Chemicals and gases

Chemicals and gases are used in laboratories, for cleaning and in workshops. You should use personal protective equipment if there is any danger of being exposed to hazardous substances.

Norsk versjon - Kjemikalier og gasser

Topic page about HSE | Pages labelled with HSE

Work environments with chemicals and gases

Many chemicals and gases have properties that can lead to illness and injury. For this reason, everyone who uses and has responsibility for chemicals and/or gases with dangerous properties should work continously to remove or replace dangerous substances and processes with less dangerous substances. See the Norwegian Environment Agency's guide; "Replacing Hazardous Chemicals (Substitution)" [in Norwegian]. The requirements for replacement of substances that are carcinogenic or harmful to genes are especially strict.


People who work with chemicals and gases

Make sure that you have adequate training and the necessary information to perform your work in a good and safe way. You should use personal protective equipment if there is any danger of being exposed to hazardous substances.

Using fume cupboards

For safety requirements, how to control and report malfunction, responsibilies and tasks - Avtrekksskap i laboratorier og verksted (in Norwegian - not yet translated).

Using contact lenses

When working with chemicals, you need to avoid using contact lenses as far as possible. If you need to use contact lenses, you must use protective goggles in addition.

Individuals in charge of the work

The unit must conduct a risk assessment of the use and handling of chemicals and gases to take care of its employees and students in the best way possible. If the risk assessment concludes that safety measures and personal protective equipment are necessary, these measures and equipment must be available and in accordance with regulations.

Begin with the risk assessment of chemicals and gases in the substance database (in Norwegian). Read more about risk assessment of chemicals (in Norwegian) (pdf) in the substance database.

Based on the risk assessment, employees who are exposed to hazardous chemicals/gases should be offered a medical examination. NTNU's Occupational Health Services can provide assistance with this assessment.

The unit should have procedures for the purchase, storage, use and disposal of chemicals. See the page for hazardous waste (in Norwegian). NTNU has a purchase agreement with suppliers of chemicals.

If you are using a fume cupboard or if you plan to get, move or dispose a fume cupboard - Avtrekksskap i laboratorier og verksted (in Norwegian - not yet translated)

Substance database

The NTNU substance database (in Norwegian) is an electronic archive that contains information about hazardous chemicals, other hazardous substances and hazardous biological factors.

For administrators of the substance database: Go to the substance database page to read about safety data sheets and how you can enter safety data sheets into the substance database.

Some important links:


Report accidents and near misses in the NTNU incident reporting system.

Questions regarding the HSE process

  • How does the unit ensure that the substance database is updated and available to all users?
  • Which procedures does the unit have for purchasing chemicals and gases (approvals, persons in charge)?
  • How does the unit work to minimize the risks associated with use of chemicals, particularly which measures does the unit take to avoid their employees and students being exposed to potentially hazardous chemicals?
  • How does the unit ensure that there are no emissions to the environment of potentially environmentally harmful chemicals (drains/air releases)?
  • How does the unit ensure that users are provided with the necessary training and information (students in particular)?
  • Are there any application, notification or authorization requirements for the use and storage of the unit's chemicals and gases (explosion and fire hazard)?
  • Is there a requirement of updating?
  • Which procedures does the unit have for disposal of chemicals and gases?
  • Which procedures does the unit have for the access to, use and maintenance of personal protective equipment?
  • Which procedures does the unit have to ensure that a medical examination is offered in case of suspected adverse health effects?

Safety in the laboratory - movie

Safety in the laboratory


NTNU regulations




Approved by Director of HSE - December 7th 2012 - HMSR40E - ePhorte 2013/11273

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