Chapter 3.1: Procedure
In addition to the specific area of hazardous materials, this also applies to all other hazards. Due to the wide variety of different activities with all kinds of hazardous materials, an intrinsic safety concept is followed in the laboratory that takes in the building, facilities, procedures, operation and equipment. The safety concept is essentially based on the requirements of Sections 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 of this DGUV Information. If necessary, additional measures can be taken in accordance with Section 5 to enable incidents and exposure to be controlled. Accordingly, laboratories are normally run in such a way that even activities with toxic materials can be performed without additional measures. Unexpected events cannot normally be ruled out completely in a laboratory. Consequently, technical measures – in particular to limit and control the damage caused by incidents – play a key role. A lower level of intrinsic safety is only appropriate if hazardous work can be ruled out on a long-term basis.
As the intrinsic safety of laboratories is heavily dependent on the building and equipment, upon commissioning it is necessary to check whether the planner (architects, engineers) possesses sufficient specialist competence with regard to the occupational safety regulations and in particular to the Ordinance on Hazardous Substances (Gefahrstoffverordnung). In particular, the planner should be able to assess consequences arising from the interaction between occupational safety, environmental protection, convenience and sustainability (31).
When awarding contracts, it is recommended to reach agreement that object-related documentation will be handed over together with the building.
Given the often complex links between different types of hazards in laboratories, several hazards are controlled simultaneously by a series of technical, organizational and personal measures.
Appropriate measures also need to be taken when performing work involving hazards that result from the physicochemical properties of materials. These are often the same measures that reduce hazards resulting from toxic properties.