Lab Checklists

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What is a Lab Checklist?

A lab checklist is utilized by lab supervisors and safety officers to identify and minimize chemical, biological, physical and radioactive hazards present in laboratory facilities. It helps ensure that the laboratory complies with environmental standards to prevent overexposure to hazardous chemicals, injuries and respiratory-related illnesses or fatalities.

What is Lab Safety and its Importance?

Lab safety or laboratory safety aims to prevent laboratory risks and hazards to protect students and staff from hazardous chemical exposure. It is implemented to avoid incidents such as fire, explosions, biohazards and more. Maintaining a safe laboratory helps:

  • Prevent toxic contamination;
  • Secure the property and equipment from damages; and
  • Manage an organized and safe laboratory environment.

This article features 1) 4 essential laboratory maintenance tips; 2) overlooked laboratory guidelines; 3) mobile-ready inspection app for hassle-free lab safety inspection; and 4) free downloadable and ready to use laboratory safety inspection checklist.

4 Essential Laboratory Maintenance Tips

OSHA has reinforced rules and published guidance to make laboratories increasingly safe for workers and other people involved. The following tips can help in maintaining a safe laboratory to protect employees from chemical exposures and unexpected incidents.

Enforce laboratory standards

All employees must undergo proper induction and training about laboratory standards, emergency procedures, and other policies to keep them informed about the hazards in the workplace. Monitoring employees’ permissible exposure limits (PELs) protects employees from possible harm including respiratory ailments and physical injuries.

Keep it clean

It is paramount to maintain laboratory cleanliness throughout the operation to secure the health and safety of employees and the property. Keep the laboratory space unobstructed and clean all spills immediately to avoid accidents.

Calibrate equipment

Keep the functionality, quality, and accuracy of measuring equipment to avoid disrupting the entire experiments. Conducting regular equipment calibration helps the organization prevent accidents and damage that can lead to legal action and profit loss.

Remove and replace damaged items

Maintain equipment in peak condition to prevent production hitch. Immediately report any damaged equipment either for replacement or removal to avoid unnecessary incidents and equipment malfunction.

Overlooked Laboratory Guidelines

Safety issues often arise and go unnoticed due to lack of protocol, faulty implementation, or oversight guidelines. Most of the time employees tend to overlook simple guides that can lead to possible incidents or bigger issues. You can find below the commonly overlooked safety laboratory guidelines:

  • Dress code safety
    Wearing appropriate PPE is one of the basic requirements when working inside the laboratory. All employees must be informed of the proper dress codes to eliminate any risks of chemical contact. Employees must ensure all equipment including goggles, face shields, safety gloves, body, and respiratory protection are in good condition before entering the laboratory.
  • Laboratory waste disposal
    Hazardous wastes are classified based on their physical or chemical properties. Commonly, inappropriate disposal can cause an acute or immediate effect on employees’ health and safety. Enforcing proper waste management can eliminate potential hazards, including environmental pollution, pathogenic diseases, and chemical reactions.
  • Ergonomic safety
    Repetitive awkward postures can cause discomfort to employees that can lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), tendinitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Proper training on ergonomics safety can help employees maximize their laboratory efficiency and productivity.
  • Proper labels
    Labels are important elements of laboratory safety. They help in identifying chemicals, its substance, and the hazards associated with it. A proper label should have the name of the substance, its concentration, the date it was received, and the name of the person responsible for it.
  • Record of an incident
    Reporting an incident is essential to raise the organization’s awareness about the things that can go wrong so that corrective and preventative actions can be taken promptly. Keeping a record of an incident can also help both employees and business owners to have evidence in case of an accident to support their insurance claims.

Mobile-ready Lab Safety Software for Hassle-free Lab Safety Inspection

The laboratory environment exposes numerous hazards to students and staff. Conducting regular lab safety inspections help reduce risks. Traditionally, inspectors use pen and paper in performing lab safety inspection and it’s burdensome and consumes a lot of time to document their reports. Avoid this hassle with iAuditor by SafetyCulture, a cloud inspection software and app used by labs and universities worldwide to improve safety and prevent incidents from occurring. With iAuditor you can:

  • Capture photo evidence, annotate, and attach detailed notes of laboratory damages or repair needs
  • Spot issues and immediately assign corrective actions to other teams within the organization
  • Generate laboratory inspection reports in real-time anywhere, anytime even if you’re offline. It will automatically sync your data once you gain access online
  • Access and share laboratory checklist with other team members
  • Send/receive notifications for scheduled lab maintenance checks
  • Securely recorded laboratory inspections in the cloud.

Get started with this collection of daily lab checklists you can download for free and modify for your lab requirements.