University Chemical Hygiene Committee Charter


The Committee shall meet every other month during the academic year. This will be re-evaluated and revised as needed.

A quorum of 8 members shall be required to conduct business of the Committee, 5 units must be represented for a vote and a simple majority is required for a vote to pass. Voting may be conducted via email.

Note: Members will not have voting rights when involved in a review process of his/her project.

Alternate members will be selected as needed and approved by the Dean of the respective College.


A minimum of one representative from each area listed below shall compose the Committee


  1. College of Arts and Science
  2. College of Engineering
  3. College of Marine Studies
  4. College of Health and Nursing Sciences
  5. College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  6. College of Human Services, Education and Public Policy
  7. Delaware Biotechnology Institute

The Director of Environmental Health & Safety, Chemical Hygiene Officer, and the Associate Vice Provost, Research Office are ex-officio voting members of the committee.

Committee Chair Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for advocating with the Provost on behalf of the committee for all program needs.
  • Provide interim authorization of projects involving the use of highly toxic materials in conjunction with the University CHO.
  • Other functions shall include all duties required to lead the committee in areas specified in the Charter.
  • The Chair will be elected by the voting members of the committee and serve for a term of one year at which time they may be re-elected to serve subsequent terms.

Committee Responsibilities:

  • Evaluate and administer the chemical safety aspects of all University programs involving the research and teaching use of hazardous chemicals under the provisions outlined in the University policy (reference policy 7-37), the University Chemical Hygiene Plan and OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1200 and 1450, 40 CFR Parts 260-272, and Delaware State Regulations.
  • Review, prescribe and disseminate information regarding special conditions, requirements, and restrictions that may be necessary for safe handling of laboratory chemicals. For example, the Committee may require students, staff and researchers to upgrade facilities, designate areas in the laboratory for use, post additional caution signs, use special disposal methods, use special procedures, and require special procedures to be followed after contamination events or incidents.
  • Grant approval for the use of highly toxic chemicals, as defined in the Chemical Hygiene Plan, upon the request of their use. Interim authorization of projects involving the use of these materials requires the approval of both the Chemical Hygiene Committee Chair and the CHO and is subject to review of the entire committee at their next regularly scheduled meeting. A site review process will be conducted by the University CHO and one member of the Committee.
  • Adopt emergency procedures for accidental spills and personal contamination.
  • Maintain records of meeting notes, protocol reviews, and other documents related to the committee's work and the use of hazardous chemicals at the University. Meeting notes will be shared with the Provost.
  • Receive and review periodic and /or urgent reports from the Chemical Hygiene Officer regarding:
    1. Exposures of individuals to chemicals.
    2. Incidents related to the use or storage of chemicals.
    3. Status of certifications of the local exhaust ventilation systems.
  • Recommend and/or initiate remedial actions when safe procedures are not followed or when procedures are not in compliance with government regulations, University policy or the Chemical Hygiene Plan.
  • Authorize the resumption of operations stopped by the CHO or Director of Environmental Health & Safety, when the operations are again in compliance with guidelines and/or regulations.
  • Review plans of renovations to or construction of, buildings in which the use and/or storage of hazardous chemicals occurs or is contemplated. Reviews shall be performed in a manner to ensure that hazardous chemicals are not an exposure threat to the public or workers. Based upon this review, recommendations may be made affecting the building ventilation system, local exhaust ventilation selection, flow rates, construction materials, furniture and surface finishes. The DEHS shall carry out the Committee's responsibility in this area and shall report its ]activities to the Committee as ppropriate.
  • Keep Department Chairpersons, authorized users and other academic and administrative officers advised of changes in rules and recommendations of various agencies concerned with chemical safety.
  • Arrange for and/or conduct a management audit of the Chemical Hygiene program on a periodic basis as determined by the committee. The audit shall include a review of the overall effectiveness of the University Chemical Hygiene program. An audit report shall be presented to and discussed with the Provost.