I’m hoping to get some advice regarding an ongoing issue in some areas of my company…
It seems straightforward enough that food and drinks are not allowed in lab areas, but the problem keeps cropping up. A BSL2 lab has cube space between two BSL2 work areas. The walls are only half-walls but the residents of these desks want their food and drinks and the manager of the lab put tape down to say the BSL2 areas are outside of the cube area and that it is reasonably safe to have food and drinks in the cubes. I thought the rule was that the dividing walls had to be floor to ceiling. Anyone else have a similar situation in conjunction with a BSL2 work area?
Another lab used to not have chemicals, and people would drink/eat while at computers. Now there are chemicals stored and used in the lab, and of course people are trying to still eat/drink. We (safety) put a stop to that, but then they put tape down and made an area that is ‘no chemicals or work materials’ allowed and they put a table, chairs and a mini-fridge. My opinion is that food and drinks should not be allowed in this lab at all, although maybe there is some way to permit closed drink containers in a designated area? But the mini-fridge seems out of my scope of allowable items in a lab that also stores/uses toxic chemicals. Of course I’ve reviewed the regulations and they support no food/no drinks in at least the case of the chemical laboratory. But are there allowable exceptions? Right now my views are being considered employee unfriendly, and while I’m not worried about that, I want to make sure I’ve researched the situation thoroughly so that I’m not being overly strict. (Note: my company safety officer is “new” to safety…)
Any information or specific instances/experiences you can share with me would be most helpful and appreciated.
R&D Engineer & Safety Coordinator
(847) 745-3605 direct
(847) 679-8767 fax
(847) 679-NANO main
8025 Lamon Ave.
Skokie, IL 60077
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