As you walk through a well-kept laboratory, you should note a clean and orderly workplace.  Good housekeeping practices can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and exposure to hazardous materials. Spills and accidents are more likely to occur in cluttered work spaces. Follow the good laboratory housekeeping tips below.

GENERAL NOTES:

  • Reduce the risk of slips, trips, and falls by cleaning up liquid or solid spills immediately, keeping doors and drawers closed and passageways clear of obstructions.
  • Floors should be free of hazards. Never leave carelessly discarded objects, dropped objects, or spilled material on the floor.
  • Keep tables, chemical hoods, floors, aisles, and desks clear of all material not being used.
  • There should always be two clear passage ways to exits.
  • There should always be clear space around safety showers or eyewashes, fire extinguishers, and electrical controls.
  • Sink traps and floor drain traps should be filled with water at all times to prevent the escape of sewer gases into the laboratories.
  • Any frequently used bench apparatus should be kept well away from any edges and secured whenever possible.
  • Bench tops and bench liners should be free of visible contamination.

AISLES:
when visibility is poor (e.g., smoke is in the laboratory). Obstructing aisles and passageways is not only a fire code violation but can also cause slips, trips, falls, and other accidents. OSHA regulations require that the exit is at least 28 inches wide at all points (29 CFR 1910.36).

  • Keep aisles easily accessible, neat, and free of objects that may pose an obstacle during an evacuation. Keep stools, waste solvent jerricans, and other objects near the sides of aisles or underneath the bench.
  • To prevent slips, trips, and falls, immediately clean up any spilled water, oil (leaking vacuum pumps), or ice on floor surfaces. Fix any protrusions from the floor, such as damaged tiles.
  • Clean up any broken glassware (e.g., broken tubes), sharps, and pipette tips on floors. Such items pose a serious tripping hazard, and they can cause cuts and punctures to people kneeling on the floor.

CHEMICAL FUME HOODS:
Good housekeeping is particularly important in chemical fume hoods, as a cluttered hood does not function properly and does not provide protection from hazardous vapors.

STORAGE:

  • Do not store excess cardboard boxes, equipment boxes, Styrofoam, etc. under lab benches, on shelves, or above shelves/cabinets throughout the lab. This can be a safety as well as a fire hazard.
  • Do not store chemical containers on the floor.
  • Sharp or pointed tools should be properly sheathed or stored.
  • Clothing should be hung in proper locations and not draped over equipment or benches.
  • Less commonly used equipment should be kept in storage.

As a leader in Scientific Equipment Repair and Medical Equipment Calibrations, Scientific Instrument Center works with many corporations, universities, and hospitals providing the highest level of laboratory services. Whether we are providing biosafety cabinet calibration or medical equipment calibration, we keep your equipment performing to industry codes and regulations. Feel free to contact us at (614) 771-4700