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Laboratory Safety Manual

Reviewed May 2012

Chapter 7: Administrative Concerns
Section 7.3 - Facility Design

I.   Safety Showers and Eyewash Fountains

Safety Showers and Eyewash fountains shall be installed, maintained and tested in accordance with ANSI Standard for Emergency Eyewash and Safety Shower Equipment (Z358.1).

J.  Sinks

The water supply for laboratory sinks should be separate from that used for toilets, drinking water and emergency showers or eye washes. This is necessary to prevent possible contamination of the potable water supply. Back siphoning or back pressure can suck sink water into the potable water system through hoses or other apparatus. Building codes require a check valve system that must be tested periodically. It is advantageous to separate laboratory sink drainage from the sanitary drainage (see Appendix "D").

K.   Sanitation Facilities, Lunch and Break Areas

Due to the use of various hazardous materials in laboratories, it is especially critical that sanitation facilities, such as rest rooms, as well as lunch or break rooms be distinctly separate from the main laboratory areas. This is best accomplished by isolation of these areas from the laboratory sections. Any lab coats, respirators, or other protective gear must be left in the lab areas upon leaving, and therefore should be provided with a designated storage area by the laboratory exit. Employees are, as a matter of routine, responsible for washing, cleaning, and any other decontamination required when passing between the lab and the other areas. Therefore, it may be advantageous to provide the necessary decontamination facilities by the laboratory exit.

L.  Telephones

An emergency telephone or unrestricted access telephone capable of dialing 911 shall be readily available near any laboratory area. Emergency telephone numbers or instructions shall be posted by each such telephone.

M.  Fire Protection

Oklahoma State University policy and Oklahoma state law require that all new construction and major remodeling projects provide certain levels of fire protection. All laboratories shall meet the requirements of NFPA - 45 "Standard on Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals." Contact the OSU Environmental Health & Safety Department for other specific requirements.

N.  Operations

In planning the location of various laboratory operations, one should evaluate the various chemicals, equipment, storage, and potential accidents related to the operation. For example:

  1. Are flammable materials used or stored?

  2. Are compressed gases used or stored?

  3. Is there an open flame used in the operation?

  4. Are special air quality, heating, or air conditioning requirements needed for equipment used?

  5. Will the presence of untrained persons in the area constitute a potential hazard, i.e., office or administration?

  6. If flammable liquids are utilized, is proper vented storage available? (Consult NFPA 45 for quantities of flammable liquids allowed in a laboratory area.)

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