Certification of Laboratory Fume Hoods

Fume hoods go through a certification process when they are manufactured. These processes are designed to ensure the hood will satisfy state, federal, and international certification guidelines, as well as those that meet or exceed current ISO9001 standards. In addition, the certification is part of the requirements to comply with standards and regulations prescribed by various agencies, including:

•    SEFA (Scientific Equipment and Furniture Association)
•    OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
•    ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers)
•    NEBB (National Environmental Balancing Bureau)
•    AIHA/ANSI (American Industrial Hygiene Association/American National Standards Institute)

There are specific test procedures used to evaluate the fume hood’s airflow velocity, airflow monitors, airflow gauges, cross-draft air flows, tracer gas containment, and so on. Long before these tests can be performed, the first step in certification is to calibrate the hood, airflow monitors, gauges, and motors.

The calibration has to be performed to verify these items are working correctly and the face velocity of the airflow is within acceptable parameters. Most agencies accept a minimum face velocity of 100 fpm (feet per minute) and a maximum of 120 fpm, and they tend to use 115 fpm as a standardized calibration since it is sufficient for a wide array of general usages.

After a fume hood has been initially certified by the manufacturer, laboratories, universities, healthcare facilities, and other organizations where the hoods are installed must ensure they have policies and practices in place to re-certify the hood on an annual basis, at the minimum. Some operations will re-certify their hoods bi-annually or quarterly, depending upon the amount of use and volume of chemicals and materials being used under the hood.

Anytime a hood is re-certified, the certification sticker on the hood should be updated. Any hood within your organization that either does not have a certification sticker, or has one that was last certified more than a year ago, should not be used until the hood can be tested and re-certified.

Re-certification testing checks the face airflow velocity using an acceptable measuring device, like an electronic digital anemometer, and verifies other devices and functions are working within prescribed and acceptable parameters.

Laboratory Fume Hoods

Some organizations outfit their hoods with special monitors that constantly monitor face airflow values. These devices will sound an alarm and alert employees that the airflow has dropped below acceptable minimum levels. The use of monitoring devices is highly recommended, as it helps increase safety in work environments and reduces the risks associated with workplace accidents related to poor venting.

In between annual certifications, regular laboratory inspections should be conducted on all hoods. All monitors and other measurement devices should be checked to ensure they are working properly. In addition, the inspection should verify good housekeeping practices are being followed and practiced.

Anytime a hood is found to not be working correctly or fails testing guidelines, its use should be discontinued immediately until it can be fixed, repaired, and retested. For assistance in laboratory planning, installation, furniture, workbenches, hoods, and other products, call Genie Scientific at 800-545-8816.

Planning the Right Shelving for Your Lab

When you are in the process of designing a laboratory space, maximizing storage should be one of your top priorities. You need to be able to keep your workspace clear while also having quick access to the equipment and materials needed to conduct your research and experiments.

Shelving plays a vital role in the design of your lab because it enhances organization and the overall efficiency of your team. However, how do you know which type of shelving will work out best in your lab? From overhead shelves, to laboratory cabinets, to shelves built into workbenches, there is a solution that allows you streamline workflow and make it easier for your team to get work done in your lab.

Overhead Shelving Solutions

The best part of lab planning is that you have the opportunity to install custom storage units to accomplish your goals. Overhead shelving provides you with a solution that greatly improves lab organization. Not only does it move chemicals and samples off your workspace, it also allows you to create a system that maps out the exact location of these items in the lab. This saves valuable time so your team doesn’t need to blindly search for what they need.

Customized overhead shelving can be designed to meet all of your objectives. This includes setting the number of shelves, as well as their height and depth. This enables you to store the tools, files and other equipment that is vital to the work being done in the lab. Here are some benefits of having overhead shelving in your lab:

  • Out of the way – Free up premium space on counters and store items that aren’t frequently in use.
  • Organized – Everything has its place and can be cataloged so it is easily found when needed.
  • On demand – As your needs change in the lab, shelves can be reorganized to store a variety of tools and items for your new project.
  • Specialty Cabinets and Workbenches

    Specialty Cabinets and Workbenches

    In addition to overhead shelving, incorporating shelves into your cabinets and workbenches allows your lab to utilize all available space and give it a purpose. Hybrid laboratory cabinets combine traditional upright cabinets with multiple drawers of different sizes so you can combine your storage solutions and cut down on your workspace’s overall footprint in your lab.

    These types of cabinets are great for shared-use labs or classroom environments that see a number of different groups working on a variety of projects and experiments. Each cabinet can be used to store materials and equipment for each group securely, keeping it out of the way when not in use.

    The same strategy can be used with custom workbenches for your lab. Using the same concept of a hybrid cabinet, your workbench can feature a smaller cabinet space with a variety of drawers made to suit your needs. Mobile cabinets go a step further by allowing you to remove and reorder shelves and have power in a unit that can be added to or removed from your lab based on your needs for that project.

    Learn more about the ways to maximize the value of your shelving while minimizing costs by contacting a representative of Genie Scientific today at (800) 545-8816.

    Essential Elements for Every Lab

    Designing your scientific lab space is a critical process that takes planning, attention to detail, and execution. Inefficient lab setups slow down projects, make research clumsy, and can also lead to a loss of data integrity if not equipped with proper storage and handling solutions.

    The lab planning stage of your project enables your entire team to assess the layout and equipment needed to allow your research and experiments to thrive. It is always important to look at your lab operations from more than just a budgetary standpoint—involving scientists and researchers that will use the space on a daily basis enables the lab to reach its maximum efficiency. To accomplish this goal, it is essential to ensure your lab is equipped with the following elements.

    Storage and Workspace Furniture

    Your workstation needs to come fully equipped for it to be of any use to you and your team in a lab. However, planning out your workspace is about more than just having enough tables and stools for everyone. Thinking strategically about storage and layout allows you to maximize the efficiency of the entire team. Here are the three most important areas to consider when it comes to workspace furniture:

  • Tables/Counters – Your lab needs to have plenty of tables and counter space to suit the needs of the research teams using the area. Make sure that these are high-quality and strong enough to support heavy, and expensive, lab equipment safely. Temporary tables also provide an on-demand solution that lets you rearrange the lab as needed. Don’t forget to address needs for power outlets and lighting!
  • Shelving – Integrity in the lab is paramount. Experiments and data collection must remain uncontaminated in order for each project to be successful and accurate. Overhead shelving makes it easier to move items off the counter and away from samples that are being worked with. Adjustable shelving options give labs greater flexibility when working with larger pieces of equipment as well.
  • Cabinets – Cabinets and drawers are also essential for storage because they help you keep countertops free of clutter. Your workstations should have ample cabinet and drawer space for filing paperwork and other tools for easy access.
  • Essential Laboratory Furniture

    Chemical Handling and Safety

    When it comes to handling chemicals safely, having a fume hood is a must. For the safety of everyone in the lab, your fume hood must be able to be adequately ventilated. As you are in the lab planning process, consider a customized fume hood that is built for your exact needs. Rather than having to settle for a generic fume hood, which may limit the size and nature of some experiments, a custom solution allows for greater flexibility and potential.

    In addition, carefully plan out your chemical handling procedures to ensure that flammable items are properly stored and kept away from open flames. It is also necessary to install storage cupboards and other units that help you maintain compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

    As you look to redesign your lab, or build a new one, the experts at Genie Scientific have you covered. Work with our team to get the essential elements in your lab so you can be up and running in no time. Contact a representative today at (800) 545-8816 today to learn more.

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