Laboratory Safety

Laboratory Safety Equipment

For optimal safety in the laboratory the following equipment should be used at all times necessary. All equipment should be available throughout the laboratory.

  • Employees are required to wear gloves when there is the potential for direct skin contact with blood, hazardous chemicals, and infectious materials.
  • Lab coats are to be worn only in the laboratory area and are to be buttoned to protect the employee's clothing. The employer provides lab coats.
  • In areas where chemical splashes are great, an impervious apron appropriate for the task is worn.
  • When working with carcinogens, in addition to a lab coat, a disposable polyethylene apron is worn. Aprons are disposed of immediately after use.
  • Masks and eye protection or chin-length face shields are worn to prevent splashes or sprays of blood, infectious materials, or hazardous chemicals if there is a potential for eye, nose, or mouth contamination. These must be worn in high-risk areas such as when discarding specimens, washing or flushing equipment. These areas will be carefully monitored for compliance.
  • Where the use of respirators is necessary to maintain exposure below permissible exposure limits, the employer will provide, at no cost to the employee, the proper respiratory equipment located at the workstation in question. The respirators shall be selected and used in accordance with the requirement of 29 CFR 1910.134.

All personal protective equipment is removed immediately upon leaving the work area (or as soon as possible) and placed in an appropriate laundry hamper and laundered on site.

Safety Equipment in the Laboratory Environment

All chemical hygiene-related equipment is monitored continuously and modified if inadequate.


The proper use of hoods is one of the best approaches to reducing exposure to chemicals in the laboratory. The fume hood is a type of local ventilation system. It is designed to capture vapors and gases in order to direct them away from the source and the person using the hood. The hood is designed to capture vapors and gases internally, within the booth and not at the face. In general the hood sash should be brought to the one-foot mark when chemicals are being used in the hood. All biohazard and fume hoods are inspected annually by the Environmental Health and Safety Department. Any hood not passing inspection is taken out of service immediately and not used until the hood has passed inspection. It is the responsibility of the employer to purchase the parts. Replacement of the unit must be done in a timely fashion, so as not to endanger the health and well being of an employee or to place the facility at risk.


Eyewash fountains are inspected annually and records maintained by the Engineering Department.

Safety showers are inspected, tested, and flushed annually and records maintained by the Engineering Department.


All chemical stockrooms/storerooms are adequate and well ventilated and located adjacent to the DocuSign Envelope ID A8901224-0E82-495A-A89C-A56FE8EB2688 CHP 12 of 25 (02/27/08) laboratory.

Cold rooms and warm rooms have provisions for rapid escape and also for escape in the event of electrical failure.

Air flow through the laboratory should be relatively uniform and be exhausted to the exterior of the building. Quality and quantity of ventilation are monitored periodically and records maintained by Environmental Health and Safety (646-NYP-SAFE).

Radioactive exposure is monitored on an individual basis. Each employee working with radioactive material wears a monitoring "tag". The monitor is submitted monthly and a report is issued. The result of the monitoring will be provided to the employee.

Environmental Health and Safety (All)

646-697-7233 (646-NYP-SAFE)

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