The Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations require laboratories to have safety plans in place, so employees stay safe, knowing how to react in certain situations. The standards set forth by the administration require that a written plan be created for the laboratory that set procedures in place as well as protective equipment for employees and work practices that safeguard individuals from health hazards that are present in the work environment. If you own or operate a lab, you must create a safety plan to protect those under your employ.
What is a Laboratory Safety Plan?
A safety plan in a laboratory setting will identify the hazards that exist within your particular situation. The type of lab will dictate what the hazards are, and they should be listed so that employees know the risk. A safety plan will also describe how to handle certain situations based on these hazards. Employees must learn these procedures and precautions to take when in any given situation.
The safety plan will also outline what to do in an emergency such as with a chemical spill or fire. Employees need to know how to react and by reviewing the safety plan upon hiring, they are well-aware of any risk and how to respond during an event. Whenever a new person is hired, the safety protocols and plan should be reviewed. The safety plan should include information on biological hazards, lasers, hazardous materials, x-ray equipment and other areas when applicable. Customize your plan based on the environment to ensure the full safety of every employee.
Regular drills should be run so that the employees can become familiar with the safety protocols and precautions. Once a month, you can set up a drill based on a certain situation, such as a fire or chemical spill. Employees can then run through putting on safety equipment and exiting the building. This may be time-consuming and take away from the workday, but it is a great way to learn the proper protocols and help employees be prepared if an accident or situation arises.
Safe Work Environment
Having a safe work environment is a must. Proper storage of chemicals, fume hoods in place for safety along with safety gear should all be in place and utilized by employees. By providing a safe work environment with the proper equipment and plan of action in place, your employees will be safe no matter the situation. Employees should always feel they are safe when at work, with the proper procedures in place for security.
In your current lab setting, look at your safety plan and protocols. Have incidents occurred and someone was hurt in the past due to not following procedure? Were the plans easy to understand and drills provided to ensure reaction times? If you can find areas that need improvement, then take the time to make improvements. The safety of your employees should be a top priority. For more information on safety products and quality laboratory furnishings and equipment, contact us today. We can provide your lab with the right equipment for your needs.