How do you make a laboratory safe?

A laboratory must meet many of its own safety and environmental requirements. In a laboratory, many sources of danger are present, which may pose a risk. That is why it is very important that your laboratory is attuned to safety.

Laboratory safety

To adjust a laboratory as safely as possible, several points should be considered. These include:

  • the laboratory equipement
  • access to the laboratory
  • instructions and good practice
  • maintenance and checks.

Of course, each approach may differ per type of laboratory.

Laboratory equipment:

Selecting suitable building materials to ensure safety is an important part of laboratory design. The text below briefly describes the floors, walls, work tables and ventilation that must be considered.

The floors and walls:

The floor, wall and ceiling covering from a laboratory must be adapted to the planned activities. The walls must also be sufficiently water-resistant. This is so that they can be cleaned properly and that they cannot be damaged by liquid splashes.

The work tables:

The worktables are resistant to the products used, easy to clean and water-resistant.

Ventilation:

For laboratory safety, it is important that the air that is breathed is healthy. For this reason, one or more fresh air supplies must be present. This is also necessary when actions take place in the lab that gives off vapours or gases. The ventilation system will provide fresh air.

Of course, there must also be a possibility to easily switch off the ventilation in the event of a fire.

Access to the laboratory:

In order to guarantee laboratory safety, it is wise to have good access to the laboratory. Emergency services must be able to access easily if necessary. In order to make this safe for everyone, it is important that entrance doors provide hazard indications of the risks that may be entered inside.

In addition, protective aprons must be present at the entrance of the laboratory.

Instructions and good practices:

Good laboratory practices (GLP) are about quality assurance. It is a system that describes the guidelines that are internationally recognized. Even though good laboratory practices are primarily intended for large companies and institutes, certain standards are also binding for each laboratory.

Think of a course of action regarding the management and disposal of waste and liquid emissions:

  • Should not be poured into the sink
  • Must be kept separately
  • Must be disposed of as hazardous waste

In addition, it is recommended to have at least one fire extinguisher in the laboratory.

Maintain and check

Keeping track of the spaces is important for safety in a laboratory. The following tasks should be performed regularly:

  • Cleaning the materials
  • Wash regularly to avoid dust (dangerous products can build up in dust)
  • Clean worktables after every working day

It is also important to regularly check the laboratory equipment. This looks at:

  • Fume cupboards
  • Autoclaves
  • Liquid Nitrogen Tanks
  • gas installations

How can we help you?

Let us meet and talk about your challenges, looking for the best possible solution for you and your company!

We can help you with consultancy, project management and turnkey laboratory projects.

Labs31 Team

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