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Oregon State University

VI. Safety Controls

A. Safety Signs

  1. Each main hallway entrance to a laboratory room/area, all chemical storage rooms and all cold rooms and warm rooms will have a standard "CAUTION" sign listing the individuals to contact in the event of an emergency. (Reference 5)
  2. The location of safety and emergency equipment within the laboratory, including spill kits, should be identified by signs.
  3. Warning signs are required in the event of engineering controls or special room failures or certain spills. There are no standard signs for such events--create bold, striking signs.

B. Emergency/Safety Equipment

  1. Emergency showers shall be inspected annually by Facilities Services. Records of inspections will be maintained at EH&S.
  2. All laboratory personnel should be trained in the proper use of fire extinguishers.
  3. Eyewash stations shall be inspected weekly (per OR OSHA code) by laboratory employees to determine that they operate. Records of inspections shall be maintained in the laboratory.
  4. All laboratory safety equipment (e.g., safety glasses, gloves, noise earmuffs) shall be inspected at appropriate intervals by the lab workers for operational sufficiency. Records are not required.
  5. Keep access to fire extinguishing equipment, eye washes, showers, electrical disconnects and other emergency equipment unobstructed.

C. Engineering Controls

Engineering controls installed in the laboratory are intended to minimize employee exposure to chemical and physical hazards. Examples are laboratory fume hoods, exhaust ducts, centrifuge rotor lid, ventilated animal cage units.

  1. Inspection and Maintenance
    1. Improper function of building engineering controls (hoods, exhaust ducts) must be immediately reported to Facilities Services Customer Service Unit and the system must be taken out of service until proper repairs have been completed. A sign should be posted indicating that it is out of service.
    2. Engineering controls are to be inspected periodically for operational sufficiency (e.g., air is moving in hoods, rotor lids are not cracked) by the Lab Supervisor/PI.
    3. Engineering controls will not be modified unless approved by the Laboratory Chemical Hygiene Officer.
  2. Fume Hoods
    1. Hoods shall be utilized for chemical procedures that might result in release of hazardous chemical vapors or dust. (Reference 15)
    2. Be certain that the hood is operating before using it. All hoods shall a flow indicator on the sash.
    3. After using hoods, continue to operate the fan until residual contaminants clear the duct work.
    4. Inform the Laboratory Chemical Hygiene Officer of the use of unfamiliar chemicals or procedures to determine if the ventilation system is adequate to protect employees.
    5. Always keep the sash of the hood closed or below the height specified by the inspection sticker. When using the hood work space, maintain the sash height as low as possible.
    6. Place sources of air contaminants as close to the back of the hood as possible, and always at least 6" back from the sash.
    7. Minimize storage of chemicals and equipment inside the hood.
    8. Minimize interference with the inward flow of air into the hood.
    9. Leave the hood operating when it is not in active use if chemical hazards are contained inside the hood or if it is uncertain whether there is adequate general laboratory ventilation.
    10. Hoods shall be inspected on installation and annually or on request, by EH&S. The hood face velocity shall be tested at each inspection to ensure that it is maintained between 100 to 125 feet per minute. A record of the most recent inspection shall be placed on the hood, and historical records will be retained by EH&S.
  3. Glove Boxes and Containment Rooms
    1. The exhaust air from a glove box or containment room must be passed through High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters or other treatment before release into outside.

D. General Precautions

  1. Preparation of food is not permitted in laboratory spaces where chemicals are used.
  2. Eating and drinking are not permitted in laboratories where chemicals are used.