As you walk through a well-kept laboratory, you should note a clean and orderly workplace.

General

  • Floors should be free of hazards. Never leave carelessly discarded objects, dropped objects, or spilled material on the floor.
  • Always keep tables, chemical hoods, floors, aisles, and desks clear of all material not being used.
  • There should always be two clear passageways to exits.
  • There should always be clear space around safety showers or eyewashes, fire extinguishers, and electrical controls.
  • Sink traps and floor drain traps should be filled with water at all times to prevent the escape of sewer gases into the laboratories.
  • Any frequently used bench apparatus should be kept well away from any edges and secured whenever possible.
  • Clean work areas upon completion of an experiment or at the end of each day.
  • Bench tops and bench liners should be free of visible contamination.
  • Reduce the risk of slips, trips, and falls by cleaning up liquid or solid spills immediately, keeping doors and drawers closed and passageways clear of obstructions.

Storage

  • Sharp or pointed tools should be properly sheathed or stored.
  • Clothing should be hung in proper locations and not draped over equipment or benches.
  • Less commonly used equipment should be kept in storage.
  • Do not store chemical containers on the floor.
  • Do not store excess cardboard boxes, equipment boxes, Styrofoam, etc. under lab benches, on shelves, or above shelves/cabinets throughout the lab. This can be a safety as well as a fire hazard.