Design and Engineering Controls

Whenever feasible, engineering controls should be implemented within the laboratory to minimize exposure to hazardous chemicals.  Engineering controls may include:  general laboratory ventilation, chemical fume hoods, point-source ventilation, filtered enclosures, product substitution, secondary containment, and other physical systems used to minimize exposure.

It is the responsibility of the department and Facilities Management and Planning (BU) and Facilities and Energy Management (BMC) to inform Environmental Health and Safety when a laboratory is selected to be renovated or redesigned. EHS will meet with the Laboratory Supervisor/Principal Investigator (PI) of the laboratory to understand the nature of the research, including which hazards may be present, and recommend appropriate engineering controls for the new laboratory.

If ventilation engineering controls implemented are not working properly in the laboratory, the PI must immediately stop work, secure all chemicals, and contact Facilities Management and Planning.  On the Charles River Campus, Facilities Management and Planning Emergency Control Desk can be contacted 24 hours per day at 353-2105.  On the Medical Campus, the Control Center is available 24 hours per day at 414-6666.

The PI can contact EHS at anytime to request an evaluation or meeting to discuss engineering controls in their laboratory.

A common engineering control installed in laboratories is the chemical fume hood.  Details of chemical fume hood use, maintenance, and annual testing can be found in the Standard Operating Procedures section of this manual.

In addition to reviewing and approving engineering controls in new laboratory design projects, EHS is responsible for review of laboratory design plans to assist in assuring compliance with appropriate environmental health and safety local, state, and federal codes, regulations, and standards.