Clean Up, Clean Up

Recently, an employee from building residential services was injured after entering a lab space to perform routine cleaning after hours. The employee received a chemical burn after

a corrosives bottle on the benchtop caught onto her sleeve and spilled acid on her arm. The container was left near the edge of the benchtop instead of being placed in the corrosives cabinet.

Please remember to properly store and secure your chemicals and equipment after use. The following tips will help ensure that your space is safe for all authorized personnel who enter the space:

  • Ensure that all gas cylinders are secured with a bracket, and tagged as “full” and/or “empty” when not in use.
  • Ensure that liquid corrosives are stored in the corrosive cabinet
    and have secondary containers such as Nalgene or Polypropylene tubs.
  • Are your chemicals compatible?  View our chemical incompatibility poster and storage legend for more guidance:
  • Discard pipette tips and serological pipettes after use in the sharps container instead laying the pipettor on the benchtop with the tip sticking out.
  • Ensure that shelves, cabinets, and counter tops are stable and not overloaded, and containers are placed on shelves in a safe manner. Image 1 is an example of an unsafe environment.
    Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 9.47.21 AM
  • Secure and store hazardous chemicals by compatible groups on bench tops, shelves or cabinets. If the containers are too large to fit safely on shelves, store them on the floor in secondary containers and in such a way that they do not pose a trip hazard. Always follow your lab’s written procedures for proper handling of hazardous chemicals.
  • Secure DEA-regulated items in a locked container.
  • Secure radioactive materials (RAM) by locking the refrigerator/freezer, using a lockbox, or locking the lab space when vacant for even short periods of time.
  • Close all chemical waste containers tightly when not in use (remove funnels after use and cap the container tightly).

This entry was posted in Announcements, EHSO and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.