Laboratory Safety Checklist



Department of Safety and Environmental Compliance


Chemical Storage: 
  • Updated chemical inventory
  • Chemicals dated upon receipt and opening
  • Chemical containers labeled, capped and in good condition
  • No corrosive liquid stored above "eye level"
  • Chemicals segregated by hazard class (organics from oxidizers, flammables from acids)
Solvent Storage: 
  • Excess solvent stored in solvent storage cabinets
  • Approved safety cans equipped with self-closing lids and flame arrestors intact
  • Safety can lids closed
  • Safety cans/wash bottles properly labeled
Infectious/Chemical Waste: 
  • Waste containers labeled and chemical composition identified
  • Biohazard containers used properly where needed (i.e. autoclave bags, sharps containers)
Laboratory Hoods:
  • Exhaust hoods working, date of last inspection
  • Hood sashes open and close and glass intact
  • Hood free of excess chemical storage/equipment
  • Hood sashes down (panels closed) when not in use
Fire Extinguishers: 
  • Extinguishers in designated location
  • Accessible and free from obstruction
  • Current year and date of last inspection indicated on tag
Safety Showers and Eye Washes:
  • Labeled, accessible and free from obstruction
  • Eye washes and drench hoses flushed weekly by department
  • Safety showers flushed annually by the maintenance department
First Aid: 
  • Kits in designated areas
  • Inventory lists inside of First Aid kit
  • First aid kit properly and currently stocked
  • Emergency phone numbers posted
Refrigerators and Freezers: 
  • Only "explosion proof " or "explosion safe" refrigerators/freezers may be used in labs to store flammables
  • Refrigerators/freezers not "explosion proof" or "explosion safe" labeled "NO FLAMMABLES ALLOWED"
  • Refrigerators/freezers labeled for "CHEMICAL USE ONLY" or "FOOD USE ONLY" and used accordingly
  • Interior sound and free of chemical spills or contamination: containers stoppered or tightly closed
  • Refrigerators/freezers must be lockable
  • Electrical Apparatus equipped with ground plugs
  • Extension cords are prohibited
  • Two prong appliances not to be located within a 5 foot radius of flammables
  • Appliances properly grounded
  • Safety glasses with side shields, chemical splash goggles where appropriate
  • Substantial shoes, no sandals, open toes
  • Protective clothing worn while working at bench
  • Gloves selected according to hazard
  • Aisles and exits free from obstruction
  • Benches and shelves not overloaded with unused equipment and/or chemicals and no combustibles stored within 18 inches of ceiling
  • No damaged glassware in use (broken, chipped)
  • Lab apparatus properly assembled and used appropriately
  • No bikes in labs
  • Vacuum pump belt guard in place
  • Glass Dewars wrapped or shielded
  • Protective shatter proof shield in place when in use
  • Glass desiccators under vacuum stored in metal guards or shielded
  • Instruct lab personnel in potential work place hazards and good laboratory safe practices
  • Provide information on availability of "Right-to-Know" materials
  • All cylinders properly secured in an upright position, with cylinder clamp/chain fastened to solid support
  • Stored cylinders tightly capped and surplus cylinders kept to a minimum
  • Flammable materials stored 20 feet from cylinders containing oxidizers
  • Regulators, proper connections and tubing in good condition
  • Flammable gas tubing secured and labeled
  • Flame arrestors on flammable gas supply
  • If toxic gases in use; proper leak sensors/alarms in place and alarms checked and calibrated on regular schedule
  • If toxic gases or gases with poor warning qualities used (i.e. odorless); redundant systems shutoffs in place in case of leaks/emergencies
  • Special hazard signs in place (i.e. Laser, cryogenic liquids, biohazards)