Laboratory Design, Furniture purchasing, and overall quality of the cabinets are things you look into while buying / building a new laboratory with either used laboratory furniture / cabinets and casework, or used laboratory furniture / cabinets and casework. But I’m here to help you with that today.
First Things First
Laboratory Furniture When designing your laboratory, its imperative that you use safe procedures. Your laboratory furniture can be as new as you want, but if you do not follow safe laboratory procedures, you will be putting your employees and other personnel in danger. Choosing the correct Laboratory furniture and the correct design is only part of your obligations.
Stanford University Suggest that your “primary objective in laboratory design is to provide a safe environment for laboratory personnel to conduct their work.
A secondary objective is to allow for the maximum flexibility for safe research use. Undergraduate teaching laboratories require other specific design considerations. Therefore, all health and safety hazards must be anticipated and carefully evaluated so that protective measures can be incorporated into the design. No matter how well designed a laboratory is, improper usage of its facilities will always defeat the engineered safety features. Proper education of the facility users is essential.”
Making sure your laboratory furniture and employees are safe are essential parts of laboratory design.
So if your worried about Safety
There are many parts of Laboratory Safety that people don’t take a hard look into.
If you want, at the bottom of this page, I have sources for you to take a look at some Laboratory safety procedures from Universities and other agencies.
Setting Up your Lab for Maximum Usability
Make sure while setting up your lab you consult your chemists and other laboratory technicians before you decide to willy-nilly set something up. You need to make sure that your lab fits your needs, and is able to produce what you need efficiently. To do this you need to allocate enough laboratory furniture for the space you have. Storage is a big issue as well. You cannot store flammable and corrosive substances in a regular cabinet. You need to purchase special laboratory furniture called Flammable Cabinets. These cabinets protect your flammable items and keep unwanted substances out. Also, most have locks to keep any unwanted personnel out of your cabinet. Make sure that you do not over use laboratory sinks. They are generally a 3 foot base cabinet, but they are generally not great for storage as you are dropping a sink into the cabinet. So make sure you allocate enough other cabinets for storage before implementing too many laboratory sink bases.
Utilization of Desks
If you have a desk in your laboratory furniture set, you can give the ability to your employees to write while in the lab. Now depending on the type of lab and work you doing, desks can be very useful or useless. If your lab needs to be sealed off and sterile, eg: Working on e.Coli, then you would want to not have any desks probably because your work on write ups would be done outside the contained environment. On the other hand, desks can be useful in a classroom setting, or in a stable lab setting. Desks give your chemists the ability to write and do work they wouldn’t normally be able to do in a lab, in the lab itself.
If your experiments or work is going to involve fumes being spewed from a beaker or vial then a fume hood is what you need to ventilate your air so you do not kill or make anyone sick. These can be placed strategically as they have their own bases, generally flammable cabinets. So you can set your lab up around your fume hood or vice versa.
What type of Counter Tops to use?
Depending on your work, you need to choose a type of counter top that will be specifically used in your lab for maximum usability and efficient, as well as economic value. When choosing, ask yourself, do I have any work i’m doing that has corrosive or flammable material, that could be heated on the counter top for an extended period. Or do you just work with non acidic, non flammable basic substances that will not cause damage to your top. The damaging effects of corrosive tops and flammable liquids,etc can be eliminated with the use of an Epoxy top. This durable counter top will be a great addition to your lab furniture. Otherwise a regular laminate top is quite durable and easy to maintain. These tops are not quite as heavy either. Either option will work for your lab, just make sure you pick the quality and durability of the product to suit the needs of your work in your laboratory.