CfA Safety: Laboratory Safety Checklist

This checklist is provided by the CfA Laboratory Safety Committee to assist the principal investigator and his/her employees in maintaining a safe laboratory work environment. A checked item implies that a potentially unsafe condition exists.

Inspection Date:  
Laboratory Bldg./number:  
Principal Investigator:  
Laboratory Personnel:  
Safety Committee Members:  

General Comments:

A. General

  1. ____  A laboratory plan posted on the door indicating hazard locations (i.e., flammable materials, compressed gases, radioactive sources, HV, lasers, etc.)
  2. ____  A personnel contact list posted on the door indicating names and phone numbers of individuals to be contacted in case of an emergency.
  3. ____  Fire alarm, evacuation plan for emergencies?
  4. ____  Emergency exit signs identifiable, readily visible, illuminated?
  5. ____  Exits cleared of obstruction?
  6. ____  Minimum width of 24" for walkways and aisles?
  7. ____  Hazardous substance piping identified?
  8. ____  Food stored and consumed away from work area?
  9. ____  Material Safety Data Sheets readily available?
  10. ____  On-going employee training in handling chemicals safely, hazard recognition and precautionary measures?
  11. ____  Employees trained in emergency responses (fire, chemical spills, gas leaks, etc.?)

B. Chemical Handling and Storage

  1. ____  Incompatible chemicals stored separately in approved storage cabinets (acids, oxidizers, solvents)?
  2. ____  Labels on chemical containers legible and firmly attached?
  3. ____  Procedure for chemical spills, overflow?
  4. ____  Oxidizing agents separated from flammables, combustibles, mineral acids by distance or barriers?
  5. ____  Employees trained in the potential hazards of incompatible chemicals?

C. Cylinders

  1. ____  Inside storage: Well protected? Secured? Valve protection cap in place? Stored upright?
  2. ____  Oxygen cylinders stored 20' away from flammable materials, fuel gas cylinders or separated from such by non combustible barrier?
  3. ____  In place, secured to racks or other rigid structures?

D. Electrical

  1. ____  HV and/or high current areas identified?
  2. ____  Cords worn, frayed, abraded, corroded?
  3. ____  Cords and equipment protected from physical damage?
  4. ____  Major services control accessible?

E. Hoods

  1. ____  Periodic (at least annually) ventilation rate check and test results recorded?
  2. ____  Chemicals stored in hood labeled and covered or capped?
  3. ____  Visible indication that hood is operative?

F.Personal Safety, Equipment and Fire Protection

  1. ____  Employees aware of fire extinguisher limitations, precautions? Instructed in proper use?
  2. ____  Fire extinguisher available where flammable, combustible liquids are stored?
  3. ____  Fire extinguisher conspicuously located, readily accessible and available?
  4. ____  Face shields, safety glasses provided (when necessary) and used?
  5. ____  Protective clothing available, appropriate, adequate?
  6. ____  Footwear appropriate to potential hazard?
  7. ____  Ear plus, muffs provided and used during noisy operations?
  8. ____  Employer provides and instructs employees in correct use of protective equipment?

G. First Aid

  1. ____  First aid supplies available, usable?
  2. ____  Emergency eye washing facilities at hand and tested every 6 months?
  3. ____  Emergency shower facilities at hand?

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