Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Preparing for an Effective Lab Safety Inspection

The laboratory environment can be a hazardous place to work. Laboratory workers are exposed to numerous potential hazards including chemical, biological, physical and radioactive hazards, as well as musculoskeletal stresses.

The typical research facility contains a multitude of hazards. Most facilities will have a mix of research laboratories, instrument rooms, chemical storage areas, waste handling areas, and busy receiving/loading docks. The focus of this column will be on conducting safety audits in research laboratories, but the steps and the process can be applied to all the different areas of the facility.

‘Prior to entering the lab, make note of any signs, hazard indicators, and warnings. Lab entrances should have appropriate signage to alert those preparing to enter about the hazards present. Most important, emergency contact information for after-hours incidents should be listed. Double-check this again when exiting to note if all hazards are represented and that any newer ones have been added.’

This is the basis of a useful article in Lab Manager magazine. The article can be accessed on-line.

Posted by Tim Sandle