ous nature, and characteristics of the chemicals; and the nature of the laboratory operations. A careful review of all requirements by the project team is needed to ensure an adequate design for chemical storage space and to safeguard this space against reappropriation to other functions. Special attention should be given to storage requirements for flammable and combustible liquids, gas cylinders, highly reactive substances, toxic materials, and controlled substances.
Dedicated space within or near the laboratory is desirable for the accumulation and temporary storage of hazardous chemical waste materials. These areas could also be used to foster and support recycling and reuse programs. Safety considerations should be a primary concern in the design of these spaces. For example, the areas should not interfere with normal laboratory operations, and ventilated storage may be necessary. In larger accumulation areas, it may be necessary to consider fire suppression systems, ventilation, and dikes to avoid sewer contamination in case of spills. Requirements for such space should be specified by the EH&S program staff.
A central storage area for emergency equipment will improve the effectiveness of emergency-response functions. Space should be provided for storing self-contained breathing apparatus, blankets for covering injured persons, firstaid equipment, personal protective equipment, and chemical spill cleanup kits and spill-control equipment. The need and requirements for this space should be coordinated with the EH&S official responsible for managing the facility's emergency-response program.
The well-designed chemical laboratory should provide, or be capable of being easily modified to provide, reasonable accommodations for qualified workers with disabilities. Reasonable accommodation may include making laboratories readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities and by acquiring or appropriately modifying equipment for use by individuals with disabilities. Most laboratory designs that allow simple rearrangement of casework—i.e., laboratory cabinetry—can be easily adapted to provide reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities. Many accommodations will also improve the safety of occupants without disabilities. For example, keeping aisle space clear of obstructions to accommodate workers with impaired mobility will enhance everyone's safety. Special hardware that makes it easy to open and close doors can benefit all laboratory workers who carry supplies and materials from one laboratory to another. In considering reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities it is necessary to ensure that the accommodation will not result in a significant risk to the health or safety of other workers. Qualification statements for workers with disabilities who seek employment in chemical laboratories should include a requirement that an individual shall not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals in the laboratory.