The term “laboratory” encompasses a lot of functions and activities. One laboratory might be dedicated to forensic testing for law enforcement. Another might serve as a place for research into the latest drugs. Yet another delves into the mysteries of nuclear physics. Each of these labs and more besides have one thing in common, that being the need to maintain safe working conditions for the technicians and researchers who work in them, often handling hazardous materials. Safety is not only a sensible practice but is required by government regulations.
Examples of hazards that a laboratory may have include biohazardous materials, toxic chemicals, temperature extremes, high and low pressures, high voltages, and infectious organisms. A combination of well-designed furniture, safety equipment, and training can enhance the safety of lab personnel.
Laboratory furniture, tables, cabinets, sinks, and other items are generally made of steel, a sturdy material that is resistant to corrosion and other contaminants in the event of a spill or other accident. Steel laboratory furniture can also handle extreme temperatures and heavy loads caused by specialized equipment.
Fume hoods are an essential part of a laboratory because they provide proper ventilation and isolate hazards to a particular work station. If an accident happens, the effects are confined to the particular work station and do not spread to the rest of the lab. Air is drawn from the work station that takes away hazardous fumes or particulates and passes them through a filtration system before they are circulated back into the lab. Many fume hoods will have additional safety features such as alarms that alert the lab technician if the air flow is not correct.
Of course, sturdy, well-designed furniture is just one aspect of maintaining a safe environment in the laboratory. Equipment such as safety googles, first aid kits, fire extinguishers, and gloves needs to be readily available. A well-designed lab furniture setup will ensure accessibility to safety equipment.
Finally, little enhances safety more than training and proper protocols. Laboratory personnel need to know what to expect if an accident happens and know how to respond.
Every laboratory has its own unique function and therefore special safety needs. A company like Genie Scientific can offer a customized solution for any safety requirements in the form of a customized furniture setup that your laboratory requires, not only to comply with government regulations but to ensure that your people have a safe and secure work environment.
For more information about how proper laboratory furniture can be a safety enhancement, contact Genie Scientific.