Compressed or Liquefied Gases in Laboratories

Policy Statement

All laboratories and laboratory support facility employees engaged in the use of compressed or liquefied gases and cryogenic liquids shall adhere to the requirements stated in this Policy and all related safety programs of the Office for Research. 

Reason for Policy/Purpose

The use of hazardous chemicals in the laboratory is regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals in laboratories (29 CFR 1910.1450). Areas outside laboratorie§ where compressed or liquefied gases are handled are regulated by the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) and Compressed Gases (29 CFR 1910 Subpart H, Mand Q). The storage of gases is also regulated by the currently adopted version of the International Fire Code, applicable standards of the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The University requires research laboratories using compressed or liquefied gases to maintain concentrations and/or quantities below the thresholds as promulgated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS). There are also some chemicals of concern that can be illegally diverted for illicit drug manufacturing. 

Who Needs to Know this Policy

Northwestern faculty, staff, postdocs, research associates, students, and visitors working in laboratories or laboratory support facilities using compressed or liquefied gases. 

Forms/Instructions

Specific instructions and procedures can be found in the Guide to Compressed or Liquefied Gases in Laboratories.

History and Revision Dates

Original Date: 7/12/2010
Last Amended Date: January 20, 2017
Next Review Date: January 22, 2018