While laboratories are complex workspaces, the question is whether or not the design, fixtures and fittings are exposing laboratory workers to hidden and unnecessary hazards. Even having the prospect of working in a new purpose-built facility does not mean that the laboratory worker is not a risk from the hidden hazards which form part of the architects/designer need to design an aesthetically pleasing workspace.
Perhaps we could forgive the repurposed laboratory, given limitations in budget, and infrastructure, but there are no excuses when it comes to the design and development of new facilities. Whether it is a new ‘super laboratory’ or a small QA/Formulation laboratory, it is important that designers/architects understand some of the basics concepts which are essential for developing a safe workplace. This includes understanding the role that AS/NZS 2243 Safety in Laboratories and AS/NZS 2982 Laboratory design and construction have in designing laboratory and auxiliary workspaces (Store rooms, preparation rooms).
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