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Friday, October 30, 2020

Fume Hood Safety-Toolbox Talks (Laboratory Technician Safety Guidelines)

1. Scope of Discussion

The fume hood is often the basic controlling device for safeguarding laboratory technicians while working with flammable and/or highly toxic chemicals or substances. Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OSHA) Laboratory standard (29 CFR 1910.1450) demands that fume hoods be maintained and function appropriately when utilized. A well-designed fume hood in a ventilated room will protect a trained laboratory technician from most airborne exposures to hazardous substances.

The following work practices are always suggested when using highly toxic chemical fume hoods, and more rigorous work practices may be mandatory for some circumstances.

2. Before using a Fume Hood:

  1. Make sure that you understand how the hood works.
  2. You should be trained to use it properly
  3. Ensure that the hood is on.
  4. Know the hazards of the chemical (s) you are working with; referring to the Safety Data Sheet if you are unfamiliar.
  5. Always make sure that the sash is open to the appropriate operating level, usually indicated by the arrows on the frame of the fume hood.
  6. Make sure that the air gauge indicates that the airflow is within the required range. 

3. When Using a Fume Hood

Never allow your head to enter the plane of the hood opening. E.g., vertical rising sashes, intact the sash below your face, horizontal sliding sashes, intact the sash positioned in front of you and work around the side of the sash.

  1. Use appropriate eye protection at all times.
  2. Keep the hood slots and baffles free of blockages by devices, equipment or containers.
  3. Elevate large equipment at least 2 inches off the base of the hood interior.
  4. Conduct all work and keep all apparatus and chemicals at least 6 inches back from the face of the hood.  A stripe on the bench surface is the better option for reminder.
  5. Do not permanently store any chemicals or apparatus in the hood.
  6. Minimize foot traffic near the face of the hood.
  7. Do not make fast movements when taking things in and out of the hood.
  8. Do not place electrical boxes/holders or other spark sources inside the hood when flammable liquids or gases are present. No permanent electrical holder is allowed in the hood.

4. Hood Safety

  1. Do not use the hood as a waste disposal mechanism. Solvent/chemical mixture bottles in the fume hood must be properly capped when not in use.
  2. Immediately report any hood that is not functioning appropriately to your supervisor.  The sash should be closed and the hood “tagged” and taken out of service until maintenance can be accomplished.
  3. When using extremely hazardous chemicals, understand your laboratory’s action plan in case an emergency, such as a power failure occurs.

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Fume Hood Safety-Toolbox Talks

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