The Safety-First Guide to Laboratory Faucets and Tap Fittings

Safety-First Guide to Laboratory Faucets and Tap Fittings

When it comes to laboratory safety, you should know where all safety equipment is located, like laboratory faucets with eyewash stations or emergency showers.

If you are a lab manager, it is your responsibility to ensure your lab is fit for researchers and lab technicians. Keep your lab safe with this safety-first guide to laboratory faucets and tap fittings. 

According to a survey, up to 38% of lab personnel injured in the lab did not report the incident. Furthermore, 27% of researchers said they do not complete risk assessments before conducting lab work. 

These statistics place laboratories and the principal stakeholders at risk. To reduce the liability, ensure your lab has the following equipment and engages in these safety practices. 

Chart of lab safety rules.


Key Takeaways:

  • Lab managers are responsible for the lab meeting all federal, state, and local regulations regarding safety equipment and training. 
  • Depending on the type of lab you run, you may also need water, gas, and steam valves along with any specific faucet types necessary for your research and experiments.
  • Emergency drench showers and eyewash stations must be in every lab and the immediate area of any workstation. 
  • Faucet safety practices include turning off water when not in use, and checking that faucets work properly and are clear from anything that could damage the faucet. 

Faucets and Tap Fittings Required in the Laboratory 

Not every lab requires the same equipment. Depending on what type of lab you run, you may find that you need specific faucets, valves, and other tap fittings. This includes:

  • Single faucets
  • Mixing faucets
  • Electronic faucets
  • Water valves
  • Gas valves
  • Steam valves

That said, every laboratory must have specific safety equipment by law. It is the responsibility of lab managers to ensure the lab meets federal, state, and local regulations when it comes to safety equipment and training.

According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), safety equipment must always work properly. They must be in the immediate area of any workstation and be clear of obstructions. Labs are required to have these faucets and tap fittings:

Drench Shower 

Emergency rapid-drench showers are necessary should contamination or exposure to hazardous materials occur in the lab. Showers must deliver 20 gallons of water, and the temperature of the flushing fluids must be between 60- and 100-degrees Fahrenheit. 

When installing the emergency shower, you must position it 6 inches from the wall and other obstructions. They must be 82 to 96 inches above the workstation, and the user needs to be able to start it within one second. 

You can find an exhaustive list of emergency shower requirements here

Eye and Face Wash Fitting

You can either install an eyewash station dedicated solely for that purpose. Also, you can install a safety fitting to turn any lab faucet into a dual-purpose sink and eyewash station. 

Laboratory faucet with an eyewash fitting attached 

Eyewash stations must have a face washing attachment, and they must also be 6 inches from any walls or objects. They also have the same temperature requirements for flushing fluids as the drench showers. 

The valve heads must include covers to protect them from dust and other contaminants. The protective covers must detach from the valve with the same motion that turns on the faucet. Eyewash fitting must have two spray heads. 

You can find details about other safety requirements for eyewash stations in the above link about emergency shower guidelines. 

Other Laboratory Faucets Safety Practices 

For more safety practices in the laboratory, watch this helpful video. It includes information about proper handwashing at laboratory faucets. It also covers how to use safety showers and eyewash stations and what PPE is necessary to protect yourself from potential pathogens.

Here are a few other safety practices you and others in the lab should do when working with a laboratory faucet:

1. Don’t Leave Water Running 

Laboratory personnel must turn off all faucets and valves when not using the sink. This safety rule reduces the risk of people scalding themselves if someone was using hot water from the faucet. 

It is also vital that valves do not remain on longer than necessary, especially if you are working the gas or steam valves. Some gasses are risky for your health if released into the air. Steam may burn someone if they encounter an open valve.

2. Make Sure All Valves and Faucets Work Correctly 

Valves, faucets, and tap fittings should work properly. Test them no less than once a week and ensure they deliver only the amount of liquid set to release. Replace any showing signs of decay, wear and tear, and leaks.

3. Keep Faucets Clear 

Keep faucets unobstructed with a clear path to the area. Also, keep anything away from the spout or fitting that could cause decay or damage. Some chemicals and other agents can cause the degradation of lab equipment.

4. Ensure Only Authorized Personnel Use Lab Valves 

Laboratory managers must ensure that only authorized or trained laboratory personnel operates lab valves. You can post signs near every station that states the rules for control valves and the potential safety risks associated. 

Furthermore, you should post information regarding the substances your lab uses and the safety steps necessary if users come into contact with gasses or vapors. That way, should an unauthorized user mistakenly use the valve, they know what to do.

5. Check for Proper Ventilation 

You must check that the laboratory has proper ventilation near the valves, faucets, and throughout the entire lab. That way, you can eliminate hazardous gas and steam buildup should the valves fail or get left on by anyone.

Keep Your Lab Safe with Laboratory Faucets and Tap Fittings from Chicago Faucets

At Chicago Faucets, safety in the lab is something we take seriously. That is why we are continually developing new faucet technology to keep you and your fellow lab technicians safe. Our new lab faucet configurator will ensure you get the correct faucet for whatever type of research your laboratory does.

Are you looking to configure a custom faucet to meet the needs and specifications of your lab? Use our faucet configurator or contact us here for more information.

Topics: Laboratory, laboratory tap fittings, laboratory faucets