Lab Furnace Safety
Operating a lab furnace comes with a range of safety hazards, this blog post will outline a few of them and the measures that can be made to ensure a safe working environment.
Due to the extremely high temperatures that lab furnaces operate at, there is always the increased risk of fire. Fires can be caused due to improper use of a lab furnace, for instance, if a flammable chemical or material is placed inside a furnace by mistake.
Fire resistant surfaces should also be available outside of the lab furnace for hot samples to be placed on after heat treatment. Proper ventilation is also vital for lab furnaces. If the room the lab furnace is situated in doesn’t have sufficient ventilation, there can be a fire risk when the furnace is in operation.
A lab furnace should always be under observation when it is in operation, as faults may occur such as smoke or a strong odor, which could be an indication of a fire.
Protective clothing is essential when operating a lab furnace to prevent burns. Heat resistant gloves, overalls, and shoes should be provided to all individuals who operate the furnace to protect their skin. If employees come into extremely close contact with the lab furnace, goggles and face shields may also be necessary.
The outer shell of the lab furnace must have sufficient insulation to ensure that does not heat up too much to cause burns to operators when they are opening and closing it. The samples taken out of the furnace must also be clearly labeled as hot, to ensure that they are not handled before they have finished cooling down.
Spills and Accidents
The samples within lab furnaces can often be hazardous, so spillage of these samples can be extremely dangerous for operators. Care should be taken when moving samples to try and avoid spillages, but when they do occur they should be cleaned quickly. Cleaning any spillages also helps to avoid any cross-contamination between samples.
Lab Furnaces from Thermcraft