THIS IS A BASIC CHECKLIST & GUIDELINE ON LABORATORY SAFETY PROCEDURES
It is recommended that these guidelines should be followed by all lab and safety personnel to reduce on all fire, chemical, and explosion related injuries. There are more procedures not stated in this short guideline and if you have any that you would like to add, feel free to comment below and I’ll try to add them into a future edit.
ELECTRONIC SAFETY CHECKLIST
All electronics should be hardwired to an explosion proof control panel that is upwind of all solvent, or completely isolated from the extraction booth if possible.No electronics should be between solvent containers/extraction equipment and the air extractors.All electronics used in the laboratory should be properly wired and explosion proof. All electronic components should have an explosion proof shutoff switch.Plugging explosion proof equipment into normal wall sockets is a huge
hazard and your equipment is no longer explosion proof the minute you plug it into a normal outlet. Outlets can spark while running the equipment, while plugging the equipment in, or while u
nplugging the equipment.All equipment should be properly grounded to avoid static buildup.All operators should wear Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)
personal protection clothing.There are grounding straps that tuck inside the sock directly against the skin with a strap that surrounds the shoe, keeping you grounded at all times.
VENTILATION SAFETY CHECKLIST
Air extractor ducting should be piped in a straight line with no curves, or changes in altitude, directly to an outside area with no electronics or fire hazards within 50 ft of the extractor duct output.We recommend the use of Negative Pressure Ventilation* since it provides less agitation to the solvent vapors. Agitation of solvent vapors creates a mixture of solvent and oxygen that can become explosive. Fuel cannot explode without the proper fuel to air ratio present.
By using Negative Pressure Explosion Proof Ventilation, any vapor that leaks will sink directly to the ground and be removed. Positive Pressure Ventilation can blow solvent vapors up from the ground level creating a fire/explosion hazard.*Negative Pressure Ventilation: Ventilation that draws gaseous air from the extraction point rather than forcing air into a sealed boothExplosive vapor detectors should be located near the ground level both upwind and downwind of all extraction vessels and solvent containers to detect even the smallest amounts of flammable vapors.
CHEMICAL SAFETY CHECKLIST
Install air extraction fans at ground level to prevent the collection of any hazardous vapors.Butane, propane, hexane, pentane and ethanol vapor are heavier than atmosphere and therefore will always sink to the ground.Butane and propane sink to the ground more quickly than hexane, pentane, and ethanol.
All equipment that solvent flows through should be as close to your air extractors as possible.
All containers of solvent should be in a flammable storage cabinet as close to the air extractors as possible.
Always keep a Class A, B, or C Dry Chemical Fire Suppression System available. Fire Suppression systems can include, but are not limited to, simple fire extinguishers and overhead suppression systems. Class A, B and C fire extinguishers are very common and not expensive. Go overboard with fire extinguisher placement. Have one on every wall and get them checked regularly.
Incorporate a Fire Suppression System that is activated by a fusible link. This means, that once a certain temperature has been reached, the link will automatically release the suppressant. This is a secondary line of defense in the off chance that you or a lab technician cannot reach a fire extinguisher in safe amount of time.
Always wear Fire Resistant Lab Wear when working with anything flammable. Plastics, poly fibers, elastics, spandex, and the majority of synthetic textiles used for everyday clothing will melt into your skin if exposed to heat causing extreme burns.Fire resistant clothing is made from a blend of wool and kevlar that will not melt to your skin.