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Controlling Laboratory Risks

Administrative and engineering controls can help minimize laboratory risks. However, safety conscious workers using good laboratory practices are the most important component of laboratory safety. The following factors are important for safe laboratory operations:

Adequate facilities:

  • Proper ventilation
  • Nonslip surfaces
  • Hand washing facilities

Available and appropriate safety equipment:

  • Personal protective equipment
  • Laboratory equipment
  • Safety devices on laboratory equipment, machines, devices, and instruments

Appropriate emergency equipment:

  • Fire extinguishers
  • Emergency showers
  • Eye wash stations

Appropriate procedures:

  • Good housekeeping
  • Personal hygiene (e.g., washing hands)

Personal hygiene:

  • Experienced
  • Trained

All laboratory doors should be labeled with emergency contact information. If an incident occurs during off-hours, respondents need to know the names and telephone numbers of the people responsible for laboratory operations. Keep this information current and accurate. The Environmental Health and Safety Management Program professional at your component can assist you with contact information and procedures. Properly trained and experienced workers have the greatest ability to control laboratory risks. By using good laboratory practices, workers can minimize hazards, exposure, contamination, and workplace accidents.