It is very important in any laboratory to follow safety guidelines to keep workers and/or students safe. Safety measures are put into place to keep accidents from happening and if they are not followed, results can be dangerous or even fatal.
One of these important safety features is your laboratory fume hoods. Keeping it regularly tested and up to code is extremely important to maintain satisfactory working conditions. There are several important ventilation guidelines based on the different dynamics of every lab. Here are a few to be mindful of:
- Work conditions: Be aware of what chemicals or other agents that will be handled in the lab. Depending if the materials are extremely toxic, a fume hood may not be powerful enough to handle the fumes safely.
- Proper handling of materials: Once you decide a fume hood will be sufficient for the materials being handled in the lab, knowing how to handle those materials on a daily basis is important for continuous safety. Hazardous materials may need to be stored inside the fume hood on an ongoing basis with continuous ventilation. Even movement of air within the fume hood is important as well. Allow for air to pass around and under the materials stored in the fume hood for complete ventilation. Only a limited number of materials should be stored in the fume hoods in order to not block air passages in and around the materials being stored.
- Safe working conditions: A clean lab is a safe lab. Even if your lab handles hazardous or polluted materials, keeping tables, lab countertops and walkways free of debris is always important for maintaining safety in the lab. Moreover, the area in front of the fume hood should have a clearance of at least 36 inches in and around the area. (Some requirements may vary.) Along with safety goggles being worn around fume hoods, a splash guard can be installed or other beneficial fume hood fixtures. Operable windows should be shut at all times to prevent drafts from occurring which could upset the performance of the fume hoods as well extinguish negative pressure containment if created in your lab.
No matter what materials you are working with in your laboratory, guidelines must be followed in order to assure the utmost safety. LOC Scientific offers product specialists that evaluate your laboratory in order to help you find the right laboratory products to promote a safe and healthy work environment.