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9.1 Establishment of a Designated Area

For work involving particularly hazardous substances, laboratories should establish a designated area where particularly hazardous substances can only be used. In some cases, a designated area could be an entire room out of a suite of rooms, or could mean one particular fume hood within a laboratory. The idea is to designate one area that everyone in the laboratory is aware of where the particularly hazardous substances can only be used.

In certain cases of establishing designated areas, Principal Investigators and laboratory supervisors may want to restrict use of a particularly hazardous substance to a fume hood, glove box or other containment device. This information should be included as part of the laboratory’s SOPs and covered during in-lab training.

Establishing a designated area not only provides better employee protection, but can help minimize the area where potential contamination of particularly hazardous substances could occur. If a designated area is established, a sign should be hung up (on a fume hood for example) indicating the area is designated for use with particularly hazardous substances. Most designated areas will have special PPE requirements and/or special waste and spill cleanup procedures as well. These and other special precautions should be included within the lab’s SOPs.