Laboratory Safety Manual
Reviewed May 2012
Chapter 7: Administrative Concerns
Section 7.3 - Facility Design
C. Floors, Stairways, and Aisles
The following specifics are recommended for
ensuring a floor plan that is efficient, convenient and safe:
Should be durable and maintenance free as possible.
Finishes shall be anti-slip.
Carpeting is not recommended for lab areas.
Stairs and passageways shall be sufficiently illuminated.
All open sides of stairwells shall have railings, as a minimum. Stairs
less than 44 inches wide shall have railings on at least one side, with wider stairs
having railings on both sides. Stairs over 88 inches wide shall have a center railing as
Passageways/aisles shall be a minimum of six feet wide.
File drawers or other storage doors shall not open into narrow aisles.
Doors should not open directly into passageways.
The following procedures are required either by OSHA, NFPA
101, BOCA, and/or other building codes:
Both regular exits and emergency exits shall be clearly marked.
Locations of emergency exits should be identified in each work area,
such as in a posted floor plan.
Fire doors shall be unobstructed, and swing in the direction of the
Non-exit doors and storage rooms shall be marked as such to avoid
confusion with exits in the event of an emergency.
If possible, there should be two exits for each laboratory area.
The typical laboratory requires a large
quantity of electrical power. Consequently, the likelihood of electrically related
problems and hazards is increased. One must address both the electrical shock hazard to
the facility occupants and the fire hazard potential. The following requirements are basic
to a sound electrical safety program in the laboratory.
Electrical standards shall be as set forth in NFPA 70 - NATIONAL
All electrical equipment shall be U.L. listed or F.M. approved.
Administrative Concerns Ventilation & Hoods