Best Practices To Keep In Mind: Using A Chemical Fume Hood

Fume hoods are extremely vital pieces of lab equipment as they help maintain a safe work environment for your technicians. To safeguard the integrity of test samples as well as the health of your employees, it is important that your staff knows how to work with chemical fume hoods. 

As leading new and used lab furniture vendors, we can say without a doubt that chemical fume hoods have played a crucial role in mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 virus. While preventing the spread of aerosols and droplets from test samples, they are also extremely effective at removing dust, toxic gases, and vapors that are known to cause a wide range of health problems in humans.

By following best fume hood work practices, you will be able to ensure your employees' safety and keep your lab running at such a crucial time.

Here are a few tips:

  • When not in use, the hood sash should be shut all the time.
  • Don’t block the hood slots and the baffles with containers or other lab apparatus.
  • Don’t keep your lab tools and chemicals in the hood. Get a biosafety cabinet for this purpose. We recommend that you position your testing apparatus a minimum of 6 feet away from the face of the hood.
  • No matter what you do, don’t lean in when the hood is eliminating residues and gases.
  • For many technicians, the hood also doubles up as a waste disposal system. But not only does it compromise everyone’s safety, but it also overworks your hood. Avoid this by sealing shut solvents immediately after you’re done with them.
  • Make sure that you don’t move too fast while shifting items. This can cause harmful gases to spread throughout the lab.
  • Restrict foot traffic around the hood. It would be a good idea to install the chemical fume hood at a place that sees minimal movement.
  • Keep the lab doors shut to avoid contaminants from spreading.
  • Do not detach the hood sash or the panels except when setting up your apparatus.
  • Make sure that spark-causing tools aren’t placed in the hood while working with flammable materials.
  • Get your hood inspected annually to ensure optimum function and to avoid airflow issues in the long run.
  • Train your employees on how to identify safety hazards, equipment failure, and emergencies while using fume hoods. This will help to protect your employees and also your lab facility. Also, make sure that you have a contingency plan in place for serious emergencies.

Even the best chemical fume hood will be rendered ineffective if adequate measures are not taken to maintain safety in the working environment. By following these essential tips, your staff will be able to ensure the smooth functioning of your lab without risking anyone’s health.

Government Lab Enterprises has a wide range of used and new hoods, acid corrosive storage cabinets, incubators, and more from world-class manufacturers. If you would like to know more about our high-quality, affordable, and highly reliable lab furniture sales, feel free to call us at 301-337-8318 today.