Dec 07, 2015
Hi lab Mates,
Certainly, working inside the lab is a challenge, to say the least. In all the hustle of pipetting, pouring and mixing chemicals, worker health and safety can be overlooked -- sometime with dire consequences. Esco has always been an advocate of personnel safety inside the lab. Here are some pointers you can follow while working with your fume hood.
1. Ensure that the exhaust has been turned on before commencing work or else it would be futile having a fume hood. If the hood is fitted with an airflow monitor, check the monitor’s status. Even while working, be alert to changes in airflow.
2. Use appropriate personal protective equipment such as gloves, goggles and laboratory gown. This enhances work safety in case of catastrophic spills, run-away reactions or fire.
3. Keep your face outside the plane of the hood. Never lean your head down towards the opening of the fume hood. Practice working at least 6 inches back from the face of the hood. A stripe on the bench surface is a good reminder.
4. Move cautiously and avoid deliberate movements. Do not make quick motions into or out of the hood, use fans, or walk quickly by the hood opening. These will cause airflow disturbances which reduces the effectiveness of the hood.
5. If a potential for explosion or eruption exists, a blast shield should be utilized.
6. If a combination sash is installed, do not open the vertical and horizontal sashes simultaneously.
7. Do not remove the airfoil or baffles as they aid the hood's airflow. They can only be removed during the maintenance servicing of the equipment.
8. You must always remember not to use the fume hood as a storage area for chemicals and reagents. Doing so will negatively affect airflow and reduces effective containment.
9. Do not use the hood's sink for waste disposal. Do not let chemicals evaporate in the hood as a means of disposal. Do not leave uncapped bottles of chemicals or waste in the hood.
10. If performance failure is suspected, immediately terminate usage. Close the sash completely and cease work.
11. Do not use Perchloric acid in a conventional fume hood. Explosive perchlorate salts could accumulate in the exhaust system.
12. Always see to it that your fume hood routinely undergoes performance maintenance and certification.