If you are setting up a new laboratory, evaluate the space to determine if it meets the requirements for handling the materials you intend to use. The use of hazardous materials requires the following:
The laboratory space must have:
- Impervious and chemically resistant work surfaces;
- A sink; two sinks if you are using radioactive material;
- Safety shower (if hazardous chemicals are used);
- Eye-wash station (if hazardous chemicals and/or biological material is used);
- A fire extinguisher mounted to the wall or in an extinguisher cabinet;
- A functioning chemical fume hood for use of hazardous chemicals;
- A functioning biosafety cabinet for BL2;
- Chairs and furniture that are constructed of non-cloth material so that they can be effectively decontaminated;
- Electrical outlets sufficient in number and location to minimize the use of extension cords.
Laboratory Safety Management
- Handling hazardous materials requires a laboratory safety plan that identifies the hazards present and explains how to control them. Refer to the Laboratory Safety Plan Overview page for assistance in establishing a plan.
- Identify hazards in the laboratory space.
- Establish lab-specific training (e.g., conduct, PPE use) and emergency procedures (e.g., chemical spills, fire) for the lab.
- Establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all hazardous procedures.
- Ensure that all training on SOPs, lab specific information, and emergency procedures is documented.
- Post emergency contact signs.
- Ensure that emergency equipment (e.g., fire extinguisher, spill kits, eyewash stations, and shower) is present.
- Establish correct waste disposal procedures.
Refer to the DRS safety library for appropriate chemical storage and for storage limitations of flammable liquids and flammable, oxidizing, and toxic compressed gases.
- Maintain a list of hazardous chemicals that includes chemical name, CAS#, location, hazard, and quantity.
- Provide access to Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for all chemicals.
- Establish and maintain appropriate chemical storage and segregation.
- Keep the amount of flammable liquids, flammable, oxidizing, and toxic compressed gases within the allowable limit.
Radiation/Radioactive Material Use
- Submit a radiation permit application for use of radioactive materials or X-rays.
- Obtain the appropriate equipment to monitor for contamination (e.g., Geiger counter, LSC, scintillation detector).
- Effectively secure and shield radioactive materials.
Biological Material Use
- Complete an Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) registration for required biological materials (human, non-human primate, recombinant or synthetic nucleic acids, pathogens, transgenic animals or plants, biotoxins).
- Use leak-proof and lidded waste containers that are labeled with a biohazard symbol to collect BL2 or recombinant BL1 biological waste.
- Ensure access to an autoclave in the building to decontaminate biohazardous waste for BL2 work.
- Use centrifuge safety cups or o-ring tubes when centrifuging BL2 materials.
- Protect vacuum lines from biohazards with secondary liquid traps and inline HEPA filters.
- Decontaminate biosafety cabinets (BSC) and other equipment prior moving to new location. Note: If a BSC must be disassembled to move, it must be professionally decontaminated by a BSC certifier.
- Re-certify BSCs after they are moved to new location.