Housekeeping practices add up to general condition and appearance of a laboratory. These include:
- Lab users should keep all areas of the lab free of trash, unused chemical containers, clutter and extraneous equipment. Lab areas include benches, hoods, refrigerators, cabinets, chemical storage cabinets, sinks, trash cans, etc.
- When not in use, containers of chemicals should be kept closed.
- All chemicals spills should be cleaned up as soon as possible. Additional splashes on the equipment, cabinets, doors, and benches around should also be checked while cleaning up the spill. Please refer to Chemical Spill section for more information on cleaning up spills.
- Areas around emergency exits, emergency equipment and devices should always be kept tidy. This rule also applies for eyewash/emergency showers, electric power panels, fire extinguishers, and spill cleanup supplies.
- As required, there should be a minimum 1-meter of space between benches and equipment. Emergency exits should be kept clear of any obstacles such as bottles, boxes, equipment, electric cords, etc. Never store combustible materials in exits, corridors or stairways.
- Heavy and bulky chemicals should be stored close to floor. The sprinkles should not be covered. There must be at least 45 cm distance between sprinkle and any item in the lab.
- Chairs and countertops are not intended to be used as stairs. Always use a stepladder to reach overhead items.
In summary, good housekeeping has obvious health and safety benefits and can have a positive mental effect on laboratory users who work in a clean environment, which can lead to increased productivity.
It should also be noted that, whether positive or negative, the first impression of the general condition of a lab has the most significant impact on a lab inspection test carried out by an agency.
Responsible Faculty Member and LS/LSS are responsible for maintaining a clean and healthy working environment and good housekeeping practices in the labs under their supervision.