As soon as you get yourchemical fume hood, you should acquaint yourself with some of these helpful tips. This will help to keep you and your work family safe. It will also help to keep everything working properly.
THEY HAVE THEIR LIMITATIONS
Chemical fume hoods have limitations too. They are just like everything else in life. This means you also need to work within your own limitations. Your standard work environment protocol should include wearing protective gear.
What type of protective gear is permissible?
You will need to wear some sort of eye wear. Regular glasses are not enough. You will need some sort of goggles or protective eye covering. If you’re unsure as to what kind, please ask someone who has handled the hoods before. Only they can tell you what is appropriate and what is not. Your workplace should have a supply of approved eyewear.
You will also need to wear gloves. It can sometimes get messy. Wear something to protect your hands from infections or toxins. And you’ll also need some sort of smock or coat to wear over your clothes. A lab coat is preferred. Ask someone if unsure, and again your workplace should have a supply on hand.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN LOOK AT THE FOLLOWING
Before you begin doing anything with your Fume Hood – you need to check it out thoroughly. Make sure that it’s been working properly within the last year or so, especially if it’s been sitting unused for a long period of time. The last six months would actually be better. There may even be a quality control review report on the machine, this will advise you when the last time a full review of the equipment was completed.
If it’s been over a year, you need to contact the proper offices at the EH&S. Do this before you do anything else.
If you notice that the motor and visual are in alarm mode, this not good. Again, you’ll need to contact the offices about this too. I know you have work to do, but this is important. Do not do anything else until it’s been fixed.
You also need to check the air flow. It’s supposed to be flowing. If it has stopped, this is a bad sign. Do not do anything more until the issue has been resolved.
SOMETHINGS TO THINK ABOUT DURING THE CLEANING PROCESS
Making sure it’s clean is essential before you begin to use the chemical fume hood.
1) Keep the baffles at the back clean and clear. If they are neither, you need to take care of this asap. If this is your first time doing this, have someone experienced along with you while you do it, and ensure you have your checklist on hand so you do not miss a step.. This way he/she can give you advice and pointers along the way, that the checklist may not include.
2) Keep all the hoods free of clutter, dirt and debris. This goes for the top of it specifically. If you have to use it for storage always have a gap to allow the air flow in. Technically, the hood should not be used as storage, or anything else, except for what it’s meant to be used for.. Do not get into this bad habit.
3) The airfoil at the bottom should not be moved. Nor should it be altered in any way. Any time it’s been moved or altered, it will impact the air flow quality. This in turn will cause issues for the hood itself. which will have an adverse impact on the job it is supposed to do.
AVOID SOME OF THE FOLLOWING
These are just some simple things you can do to cut down on drafts in and around the laboratory fume hood itself.
1) Cut down on arm or body movement. You should also be aware of the traffic near the hoods themselves, less is best.
2) Do not leave any windows or doors in the room open. This will keep things better from a performance aspect too.
Remember: You can always refer back to the Owner’s Manual if you’re unsure about something – or you can go online and Google the exact specifications for the type and style of laboratory fume hood that you’re looking for to fit your work environment. You will also find details on the limitations of the hood that you need to be aware of. As with any type of work machinery, it better for you to know your Fume Hood inside and out, before you do anything.