Review of chemical storage and handling protocols in the Environmental Radioactivity laboratories of



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A review of chemical storage and handling protocols in the Environmental Radioactivity laboratories of eriss



P Medley


Supervising Scientist Division

GPO Box 461, Darwin NT 0801

September 2009

Registry File SG2009/0130

(Release status – unrestricted)



How to cite this report:

Medley P 2009. A review of chemical storage and handling protocols in the Environmental Radioactivity laboratories of eriss. Internal Report 548, September, Supervising Scientist, Darwin. Unpublished Paper



Location of final PDF file in SSD Explorer

\Publications Work\Publications and other productions\Internal Reports (IRs)\Nos 500 to 599\IR548_review chemical storage and handling protocols in EnRad lab (Medley)\IR548_review chemical storage and handling protocols (Medley).pdf



Location of all key data files for this report in SSD Explorer:

Corporate Management\Property Management (including Environmental Management

System)\Environmental Management Systems (EMS)\SSD Environmental Management

System development 2005 onwards including sustainability reporting\Data

Collection\EMS- Chemical waste for drains etimates.xls

ENRAD Administration\Darwin_Laboratory\Audits & Reviews\Peroxide Testing.xls

ENRAD Administration\Darwin_Laboratory\Audits & Reviews\Phosgene Testing In Chloroform.xls

ENRAD Administration\Darwin_Laboratory\Laboratory Management\EnRad Chemical

Inventory\CAMEO-NOAA reactivity templates

ENRAD Administration\Darwin_Laboratory\Laboratory Management\EnRad Chemical Inventory\EnRad Chemical Incompatibility.xls

ENRAD Administration\Darwin_Laboratory\Laboratory Management\EnRad Chemical

Inventory\EnRad Chemical Inventory.xls

ENRAD Administration\Darwin_Laboratory\Laboratory Management\EnRad Chemical

Inventory\EnRad Chemical Inventory.xls’ in worksheet ‘EnRad - Radiochemistry - Jul 09’

ENRAD Administration\Darwin_Laboratory\Laboratory Management\EnRad Chemical Inventory\Inventory - Chemicals to be disposed Jan 2009.xls

ENRAD Administration\Darwin_Laboratory\Laboratory Management\EnRad Chemical Inventory\Legacy Standards & Chemicals list.xls

OH & S\Safety Manuals\Radiation_Safety\Radiation_Source_Control_Plan\Versions\

RadSourceControlPlan_v10.doc



Author of this report:

Peter Medley – Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist, GPO Box 461, Darwin NT 0801, Australia

The Supervising Scientist is part of the Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.

© Commonwealth of Australia 2009

Supervising Scientist

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

GPO Box 461, Darwin NT 0801 Australia

This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from the Supervising Scientist. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to Publications Inquiries, Supervising Scientist, GPO Box 461, Darwin NT 0801.

e-mail: publications_ssd@environment.gov.au

Internet: www.environment.gov.au/ssd (www.environment.gov.au/ssd/publications)

The views and opinions expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect those of the Commonwealth of Australia. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the contents of this report are factually correct, some essential data rely on the references cited and the Supervising Scientist and the Commonwealth of Australia do not accept responsibility for the accuracy, currency or completeness of the contents of this report, and shall not be liable for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the report. Readers should exercise their own skill and judgment with respect to their use of the material contained in this report.

Printed and bound in Darwin NT by Supervising Scientist Division

Contents


A review of chemical storage and handling protocols in the Environmental Radioactivity laboratories of eriss 1

Executive summary 5

1 Introduction 6

2 MSDS review 7

3 General chemical storage and handling considerations 10

References 18

Appendices 19



Executive summary


A review of chemical storage and handling protocols in the Environmental Radioactivity section (EnRad) of eriss was undertaken after two incidents involving EnRad staff. Investigations from these incidents also made recommendations regarding the updating of procedures within the section. A review of the management of all chemicals held by EnRad, including an assessment of potential improvements in chemical safety and laboratory management, was conducted. The major themes of the chemical management review were a review of all MSDS (material safety data sheet) information and protocols for the purchasing, storage, handling and disposal of chemicals and chemical waste. Particular emphasis was placed on addressing any current issues of significance identified and on providing recommendations for implementing a Chemical Management Framework for all chemicals handled by EnRad staff. Implementation of these recommendations will ensure all procedures in place in the EnRad radiochemical laboratory have undergone a rigorous safety assessment. Following this report recommendations will guide and complement the development of a comprehensive procedures manual for the EnRad laboratories.

1 Introduction


This report was inititated after a serious incident (referred to as the L19 incident) resulted in injury (requiring hospitalisation) to a staff member who was working in the radiochemistry laboratory. The incident involved the handling of time-sensitive organic waste, the disposal procedures for which were not accounted for adequately within the OH&S framework within eriss at the time.

As a result of this incident, a review of the management of all chemicals held by the Environmental Radioactivity section (EnRad), including an assessment of potential improvements in chemical safety and laboratory management, was conducted. Particular emphasis was placed on addressing any current issues of significance identified and on providing recommendations for implementing a Chemical Management Framework for all chemicals handled by EnRad staff.

Internal and Comcare investigations identified that a number of MSDS for chemicals in the EnRad laboratory were out of date. Further, up to date information on several chemicals indicated there were at least two time-sensitive chemicals (Chloroform and Isopropanol) that had not previously been identified (Bailey et al 2004). There were also a number of issues identified with procedures for the storage and disposal of organic wastes.

The major themes of the chemical management review are:



  • A review of all MSDS information held by EnRad

  • Storage and handling of chemicals held – especially with respect to time-sensitive chemicals and waste

  • Disposal of chemicals (including acidified samples)

  • Purchasing chemicals

These four major themes were identified from two primary sources. Firstly, recommendations from the investigation report for the L19 incident described above. Secondly, recommendations arising from another incident involving the spillage of an acidified sample on a staff member due to the structural failure of an aged and degraded plastic container. In addition this report also contains some further improvements that are currently being implemented following recommendations from EnRad staff.

Investigations from the L19 incident also made recommendations regarding the updating of procedures with the aim to guide and complement the development of a comprehensive procedures manual for the EnRad laboratories. Implementation of these recommendations will ensure all procedures in place in the EnRad radiochemical laboratory have undergone a rigorous safety assessment. The updated procedures manual will be published in a separate report. The EnRad radiochemistry laboratory manager bears responsibility for the implementation and completion of recommendations highlighted in this report.


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