What You Need To Know:

What is a safety audit checklist?

A safety audit checklist is a document used by companies to ensure their workspaces are compliant with industry health and safety standards.

The purpose of a safety audit checklist is twofold: first, to ensure that all areas of potential danger have been identified and addressed; and second, to provide a record of due diligence in the event of an accident or injury.

Many companies use safety audit checklists as part of their regular safety program, while others only implement them in response to an incident.

What should be included in a lab safety checklist?

Lab safety is of utmost importance in any laboratory setting. A lab safety checklist helps to identify and minimize chemical, biological, physical and radioactive hazards present in a laboratory facility.

It helps ensure that the laboratory complies with environmental standards to prevent overexposure to hazardous chemicals, injuries and respiratory-related illnesses or fatalities.

What are the 5 major areas of lab safety?


Laboratory accidents are one of the most common types of workplace accidents. In severe cases, nerves and tendons may be severed.

Often, these injuries occur as a result of attempting to force a cork or rubber stopper into a piece of glass tubing, thermometer or distilling flask thus the result can be broken glass.

To prevent this accident from occurring, workers should make a proper-sized hole, lubricate the cork or stopper, and use gentle pressure with rotation on the glass portion along with any removal of broken glass after an incident.

Toxic fumes:

Chemical fumes can be extremely dangerous, and it is important to take the necessary precautions when working with them especially while working inside. Fumes can cause serious health problems if they are inhaled, so it is important to make sure there is proper ventilation in the lab and to maintain a safe distance when pouring chemicals. Fumes can also be an environmental health issue.

Skin Absorption of Chemicals:

It is important to be aware of the physical injuries that can occur in the laboratory. Chemicals can cause burns, and even if they are not corrosive, exposure can cause allergic reactions or other problems if absorbed by the skin. This can cause acute or immediate effect on the person.

Remember that gloves may be permeable to certain chemical reagents – even without visible deterioration – so trade out any gloves that have come into contact with such chemicals for a new pair immediately. Never touch your face or eyes until your hands are clean of all chemicals or solvents.

Explosions and fires:

In a lab, it is important to be aware of the dangers of flammable liquids. Vapors can travel long distances and may ignite if they reach a flame or spark. Be sure to keep a fire extinguisher on hand and ensure each individual in the laboratory knows its exact location to prevent fires from spreading.

The appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), like a flame-resistant (FR) lab coat, should also be worn.

Chemical or thermal burns:

Chemicals are an important part of laboratory work. They can be used to create reactions or to purify substances. However, they also can be dangerous if not handled correctly. Burns, chemical spills, and unsafe laboratory conditions are all potential hazards and you should immediately report any incident with you chemical or thermal burns.

It is therefore important to exercise caution when working with chemicals and to always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

What are the major overlooked lab safety issues and hazards?

Ergonomic safety:

Musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs are a serious problem in the workplace, and they can be caused by many different things.

One of the most common causes is repetitive awkward postures, which can occur when employees are not properly trained on ergonomics safety. This type of injury can lead to discomfort and loss of productivity, and it is important for employers to take steps to prevent them.

Laboratory waste disposal:

One of the most important aspects of ensuring a safe and healthy work environment is properly managing hazardous waste. Improper disposal of these materials can have serious consequences for both employees and the environment.

Pathogenic diseases and chemical reactions are just two examples of the many dangers posed by hazardous waste if it is not handled correctly. By implementing a comprehensive waste management program, employers can mitigate many of these risks.

Dress code safety:

Proper dress codes can be overlooked when trying to protect students and protect employees. In order to maintain a safe laboratory environment, adding the dress code to the daily lab checklist is a must.

Employees must ensure all safety equipment including goggles, face shields, safety gloves, body, and respiratory protection are in good condition before entering the laboratory.

Proper labels:

Labels are an important part of, not only general safety but also laboratory safety. Putting a proper label on gas cylinders or any substance that is harmful will ensure compliance and meet laboratory standards which will eliminate lab risks.

Record of an incident:

Another overlooked issue that should be on the lab maintenance checklist is proper record-keeping. You should be keeping records of the following: Damaged equipment, equipment malfunction, toxic contamination, radioactive materials leaked, chemical exposures, chemical spills, laboratory cleanliness, maintenance of labs, and any other issues along with the person responsible.


Laboratory safety, chemical safety, biological safety, radiation safety, and general safety begin with a proper checklist. Starting with regular self inspections can help tremendously but don’t shy away from outside help if you feel you need it. Safety officers and safety consultants can help you with basic requirements for you laboratories, maintain laboratory health, help you achieve a good inspection checklist, cultivate emergency procedures, and ultimately prevent laboratory risks to help you avoid unwanted legal action again your company. Following tips safety consultants provide is paramount. Maintaining a lab, keep it in peak condition, and keeping employees safe is always the utmost priority.

Need Help?

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Do you need an idea of where you stand with EPA or OSHA regulations?  Do you need full-time or temporary personnel to manage the day-to-day compliance tasks?  Would your employees benefit from onsite environmental training?  Our team of environmental consultants, safety consultants and industrial hygienists would love to help. Call (316) 264-7050 today!

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