|Unsafe Sash Conditions
|Unsafe Hood Practices
You should always close your fume hood sash when unattended. This protects passersby from potential hazards, protects the lab from exposure in the event of a fume hood shut down and in the case of VAV fume hoods conserves substantial energy.
Your fume hood sash should always be able to be closed. Keep work and equipment at least 6” in from the sash allowing the sash to work freely. Look for opportunities to route cables and hoses under the foil or by-pass along the front of your fume hood. If your sash will not close because it is damaged, contact Facility Services to have it repaired.
If the glass of your fume hood has become obscured as the result of splashes, acid etching explosions or other practices in your hood, take the time to clean the glass. Do not write on or tape notes, procedures, stickies’, etc., to the glass. This not only creates a visual obstruction, but paper attached to the face of the sash can be pulled into the fume hood, causing damage to the fume hood’s fan, damper or valves.
Do not modify your fume hood by removing safety equipment such as sash stops. Fume hoods are balanced to provide worker protection at a specified sash height. Working above these sash heights can cause the fume hood to lose containment and put workers at risk. Other elements such as utility panels, baffles, and utility stems can also present a hazard if damaged or modified. If any of these conditions exist, contact Facility Services to have them replaced.
NEVER tamper with a fume hood monitor. It is a sensitive and expensive monitoring tool. Your monitor/alarm has been calibrated by a safety or HVAC professional. If your hood is in alarm, you are likely experiencing a flow failure or users are operating with the sash above the MAX Sash Height arrows. You should contact EH&S when your alarm sounds and we can assist having the hood repaired or in the unusual event the monitor has lost its calibration, re-calibrate your monitor.
It is not safe to work or place items within the first 6” of your fume hood. Air turbulence caused by your body can cause vortices and eddies to develop at the face of the hood drawing hazards toward the workers breathing zone.
Fume hoods are not intended for chemical or waste storage. While we understand the potential need for short term storage during routine processes, practices should be put in place to ensure only containers needed for current or ongoing processes are present. Compounding the problem of storing hazards in your hood is the fact that these containers can defeat your fume hoods ability to contain fumes. Store hazards in the appropriate cabinets and schedule a one time or routine waste collection in MyChem or HERE.
Large equipment placed inside fume hoods such as ovens, incubators, centrifuges, etc. can restrict your fume hoods opening and in turn the hoods ability to contain hazardous fumes associated with your work. The most common solution for working with large equipment is raising your equipment at least 3” in a manner which allows air to flow under the equipment. In some cases, your equipment may simply be too large to be used safely in your hood. In cases where ventilation is required for safe operation of your equipment, we are happy working with you to develop ventilation solutions for your equipment other than in your fume hood.
Clean up all spills the moment they happen. Wipe down the surfaces of your fume hood routinely.
Any lab glass such as vials, beakers, pipettes, etc., not currently in use should be removed from your fume hood.
Waste paper, foil, KimWipes or unsecured pads can be drawn into the fume hood system, compromising the functionality of the fume hood and, in the case of shared systems, fume hoods in other labs. Dispose of all such debris when you are done using them.
There should be nothing within 4’ of your fume hood opening. Items present within 4’ of the hood face can cause unstable air flow and the potential for loss of containment. Utility valves for water, gasses, etc., should not be used as storage for lab coats, goggles, heat guns, etc. Items stored here can defeat the aerodynamic design of the hood opening.