When thinking of a laboratory, many people picture scientific equipment, or all the things they've heard can go wrong, like fires or chemical explosions. Many people are under the impression that laboratories are not regulated well or monitored. They picture absent-minded scientist types pursuing a breakthrough and ignoring safety in the process. In most labs, dangerous scenarios like this are not standard, especially when the laboratory has been designed with safety in mind. Some of the high-profile laboratory disasters over the past few years give people the perception that labs have become more dangerous. However, no supporting data shows any reason to support that perception.
Laboratories are not as dangerous as most people think, primarily due to the current movement to design labs to promote users' safety and health. However, laboratories that are designed well with attention to detail can lead to a very productive workplace that supports the safety and health of users. Experts offer these 2 ways that effective lab design can impact productivity and safety.
To design a laboratory supporting productivity and safety, a design team must determine certain specifications like how people use the lab, how many people work in the lab, what roles the lab users have, and how much space is required to get the job done safely and effectively. These considerations will ensure that everything included in the lab design serves a purpose in supporting users' lab productivity. This process ensures that workers have the materials and equipment required to carry out their required tasks. Asking lab users what they'll do instead of what they need will give a designer a clearer picture of the needs within the laboratory. This is the best starting point for effective and safe lab design.
It is also essential to remember that some people working within the lab have special requirements to do their work safely. New considerations on laboratory design elements have come from the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Many non-disabled workers require accommodations to do their job effectively. It is essential to keep these accommodations in mind when designing laboratory solutions to ensure that conditions are always safe and helpful.
Many laboratory accidents are caused by bad luck or human error, so proper lab design cannot eliminate every hazard. That being said, improper lab design does increase the probability of incidents and accidents. Lab incidents decrease productivity because they limit researchers' work and put them at risk of harm. Many incidents can happen within a lab, including eye damage and falls that can delay or shut down lab work and injure lab users. Accidents are less likely in a lab designed for safety. For example, lab users won't bump into each other when they have adequate aisles and workspaces between them. In addition, when appropriate warning systems and cleaning materials are on hand, sprinkler systems can put out fires before they spread, and hazards like chemicals spills can be contained efficiently and effectively with little harm to lab users.
Designing a lab that offers safety and productivity is critical to success. Contact us today for laboratory solutions that meet your needs and safety requirements. We have the experience and expertise to help you design a successful and safe lab environment.