Lab Tech office space requirements

Lab Tech office space requirements: Can anyone help? I'm trying to find out if there are any reg's regarding office space for lab techs and whether lab techs can be "housed" in the prep room where chemicals are stored.  I am again being shifted around due to refurbishments, and my prep room was previously cut down to 1/4 the size it was and I was given an office on another floor of the building. Now I am being told that they can shuffle around stuff in the prep room so I can have office space there. I have no idea how because we were barely able to fit the chemical cabinets in so that they would still comply with storage regulations.

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Publication Date: 30 July 2014
Asked By: MrsDragon
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Answer by barney41 on question Lab Tech office space requirements

Expert Answer

The aspect of having an office space separate from chemicals is very clearly stated in AS/NZ2243.1:2005 Safety in laboratories. Part 1: Planning and operational aspects. Section 2. Planning the laboratory for safety.

“2.2.6. Write-up areas

Precautions should be taken to ensure that reading and writing materials do not become contaminated or damaged.

Write-up areas shall be separated from areas where hazardous materials are used or harmful processes are undertaken.” [1]

Education Queensland Organisational Health Unit has produced a very useful fact sheet which outlines science laboratory and preparation area safety. It quotes the Australian Standard (AS2243:1:2005) for planning and operations in laboratories and refers to this clause stating that hazardous material storage and usage areas, as well as harmful processes, must be separated from write-up areas. I draw your attention to the second point of the ‘Key points to remember’ section.

This fact sheet also states that local exhaust ventilation should remove contaminants from the air at their source. This ventilation should not replace the requirement for office space to be separated from areas where laboratory procedures take place.

See: http://education.qld.gov.au/health/pdfs/healthsafety/science-lab-prepara...

[1] This extract from AS/NZ2243.1:2005 Safety in laboratories Planning and operational aspects is reproduced with permission from SAI Global Ltd under Licence 1407-c117.

Addendum: In December 2016, the Science ASSIST experts released some guidelines for the design and planning of secondary school science facilities in Australian schools in line with current regulations. 

 

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