Housekeeping and Maintenance

Housekeeping is an important element to a laboratory safety program. Keep the work area clean and uncluttered   with chemicals and equipment being properly labeled and stored. Clean up the work area upon completion of an experiment or procedure and at the end of each day. The following laboratory housekeeping guidelines should be followed:

  • Access to emergency equipment, showers, eyewashes, fire extinguishers, exits and circuit breakers shall never be blocked or obstructed.
  • All aisles, corridors, stairs, and stairwells shall be kept clear of chemicals, equipment, supplies, boxes, and debris.
  • Keep all areas of the lab free of clutter, trash, extraneous equipment, and unused chemical containers. Areas within the lab that should be addressed include benches, hoods, refrigerators, cabinets, chemical storage cabinets, sinks, trash cans, etc.
  • All chemicals should be placed in their proper storage areas at the end of each workday.
  • Collection containers for wastes must be clearly labeled including hazard identification.
  • In rooms with fire sprinklers, all storage, including both combustible and non-combustible materials, must be kept at least 18” below the level of the sprinkler head deflectors to ensure that fire sprinkler coverage is not impeded.

Laboratory personnel should inspect eyewashes weekly, by operating them until the water runs clear, and to ensure both outlets have sufficient and even supply. RMS coordinates periodic testing of safety showers.

Eating and drinking in the laboratory

Do not eat, drink, use tobacco products (smoke, chew, dip), chew gum, or apply cosmetics in areas where laboratory chemicals are present. Remove gloves, wash hands and leave the area before conducting these activities. Do not store food or beverages in refrigerators or glassware that have been used for laboratory operations.

Chemical Hygene Plan - Table of Contents