The Role of a Lab Fume Hood in Workplace Safety

Industrial laboratories are a challenging kind of workplace where people are performing experiments, storing and transporting chemical substances all around the floor continuously. People do not get the required clearance to start their laboratory unless it is deemed safe for workers. To ensure a lab’s safety, different types of safety protocols must be adhered to so that in case of accidents, workers can protect themselves. One such piece of safety equipment which is a must-have for laboratories is a lab fume hood. These protect against chemical hazards in gaseous form.

Why are fume hoods essential for labs?

Following all of the safety protocols and rules is compulsory given the nature of work that occurs inside a lab facility. Once you set foot into any lab, you will be surrounded by several types of chemical hazards. The level of exposure is enough to affect a person’s safety and health but the most lethal hazard remains unseen. The air inside a lab facility is often a mixture of different sorts of gases and chemical vapors that emanate during experiments.

If this air goes inside lab workers’ bodies via the lungs then it could lead to breathing troubles and severe health issues over time. For this reason, every laboratory requires fume hoods to keep the air inside breathable and release all of the gaseous toxins outside. The presence of lab fume hoods minimizes the chances of accidents occurring inside any lab. Installing a good quality lab fume hood can save the life of workers in a lab and also keep the workflow continuous. There are no more delays and productivity-related issues in a lab that has lab fume hoods in place.

Functions Served by Lab Fume Hoods:

The best part about installing lab fume hoods in your workplace is not multiple benefits as it does a lot more than just clean the air. Let’s take a look at what functions does lab fume hoods serve for an industrial laboratory:

  • Saves maintenance costs

In labs and such workplaces where chemical substances are a common sight, lab fume hoods are considered an important addition. These remain active continuously and are not switched while the workers, technicians, and other employees are at work. Throughout its runtime, fume hoods take in a huge quantity of hazards and toxins in gaseous form. But the same toxic substances can affect the walls, surface of industrial furniture, and other things as well. Thus, by eliminating such toxins, lab fume hoods also save maintenance costs.

  • Increases overall efficiency

A typical day in an industrial lab includes scientists, their assistants, and other technicians completing their daily tasks. While doing these tasks, they have to handle or come in contact with a variety of chemicals and solutions which are necessary for an experiment. But it is a risky thing to do as these substances emit harmful vapors and odors that could affect workers and decrease productivity. But thanks to fume hoods, all of the toxic fumes, vapors, and gases are filtered out to

  • Improves quality of air

The filtration of air inside a laboratory is a fume hood’s primary function. By doing so, they cleanse the surrounding air making it safe enough to breathe in. A few necessary chemicals like B-mercaptoethanol are toxic enough to avoid keeping them out in the open. Getting exposed to such chemicals would cause several issues like eye irritation, spasms, and even pneumonitis. The productivity of the lab largely relies on the health of workers so having fume hoods makes sure that the quality of air is high enough to keep people healthy.

Finding the Appropriate Fume Hood for Your Workplace

For the safe handling of chemical hazards that are omnipresent in an industrial lab, people must install a good quality fume hood. But the market is full of options depending on the features, efficiency, physical appearance, and other criteria. It’s normal to feel a bit overwhelmed when you face a lot of options but it’s imperative to choose the most appropriate fume hood for your lab.

The following considerations can help anyone find their perfect match in the case of laboratory fume hoods:

  • Check the type of ventilation beforehand

Lab fume hoods can have different types of ventilation systems depending on the manufacturer where you purchase them from. One is a vented hood that pumps fumes into an external system and the other one is a re-circulating hood which filters chemical fumes and releases clean air. It’s wise to check the type of ventilation system before purchasing a hood.

  • Keep workplace measurements in mind

The floor plan of a lab is a key consideration to make. This is when it comes to choosing the right-sized lab fume hoods from a supplier. Once you have choose a particular size for a fume hood, you cannot alter it. This is even if there have been any mistakes. So make sure you keep the correct measurement in mind while placing an order.

  • Involvement of Experts

Lab fume hoods are  safety essentials that are a requirement now. Its structure impacts its functionality and if you install and maintain them professionally then it could last for a long time. A lot of people do not take experts’ help and end up installing them by themselves which is very risky. Experts should be involved every step of the way to ensure there are no mishaps.

  • Determining your workplace requirement

Different workplaces have separate requirements so it becomes necessary for anyone purchasing lab fume hoods. Only an experienced manufacturer and licensed supplier are capable of providing its clients with the best types of fume hoods. You can browse through a brochure to catch a glimpse of the different lab fume hoods before deciding on one.

Closing thoughts:

Fume hoods the best way to safeguard the environment of a laboratory. These are also the most efficient solution. The structure, mechanism, and features make a lab fume hood play a vital role as a lab’s safety equipment.

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