Engineering controls are considered the first line of defense in the laboratory for the reduction or elimination of the potential exposure to hazardous chemicals. Examples of engineering controls used in laboratories at Cornell may include dilution ventilation, local exhaust ventilation, chemical fume hoods, biological safety cabinets, glove boxes, safety shields, and proper storage facilities.
The OSHA Laboratory Standard
requires that "fume hoods and other protective equipment function properly and that specific measures are taken to ensure proper and adequate performance of such equipment."
The proper functioning and maintenance of fume hoods and other protective equipment used in the laboratory is the responsibility of a variety of service groups. Maintenance Management, Facilities Engineering, Building Coordinators, EH&S, and other groups service equipment such as fire extinguishers, emergency eyewash and showers, and mechanical ventilation. Periodic inspections and maintenance by these groups ensure proper functioning and adequate performance of these important pieces of protective equipment.
However, it is the responsibility of laboratory personnel to immediately report malfunctioning protective equipment, such as fume hoods, or mechanical problems to their Building Coordinator as soon as any malfunctions are discovered.