10 Safe-Lab ConsiderationsMarcusCannon
Keeping Safe Whilst in the Lab
Whether building a lab from scratch or re-developing an existing lab – safety concerns may be the last thing on your mind, as you attempt to create an environment which is perfect for accurate, repeatable experiments. However, it is vitally important that safety considerations are sewn in throughout the development – so we have created this list of 10 safety tips to give you a helping hand.
1. Clear Instructions
Every part of the laboratory should have quick and clear access to relevant safety instructions and advice. If separate parts of the laboratory are using specific chemicals and apparatus, safety guides for these materials should be provided in close proximity. Large, generic safety guides could make it more difficult for afflicted parties to access the relevant safety instructions.
2. Clear Lines of Evacuation
One of the most important things to consider when planning a safe lab is ensuring that everyone using the lab has a clear evacuation route. This can help accommodate quick and simple evacuation in the event of an emergency – ensuring everyone can make their way out of the lab quickly and safely without interrupting any of the work being conducted.
3. Simple Occupied Signs
Creating a system which makes it easier for people to check whether the laboratory is being used and whether it is safe to enter can help avoid a huge range of potential hazards. Installing measures so it is necessary to indicate when the lab is being used can be incredibly simple and intuitive.
4. Invest in a Label Machine
Miscellaneous chemicals in unlabelled jars can be hugely hazardous to everyone within the laboratory. A dedicated label-maker can simplify the process of accurately labelling all the chemicals, their purpose and amounts. The latter is helpful to monitor the amount of the chemicals being used and whether they are being used without authority.
5. Go Above and Beyond with PPE
It is better to go over-the-top with personal protective equipment, providing everything the whole lab team will need, and more. Additional pieces of PPE will also ensure that visitors and members of other departments are also protected when in the lab.
6. Simplify Recycling and Waste Disposal
Clogging up the lab with used chemicals and apparatus can be incredibly dangerous, so it is vital that everyone in the team is encouraged to recycle and dispose of everything which is not being used. By implementing the means to quickly and efficiently chuck out old items – it will be easier for the team to keep the laboratory clean.
7. Anticipate Changing Requirements
Building your lab exclusively for its current requirements without applying any flexibility could lead to expensive alterations in the future. Project a 10-year plan as accurately as possible and create the lab around these specifications. This could help you avoid dangerous, incorrect storage of chemicals or use of apparatus in an inadequate environment.
8. Involve the Team in Planning
When developing a new lab environment for the team, their input could help you avoid potential pitfalls and produce the safest, most efficient space possible. By involving the team, you will have a greater understanding of how they plan to use the laboratory – giving you the best possible chance to create a safe and effective setting.
9. Ensure Chemical Ventilation is Correct and Efficient
The health of the laboratory team hinges on you ensuring that the lab’s ventilation is adequate to allow all potentially hazardous chemicals fumes to exit the lab. Installing correct, sufficient ventilation can help keep the air and atmosphere of the lab clean and conducive to safe working conditions.
10. Employ the Experts
Like all important jobs, it is vital that experts are consulted and their advice is taken into account. The InterFocus team has more than 25 years’ experience in creating commercial laboratories. For more information about how you can utilise our extensive experience visit our homepage or call us now on 01223 894833.