04. Lab Facilities

Laboratory Facilities

Persons responsible for laboratories within all departments shall ensure planning designs for new facilities or modifications to existing facilities are reviewed by area experts, the NPS OSHE Directorate, Public Works, and FEAD before modifications are made to ensure compliance with OSHA, NAVOSH, and other applicable standards.

General Laboratory Design Considerations. Wet chemical spaces and those with a higher degree of hazard should be separated from other spaces by a wall or protective barrier wherever possible. If the areas cannot be separated, then workers in lower hazard spaces may require additional protection from the hazards in connected spaces.

Laboratory Layout and Furnishing:

  1. Work surfaces should be chemically resistant, smooth, and easy to clean.
  2. Hand washing sinks for hazardous materials may require elbow, foot, or electronic controls for safe operation.
  3. Wet laboratory areas should have chemically resistant, impermeable, slip resistant flooring.
  4. Walls should be finished with a material that is easy to clean and maintain.
  5. Doors should have view panels to prevent accidents and should open in the direction of egress when lab operations are being conducted.
  6. Windows should not be opened in laboratories for ventilation. Exhaust ventilation should be provided by chemical hoods or other local ventilation systems (i.e. flexible hosing, glove boxes, standard room ducting that provides an adequate exchange rate).

Safety Equipment and Utilities:

  1. Laboratories must have an adequate number and placement of safety showers, eyewash units, and fire extinguishers.
  2. Departmental safety coordinators and representatives will work with departmental HM representatives to maintain an accurate list of shower, eyewash unit, and fire extinguisher locations. Inspection and inventories of showers, eyewash units, and fire extinguishers shall be conducted in accordance with NPSINST 5100 and OPNAVINST 5100.23 (series).
  3. Sprinkler systems are resisted by some laboratories because of the presence of electrical equipment or water reactive materials, but it is still required and safer to have sprinkler systems installed. A fire large enough to trigger the sprinkler system would have the potential to cause far more destruction than the local water damage.

Chemical laboratories in particular shall ensure:

  1. Appropriate general ventilation is designed with air intakes and exhausts located so as to avoid intake of contaminated air.
  2. Storage facilities are properly constructed and ventilated.
  3. Storage facilities do not have open drains to the sanitary sewer.
  4. Chemical handling facilities have laboratory hood and sinks available.
  5. Available safety-equipment such as eyewashes and drench showers are prescribed by competent authority.
  6. Hazardous chemical wastes are collected and labelled in containers provided by the respective Departments, and turned into the NPS Environmental Coordinator for disposal.
  7. Laboratories have posted applicable hazardous communications to include: industrial hygiene surveys, Material Safety Data Sheets, Chemical Hygiene SOPs, emergency egress maps, spill clean-up SOPs, and Fume Hoods Air Permit (if required).
  8. A log book is maintained to record the chemical used and the quantity each time a fume hood is used. Report these log entries monthly to NSAM Environmental.