hazardous materials and associated requirements for use of ventilated enclosures, disposal of waste, labeling of areas where work with high-hazard materials is conducted, decontamination of work surfaces).

   Access to emergency equipment is unobstructed (e.g., safety showers, eyewash units, fire extinguishers), and equipment is maintained in good working order. Aisles are unobstructed and minimum egress is maintained. Minimum clearance to sprinkler heads, as required by local building and fire codes, is maintained.

   Chemicals are properly stored and segregated (e.g., flammables, strong acids, strong bases, peroxides).

   Personnel demonstrate ability to access MSDSs or other chemical safety references and knowledge of handling requirements for various classifications of materials.

   Rotating machinery and high-temperature devices have appropriate guards. Safety switches and emergency stops are working.

   Associated egress corridors are unobstructed and minimum egress as required by building and fire codes is maintained. Combustible and surplus materials and equipment are removed from exit passageways.

Depending on the laboratory and the type of work conducted in it, other items may also be targeted for inspection (Box 2.4).


2.F.1 Fire Alarm Policy

When a fire alarm sounds in the facility, evacuate the laboratory immediately via the nearest exit. Extinguish all Bunsen burner and equipment flames. If the fire originates in your laboratory, follow all institutional policies regarding firefighting and suppression. Check restrooms and other areas with possible limited audio or visual notification of an alarm before exiting the facility. Where necessary, provide assistance to persons with disabilities to ensure they are able to exit the facility.

BOX 2.4
Excerpt from an Inspection Checklist




Building and Room:

Laboratory Supervisor:


Work areas illuminated Y N NA
Storage of combustible materials minimized Y N NA
Aisles and passageways are clear and unobstructed Y N NA
Trash is removed promptly Y N NA
No evidence of food or drink in active laboratory areas Y N NA
Wet surfaces are covered with nonslip materials Y N NA
Exits are illuminated and unobstructed Y N NA
Proper management of hazardous materials and waste Y N NA


Other elements of the checklist can include:

   Emergency equipment and planning

   Personal protective equipment

   Signs, labels, plans, and postings

   Electrical hazards


   Compressed gases and cryogenics

   Pressure and vacuum systems

   Laboratory hoods and ventilation




aFor a full checklist, see the CD that accompanies this book.

2.F.2 Emergency Safety Equipment

The following is a guide to safety equipment found in a laboratory.

1.    A written EAP has been developed and communicated to all personnel in the unit. The plan includes procedures for evacuation, ventilation failure, first aid, and incident reporting.

2.   Fire extinguishers are available in the laboratory and tested on a regular basis. If a fire extinguisher is activated for any reason, make an immediate report of the activity to the CHO, fire marshal, or appropriate individual responsible for fire

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