Laboratories should always be kept clean and organized. This helps prevent accidents, such as knocking items off of counter tops, misplacing items, spills, and additionally allows for work surfaces to be easily cleaned, disinfected, or decontaminated. Hazards such as spills are easier to identify on clean surfaces, free of clutter. Hazardous items are less likely to be misplaced. Regulatory inspectors and visitors such as funding entities and accrediting teams have positive impressions of laboratories that are tidy, clean, well-organized and adequately labeled. Recommended guidelines:
- Keep work area and work surfaces clean and uncluttered (including hoods and glove boxes).
- Clean up work area upon completion of a procedure and/or the end of each day.
- Gas, air, and vacuum services should be turned off at the bench service valve when services are not in use.
- Clean up all spills and leaks promptly. Maintain well stocked spill kits. Spill kits should contain materials appropriate to the nature of the work and chemicals used.
- Do not use damaged glassware. Broken glassware should be discarded in closed boxes marked “broken glass”, not in the regular trash receptacles. Refer to the Biohazardous/Medical Waste Management and Sharps Procedures document for additional procedures for glassware disposal.
- Used needles and syringes, razor blades, Pasteur pipettes and other “sharps” that are NOT contaminated with biohazardous materials should be placed in a puncture-resistant container labeled:
“Sharps” or “Sharps Waste”,
Non-Hazardous or Non-Medical, and
Do Not Recycle.
- Refer to the Biohazardous/Medical Waste Management and Sharps Procedures document for additional procedures and for information on regulated, contaminated sharps management.
- Chemicals and equipment should be clearly and correctly labeled as well as properly stored.
- Sink traps and floor drain traps should be kept filled with water at all times to prevent escape of odors to other building areas.
- Adequate, skid proof footstools and stepladders should be used for reaching upper shelves. Do not stand on chairs or other easily movable objects.