the most useful tools for ensuring your safety in the lab.  A Hazard Control Plan (HCP) describes all of the hazards involved in a lab process (reactivity, health hazards, physical hazards, and biological hazards) and defines the methods and equipment that will be used to reduce the risks of carrying out that procedure.  HCPs also may include information on emergency procedures, waste disposal, and the limitations and approvals required for a given procedure.  At Penn, HCPs are written for specific lab tasks and are generally written by the researchers who will perform those tasks.  A template for writing an HCP is available on the EHRS website. 


The Standard Operating Procedures, Safety Fact Sheets, and Hazard Control Plans that have already been identified for your lab’s research tasks are accessible to you in BioRAFT.  Sign on using your Pennkey log-in and click on the link “View Laboratory Safety Assurance & Chemical Hygiene Work Plan” on your lab’s summary page to find links to the Chemical Hygiene Plan sections that apply to your lab.  Hazard Control Plans that have been written by your lab are found in the Documents tab of your lab’s BioRAFT profile.

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