Laboratory Housekeeping

By Bob Colichio



As you walk through a well-kept laboratory, you should note a clean and orderly workplace.

 

General

  • Floors should be free of hazards. Never leave carelessly discarded objects, dropped objects, or spilled material on the floor.
  • Always keep tables, chemical hoods, floors, aisles, and desks clear of all material not being used.
  • There should always be a clear passageway to the exits.
  • There should always be clear space around safety showers or eyewashes, fire extinguishers, and electrical controls.
  • Sink traps and floor drain traps should be filled with water at all times to prevent the escape of sewer gases into the laboratories.
  • Any frequently used bench apparatus should be kept well away from any edges and secured whenever possible.
  • Clean work areas upon completion of an experiment or at the end of each day.
  • Bench tops and bench liners should be free of visible contamination.
  • Reduce the risk of slips, trips, and falls by cleaning up liquid or solid spills immediately, keeping doors and drawers closed and passageways clear of obstructions.

Storage

  • Sharp or pointed tools should be properly sheathed or stored.
  • Clothing should be hung in proper locations and not draped over equipment or benches.
  • Less commonly used equipment should be kept in storage.
  • Do not store chemical containers on the floor.
  • Do not store excess cardboard boxes, equipment boxes, Styrofoam, etc. under lab benches, on shelves, or above shelves/cabinets throughout the lab. This can be a safety as well as a fire hazard.

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Last Modified: January 14, 2010
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DOE, Office of Science One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE's Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by the Research Foundation for the State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.

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