When you think of a laboratory, what comes to mind? Perhaps scientific apparatus – or perhaps everything you’ve heard about things going wrong, such as chemical explosions or fires. Many people feel that laboratories are poorly supervised and overseen, or that irresponsible scientists may risk their lives in the search for a breakthrough. Most laboratories do not have these more dangerous circumstances, especially when they are designed with safety in mind.
However, there isn’t a lot of evidence to back up that claim. Labs are not as deadly as many people believe, thanks to an effort to build them in ways that improve lab users’ health and safety. Labs that are well-designed and with attention to detail can lead to a productive workplace, in addition to affecting the health and safety of users. Here are five ways that good design affects people’s health, safety, and productivity.
FIVE Ways of Lab Design
1. The requirements of lab users are met
To create a lab that is both safe and productive, the design team must first determine specifications, such as how people will use the lab (including what materials or procedures will be employed), how many people will be working there, what their duties will be, and how much space will be required. This guarantees that everything in the design has a function in helping lab users be more productive. Workers will have the tools and materials they need to do their tasks as a result. As simple as you will think, you don’t always ask people what they need or want to start the design process because they don’t always know. When you ask what they’ll do, you’ll obtain a far clearer understanding of their requirements. This is the beginning point for creating a safe and efficient lab.
2. Accidents that occur regularly become less likely
While excellent lab design cannot completely prevent dangers (many accidents are caused by human mistakes or poor luck), it can significantly increase the likelihood of negative incidences. These accidents not only put people in danger but also reduce productivity by interfering with the researchers’ capacity to work. Fires fall, eye damage and other hazards in the lab can all endanger lab users while also shutting down or delaying work. Accidents are less likely in a lab that is designed for safety. Users will not bump into each other if there are enough workplaces and lanes between them. Sprinkler systems, for example, can put out fires before they spread, and chemical spills and other hazards may be managed quickly, efficiently, and safely with the right warning systems and cleaning supplies.
3. The layout will be appropriate for lab work
The layout of a well-designed lab provides adequate storage, equipment, and workspaces. For electronics, for example, basic cabinets may suffice, but chemicals frequently necessitate more complicated storage arrangements. It is less probable that lab space will be wasted if proper accommodations are made. Furthermore, lab users can avoid storing supplies in areas that block exits or create other potentially hazardous conditions. Potentially hazardous materials and equipment, for example, should be housed and utilised in lab zones away from high traffic and ventilation sources that disturb the airflow. In addition, proper lab layout guarantees that the workspace’s ergonomics do not obstruct workflow. This means that the lab is set up in such a way that everyone has enough space to work and that researchers can do their tasks quickly and correctly.
4. Instead of worrying about emergencies, users may concentrate on their activities
Biosafety cabinets, fire prevention and detection systems, and emergency showers and eyewash stations are all important safety features to incorporate when constructing a lab. Users can focus on their studies with a greater sense of security about their health and safety when they know these features are readily available, and so be more productive. In addition, labs should have well-marked exits that are easy to find so that researchers can leave swiftly and safely in the event of an emergency or accident. Designers should integrate ventilation systems that are based on the behaviours of people to improve safety even more. All labs should have ventilation systems to adjust the temperature and maintain the room comfortable, especially because research suggests that ideal workplace temperatures, regardless of the work setting, can enhance productivity.
5. The facility can be modified to meet future research requirements
It’s crucial to gain a sense of how lab research activities might develop in the future, even if it’s five or more years away. More and/or moveable workbenches, as well as enhanced ventilation for chemical operations, are examples of characteristics that lab users may not require right now but may benefit from in the future. Since so many factors influence a laboratory’s design, it’s critical that all stakeholders – from scientists to environmental health and safety personnel to facilities managers to architects, engineers, and construction managers – collaborate to ensure that the plan promotes health and safety while also increasing productivity. The design of the facility is equally crucial when it comes to the design of the lab bench, so you may look for a lab bench supplier in Malaysia for a safer lab bench.
In conclusion, to work with architects, engineers, and the researchers who will use the lab, lab planners must also collaborate with architects, engineers, and the researchers who will utilise the lab. Since a large number of factors influence the design of a laboratory, it is critical that all stakeholders – from scientists to environmental health and safety staff to facilities managers to architects, engineers, and construction managers – collaborate to ensure the plan promotes health and safety while also increasing productivity.