Chemicals in Schools

This program focuses on chemical safety for student and staff.  Chemical safety is about mitigating the presence of hazardous chemicals in schools and providing an ongoing program of compliance at each school.  All schools, both public and private must meet federal and state regulations.

Chemicals in Schools Program

Chemical purchase and storage are strictly regulated by Maine code. Chemicals in schools are typically used by art, photography, vocational, and chemistry classes as well as custodial, grounds, mechanic, and maintenance teams. Under the direction of school administration schools are required to:

  • Develop a hazardous chemical screening process,
  • Provide material data sheets (MDS),
  • Inventory hazardous chemicals,
  • Provide a chemical hygiene plan (CHP), and
  • Appoint a chemical hygiene officer (CHO)

All schools, public and private, are required to safely manage chemicals and follow federal chemical safety regulations.

The Maine Chemicals in School Program is governed by the Code of Maine Regulations (05-071 CMR Chap. 161): Purchase and Storage of Hazardous Chemicals.   

Hazard Communication Program

Chemicals are strictly regulated by federal codes. All Maine schools, both public and private, are required to adopt a hazard communication plan.  A list of hazardous chemicals (inventory), labels, warnings, material data sheets (MDS), employee information and training, and more are required. See the federal code for specific details. Free training and consulting resources are available to schools through the Maine Department of Labor Safety Works Program

School must submit a copy of their chemical inventory to the local fire department and kept a copy on site at each school in a location that is readily accessible (typically the main office and chemical laboratory).  School chemical inventories are due annually on September 1. Chemical inventory instructions are located on the Maine DOE Reporting Calendar.

The Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for hazard communication is a system of classification and labeling of chemicals. Schools need to know the system. GHS is an international program. The United States was an active participant in the development of GHS. 

The Hazard Communication Program is governed by the Code of Federal Regulation (29 CFR 1910.1200). Maine adopted the federal rule.   

Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP)

Chemicals are strictly regulated by federal codes. All Maine schools, both public and private, are required to adopt a plan and appoint a chemical hygiene officer (CHO).  A written plan, standard operating procedures, control measures, equipment maintenance, employee information and training, medical consultation and examination, chemical hygiene officer appoint, and more are required.  See the federal code for specific details. Free State training and consulting resources are available to schools through Maine Department of Labor Safety Works Program.

School must submit a copy of their chemical hygiene plan to the local fire department and kept a copy on site at each school in a location that is readily accessible (typically the main office and chemical laboratory). School chemical hygiene plans are due annually on September 1. CHP nstructions are located on the Maine DOE Reporting Calendar.

The Chemical Hygiene Plan is governed by the Code of Federal Regulation (29 CFR 1910.1450). Maine adopted the federal rule. 

Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO)

Chemicals in schools are strictly regulated. CHOs need to be qualified by training and experience and follow technical guidance to develop and implement the school chemical hygiene plan (CHP). Free training is available to schools through the Maine Department of Labor Safety Works Program

The Chemical Hygiene Officer position is governed by Code of Federal Regulation (29 CFR 1910.1450). Maine adopted the federal rule. 

Integrated Pest management (IPM) Program

Pesticide use is strictly regulated in Maine schools. All Maine schools, both public and private, are required to adopt IPM policies and practices and appoint an IPM coordinator. Training and record-keeping are required. Free resources are available to schools through the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

The Integrated Pest management (IPM) Program is governed by the Code of Maine Regulations (01-026, CMR Chap. 27): Standards for Pesticide Application and Public Notification in Schools.

Elements the Chemical Programs and Plans Have in Common

  • Annual review and evaluation
  • Document location and availability readily accessible
  • Hazardous chemicals inventory
  • Labels and warnings
  • Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
  • Training provided

Instructions

Resources

  • U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Contact about details of federal chemical management regulations. www.osha.gov  
  • U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Review record keeping, reporting, requirements, documents, and training information. www.osha.gov/recordkeeping
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 1 (New England). Contact about chemical disposal. www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epa-region-1-new-england
  • Maine Department of Labor Safety Works Program. Contact about training. www.safetyworksmaine.com