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UCD RISK ASSESSMENT


UCDC17

USE AND HANDLING OF DRY ICE
(GENERAL)


Rev 1

Page
1

of
4

UCD Safety Office

Important Note

This document is a general risk assessment for the use of
dry ice (solid carbon dioxide).

It should be reviewed
fully by users of such material prior to
its
use for the first time and
in the event that it is not sufficient to control the
risk
s

posed by
the nature of the use
then the user should include additional risk control measures and more
specific information on the
process
in question in Part B below
or

the user can complete a new risk assessment
using
the

UCD Chemical Agents Risk Assessment Template
.


Refer to the
UCD Chemical Safety Manual

for further information

on the use and handling of cryogenics.

Introduction

Dry ice
can pose a number of hazards in the laboratory. These include:

i.

Asphyxiation due to the
sublimation
of
carbon dioxide gas
into the atmosphere leading to drop in ambient
oxygen levels

ii.

Inhalation of cold vapours
which
can cause lung damage and asthma
attacks in asthma sufferers

iii.

Cold burns from direct contact with the
dry ice
or equipment cooled by the material

iv.

Cold damage to laboratory equipment leading to further hazards

v.

It is possible that air temperatures in the proximity of
the dry ice
may be lower

than the general
temperature, therefore hypothermia could be a hazard

vi.

Pressurisation and rupturing of sealed systems

vii.

The risk of asphyxiation if used or stored in a confined space.


For information consider the following:



1kg of dry ice will produce 0.45

m3 of gas (figure s
upplied by Gas Safety UK Ltd.).



Dry ice to CO2 sublimation rate = approx. 1% of tota
l mass per hour in an insulated
container (figure supplied
by Gas Safety UK Ltd.
-

source: Federal Aviation Administration in USA
).



Dry ice to CO2 subli
mation rate = approx. 14% of total mass per hour at room temperature in the open (figure
supplied by Gas Safety UK Ltd.
-

source: a study published in
Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine
1977).

(
adapted from Imperial College London Guidance Note GN
028 Safe Use Of Carbon Dioxide In Laboratories
-

http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/safety/guidanceandadvice/gasesandcryo/co2
)

Persons At Risk

All persons working with
dry ice

and those persons accessing areas in which these materials are used and stored
may be at risk.

Date Of Assessment

01/08
/20
10

Completed By

UCD Safety Office

Risk Assessment

Probability Rating

Outcome Rating

Risk Rating

Likely

Harmful

Moderate
Risk

Measures Required To Reduce Risk

Refer to
UCDC4 Use And Handling Of Cryogenic Liquids (General) Risk Assessment

for guidance on the use of
all cryogen
ic

materials.

UCD RISK ASSESSMENT


UCDC17

USE AND HANDLING OF DRY ICE
(GENERAL)


Rev 1

Page
2

of
4

UCD Safety Office

Storage

1.

Dry ice should be
stored in a well ventilated area with appropriate warning signage in place if necessary.

2.

Dry ice must not b
e stored in a sealed container.

3.

Containers used to store dry ice must be suitable and not be damaged by the low temperatures associated
with dry ice.

4.

Dry ice must not be stored in a confined space and
never

in a walk in freezer or fridge.

5.

Storage areas must be kept cool.

6.

If necessary dry ice may be stored temporarily in a running fume hood.

7.

If necessary an oxygen depletion sensor and may be required i
n the storage area. Refer to
UCD Chemical
Safety Manual

for information on oxygen depletion assessments during the storage of cryogenics.


Handling

1.

No person may handle or use
dry ice
without being suitably trained in its safe use. It is the responsibility of
laboratory supervisors / managers to ensure that all persons under their control using
dry ice
have been
trained, and that full records of such training are maintained.

2.

A Material

Safety Data Sheet
must be available
in the laboratory.

3.

