Is Your Lab As Safe As It Should Be? (Part 3 Of 4)
By Kelly Williams, Market Analyst
These headlines involving laboratory safety issues are not making the national news agencies, so the general population as well as laboratory personnel are not aware of the number of incidents that are actually occurring in laboratories. Lack of proper training certainly plays a role in these incidents, but most importantly, it is a lack of daily compliance to safe laboratory practices. Non-compliance is easy when you are not aware of the consequences. Because we are not hearing of these "lab incidents" it is easy to take shortcuts and not consistently follow standard lab protocols that ensure our safety. Constantly hearing about horrific traffic accidents keeps us clicking our seatbelts, so maybe if we were more aware of actual cases where negative consequences occurred because of lack of safety compliance, we would make it a higher priority.
An amazing number of people put themselves in harm's way in their labs because they don't know if their ventilation product is working correctly. Others are familiar with proper ventilation operation, but don't check their equipment’s performance regularly. The primary goal of fume hoods and biological safety cabinets is to protect their end user. The containment level of laboratory ventilation depends on mechanical parts to produce specified airflows.