Emergency Equipment-Environmental Health & Safety - Carnegie Mellon University

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Emergency Equipment

Our laboratories are equipped with a number of items designed for use in lab emergencies. Here is a brief refresher on the requirements for a number of them:

Safety showers and eyewashes: Wherever there are corrosive materials in a laboratory, these two items must be present, and there should be a less than 10 second trip to get to them.They should never be blocked (a common deficiency found in our routine inspections) and should be tested regularly. Now, remember that you, the lab people should be checking the eyewash, but do not test the shower! FMS does this annually. showerhead
Fire Extinguishers: These should be present in every lab and the type of
extinguisher should address the hazards present in the room. And they should be mounted to the wall. If you have a unit but it is not mounted, let me know (8-1493). Most extinguishers address flammables, electrical and combustibles. If you have pyrophorics or flammable solids, you need a Class D extinguisher, which is and looks way different from the standard unit. Contact me (still 8-1493) if you think you need a Class D unit. The fire extinguisher must also NEVER be blocked.
Spill Response Kit: This is another frequent deficiency we find in our lab
inspections-each lab must have a spill response kit that addresses the hazards
present in the lab. Commercial kits are available through the standard chemical
manufacturers. If you have mercury (in thermometers or other devices) you need a special kit for them. If you have any questions about what sort of kit you need orvwould like training for your people in addressing small lab spills, again, contact me.
Emergency Response Guide: This guidebook must be present in all laboratories, preferably mounted to the wall. It addresses proper responses for personal injury, spills of chemicals, bio-agents, or radiation, as well as for incidents of fires. If you need a book, contact me. There is a new version of the guide in use now as well, though the information remains similar as the old one and there is no need at this time to replace your current one.

By: Mark Banister, markb2@andrew.cmu.edu, 412 268-1493