Laboratory Safety: Working with Electrical Equipment

There’s already a long list of risks associated with working in a laboratory. Depending on the type of work taking place within the lab, you risk exposure to toxic chemicals and waste, along with other potentially harmful substances. Of course, improperly maintained or handled electrical equipment may also cause hazards that lead to injury or death. That’s why safety is the highest priority with electrical lab equipment in Raleigh, NC.

What can happen with electrical equipment in a laboratory?

Most research laboratories rely on various electrical mechanisms, including heaters, ovens, stirrers, shakers, hot plates and even the power supply to ensure devices have the power they need to operate. All equipment must be properly installed, utilized and maintained to avoid injuries or fatalities that may occur due to fires, electrical shocks and sparks near combustible materials. With so much equipment, every employee should know the basics of electrical safety in the laboratory in Raleigh, NC.

Safety protocols for lab electrical equipment

To keep yourself and others in your workplace safe, follow these procedures and tips for electrical safety in the laboratory in Raleigh, NC:

  • Don’t use multiple plug outlet adapters.
  • All outlets should have a grounding connection and accept three-prong plugs.
  • Locate all electrical panels and shutoff switches in case of an emergency scenario in which you must immediately shut off the power.
  • Create a plan for handling a power loss. Consider any items that must be stored at certain temperatures, pressure levels and other conditions created by an electrical outage.
  • Schedule regular inspections of electrical lab equipment. Keep records of these inspections. If you notice a device functioning incorrectly, immediately remove it from the power source and have it inspected by a qualified repair technician.
  • Never use a device’s cord to lift the item.
  • Don’t pull on the device’s cord to disconnect it from an outlet or another piece of equipment.
  • Dispose of any power cords with fraying or exposed wires. Ensure the insulation around cords remains solid throughout its entire length.
  • Store flammable materials away from electrical equipment.
  • Keep cords away from hot surfaces.
  • Limit the number of high current draw devices plugged into the same outlet to two.
  • When working near the presence of flammable vapors, only use devices rated not to produce electrical sparks.
  • You’re not permitted to use extension cords in a laboratory except for power surge protectors connected to computers and their components.
  • Don’t touch energized electrical circuits.

If your lab equipment requires service, repair or maintenance, or you’re installing new electrical apparatuses, call a qualified technician to handle these tasks. For those businesses and organizations with laboratories, find an electrical company that employs thoroughly trained technicians who understand that additional safety precautions required when working in a lab setting.

At Box Electric Company, we’re equipped to install, service, repair and maintain your electrical lab equipment in Raleigh, NC. Our team of talented electricians can handle any task your lab requires. Get in touch with us today to discuss your needs and to schedule an appointment.