When handling dry ice a lab coat, safety glasses and suitable gloves must be worn.
Protective gloves
conforming to BS EN 511 (Cold Protection)

should be worn if prolonged contact is foreseeable.

4.

Long sleeves and trouser legs must be worn when handling
dry ice.
There must be minimal exposed skin.

5.

All metallic jewellery should be removed when handling
dry ice
as metal items will quickly s
pread the cold
from

any contact.

6.

As small a volume as possible

should always be used.

7.

If necessary an oxygen depletion sensor and may be required in the area where the dry ice is in use.


Use

1.

When disposing of
dry ice
do

not

allow
it
to vaporise into enclosed areas such as laboratories, fridges,
freezers, cold room
s, etc.
Dry ice
to be disposed of through vaporisation must
be left in well ventilated area

e.g. a fume hood.

2.

Pregnant females and asthmatic workers must seek medical approval prior to working with
dry ice.

3.

Low temperature damage to the insulation on elec
trical cables can lead to electrocution and equipment
damage.
Dry ice
users must ensure that cables are not placed where they can be affected by
dry ice.

4.

Lone working with
dry ice
should be avoided wherever possible. If required a Lone Working Risk assessment
should be carried out.


Emergency Response

1.

In the event of a cold burn from
dry ice:

a.

Remove any restrictive clothing
-

but not any that is frozen to the tissue

b.

Flush the
affected area with tepid water (not above 40
o
C) to return tissue to normal body temperature

c.

Do not

apply any direct heat or rub affected area

UCD RISK ASSESSMENT


UCDC17

USE AND HANDLING OF DRY ICE
(GENERAL)


Rev 1

Page
3

of
4

UCD Safety Office

d.

Cover with a loose, sterile dressing and keep patient warm

e.

Obtain medical assistance immediately

2.

All users of
d
ry ice
should be aware of the symptoms of anoxia (physiological oxygen depletion). These
include dizziness, a narcotic type affect; nausea, confusion, etc. Persons experiencing such symptoms
should remove themselves to fresh air. Persons observing such sym
ptoms in co
-
workers should remove
them to fresh air. In the event that breathing stops inform the local first aider and give artificial respiration.

3.

Do not attempt to rescue anyone from a confined space if they were working with
dry ice
and have lost
consc
iousness
-

open
the door and raise the alarm.

4.

For minor spillages the following protocol should be followed:

a.

Evacuate the area, open all windows and doors and a
llow
the material
to evaporate, ensuring
adequate ventilation

b.

Following return to room tempera
ture inspect area where spillage has occurred

c.

If any laboratory equipment has been damaged following the spillage inform the laboratory manager /
supervisor

5.

For
large spillages of dry ice

(>1
kg
) the following protocol should be followed:

a.

Evacuate the im
mediate area

b.

If safe to do so open all doors and windows.

c.

Inform the Safety Office

d.

Do not

return to the area until it has been declared safe

Residual risk

(when all control
measures have been
implemented)

Probability Rating

Outcome Rating

Risk Rating

Unl
ikely

Harmful

Acceptable
Risk

Residual risk
acceptable

Yes

Revision History

Rev. 0 Issued 01/06/2008

Rev. 1 Issued 01/08/2010
-

Update of introduction to refer to new risk
assessment template.




UCD RISK ASSESSMENT


UCDC17

USE AND HANDLING OF DRY ICE
(GENERAL)


Rev 1

Page
4

of
4

UCD Safety Office

Part B: Additional Information For
Dry Ice

Dry Ice
Details

Details Of Use (e.g.. location, amount used, process concerned, etc)












Additional
Risk Control Measures

1.




2.



3.



4.



5.




Residual Risk Rating


Residual risk acceptable


Dry Ice Details

Details Of Use (e.g.. location, amount used, process
concerned, etc)













Additional
Risk Control Measures

1.




2.



3.



4.



Residual Risk Rating


Residual risk acceptable


Insert copied sheets as required.