> >This statement implies that it is less likely that increased ventilation needs will "average out" because groups of shared mutual interests (and resources) will be working together.
Yes, our experience in doing this work was that it was necessary to visit every lab in a building to see what they were doing chemically and in term of housekeeping, and that a single building or department wide recommendation was unlikely to serve the needs of the individual labs.
Even departments which would seem to be relying on low hazard chemistry would have one faculty member who needed to use pyrophorics or lachrymators or another exotic chemical to do their work. It also seemed that these were usually the busiest, most crowded labs in the departments, which did not mean that they were assigned to the best ventilated spaces. (Because few academic departments pay their utility bills, there isnČ??t much incentive for them to be aware of their ventilation systems, and even if they are the utility bills are less than 10% of their salary budget, so managing people comes before managing spaces.)
> >Control banding in such cases does not require searching out high ACH labs as much as using lower sash openings, assuring good room throughput, and staggering heavy-use experiments within such labs.
I donČ??t know of any EHS offices with the staffing levels to oversee lab operations at that level of detail. Assigning general lab ventilation rates in labs in a building and revisiting that assignment every three years is a high ambition for EHS groups supporting 4000 laboratories at once.
(Just a quick digression on lowering sash openings: engineering attempts to force this behavior by lab techs have led to the least user-friendly systems I have ever seen in real life. In some research buildings, I have seen 3 or 4 different alarm systems in various hoods. None of which are either documented or intuitively useable by the lab occupants. Some are hazard alarms, some are energy conservation alarms and some are random alarms that no one understands because the renovation that installed them did not involve a ventilation engineer. )
But I may strayed from the intent of the original question...
Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Environmental Safety Manager
Keene State College
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