Environmental Health & Safety Manual (EHS)

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Effective: 7/1/2012

Revised: New   

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EHS 123: Working Alone with Hazardous Materials, Processes, or Equipment

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To address specifically “working alone” with hazardous materials, hazardous processes, or hazardous equipment in order to provide a safer and healthier work environment for members of the ASU community and to identify areas and activities that require levels of supervisory oversight and training pre-requisites for the safe performance of more advanced or complex duties

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29 Code of Federal Regulations §§ 1910
Arizona State University Chemical Hygiene Plan

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All members of the ASU community (e.g., university employees, students, volunteers, visiting researchers, and service providers) who perform or participate in research or activities involving potentially hazardous materials, hazardous equipment, or hazardous processes, as defined, at all ASU-owned/leased/operated facilities and field locations.

This policy does not apply to:

  1. situations or circumstances when hazardous materials, processes, or equipment are not involved
  2. situations or circumstances involving driving motorized vehicles


  3. walking alone on ASU-owned/leased/operated facilities or field locations.

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Working alone with hazardous materials, hazardous equipment, or hazardous processes is prohibited unless authorized by the principal investigator (PI), or his or her designee, in accordance with this policy or as otherwise approved by Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S).

The creative research activities at Arizona State University are broad in spectrum, ranging from low- to high-risk. This policy is not intended to be detrimental to the research process, but rather to effectively monitor activities and enforce compliance for the health and safety of the ASU community during normal and after-hours activities.

Responsibilities of Environmental Health & Safety

EH&S is responsible for providing Procedures for Working Alone with Hazardous Materials, Processes, or Equipment (available on the EH&S Occupational Health and Safety Web page) and a Working-Alone Checklist (available on the EH&S forms Web page), for use in conjunction with this policy. The Working-Alone Checklist should be used to easily assess tasks that fall under this policy. EH&S will also provide guidance and consultation in connection with situations or circumstances where working alone may take place.

Responsibilities of the Colleges and Units

Colleges, departments, and units shall assess their operations and activities to identify any situations when members of the ASU community may be exposed to hazardous materials, hazardous equipment, or hazardous processes as defined in this policy. Each PI shall ensure that safe working procedures are established to prevent one from working alone with hazardous materials, hazardous equipment, or hazardous processes, and/or establish procedures and training that eliminate or minimize the risks of one working alone. Each PI, or designee, is responsible for ensuring that any alternative working procedures are at least as effective as the Working Alone Procedures.

Responsibilities of the Members of the ASU Community

Each member of the ASU community is required to perform all job duties and functions in compliance with ASU health and safety policies, including this policy, and complete all required or assigned safety training.

Each member of the ASU community is responsible for completing safety training established by their respective area or unit and following the requirements of all procedures associated with this policy. If any member of the ASU community will be working alone or has any concerns or questions regarding working alone, that member is responsible for notifying his or her supervisor and/or PI and shall be responsible for coordinating with their supervisor and/or PI to establish safe workign procedures consistent with this policy. Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action.

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For more information, see:

  1. EHS 104, “Laboratory Use of Hazardous Chemicals”
  2. EHS 105, “Personal Protective Equipment”
  3. EHS 108, “Environmental Health and Safety Training”
  4. EHS 117, “Lockout/Tagout”
  5. EHS 118, ”Electrical Safe Work Practices”


  6. EHS 403, “Chemical Release Emergency Response.”

See also the Police Department Policies and Procedures ManualPDP 104–01,“Laboratory Emergencies.”

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Additional Information

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See also, Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Management of Chemical Hazards. Revised Edition. The Committee on Prudent Practices in the Laboratory and National Research Council. National Academies Press, 2011.

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