Chemical Safety

Hazard Communication Program

To enhance employees’ health and safety, UCSF developed, implemented, and maintains a Hazard Communication Program as required by Title 8, California Code of Regulations, §5194, the Hazard Communication Standard.  The Hazard Communication Program defines how hazards in the workplace are communicated at UCSF.

Chemical Inventory

Hazardous Materials storage, use, and disposal locations are subject to permitting with the State Fire Marshal, the State of California, and the San Francisco Department of Public Health.  All hazardous material inventories are reported annually to the state, along with information useful to First Responders. Hazardous material inventories are also required by The Joint Commission, California Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), and the UCSF Chemical Safety Officer to help ensure proper hazard identification and employee safety.

EH&S administers an online chemical inventory tool to assist in the efforts outlined above. End users are expected to submit chemical inventories annually using the online system.  More information is available at

Safety Data Sheets

Manufacturers are required to provide Safety Data Sheets (formerly called Material Safety Data Sheets) for all chemicals and chemical products they produce.  SDS describe the physical and chemical properties, hazards, engineering controls, appropriate personal protective equipment, storage and handling information, reactivities, procedures for spills and first aid requirements for a particular chemical.

All users of chemicals and products containing chemicals are required to be familiar with the contents of the SDS before beginning work.  Safety Data Sheets are available on the UCOP SDS Resource Page

Any questions about the safe use of a chemical or product should be addressed to the Safety Office by submitting a ticket through Service Now (MCSS).

Labels for Chemical Containers

Chemical containers from manufacturers are required to be labeled with pictograms, a signal word, hazard and precautionary statements, the product identifier, and supplier identification.

The pictograms used on manufacturer's labels and theirmeanings are shown below:

Chemical Fume Hoods

Chemical fume hoods exhaust air through the buildings' ventilation systems and can be used to reduce airborne exposures to chemicals and radioactive materials.   Fume hoods used with chemicals are required to have a minimum average face velocity of 100 fpm and fume hoods used with radioactive materials are required to have a minimum face velocity of 150 fpm.  Staff should be familiar with how to safely use fume hoods, how to verify if the fume hood is working properly, and other safety features of fume hoods.

All chemical fume hoods at UCSF must be certified annually by EH&S.   If your your fume hood has not been inspected within the last 12 months, submit an inspection request via Service Now (MCSS).




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