EcoFlex™ – a collaboration between G&K Development and established laboratory service firm Green Energy Hoods – serves the petroleum/pipeline industry and recently inspected a number of field laboratories across the country and Canada. Our inspectors have noted that while pipeline lab managers are generally familiar with petroleum inspection protocols, the maintenance requirements of airflow management safety equipment like fume hoods are often less appreciated.
Laboratories frequently develop airflow problems because field staff fails to understand the consequences of minor adjustments to systems, processes and equipment parameters. For example, staff may restrict airflow while performing fan maintenance, organizing work bench space or arranging equipment inside or outside the lab near exhaust vents. And, equipment component failure is unpredictable and sometimes unnoticed by field staff.
As such, we believe it is important to outline what we believe are the most pertinent health, safety, and environmental laboratory regulations mandated for midstream pipelines. Annual laboratory airflow safety audits are required by ANSI/AIHA, largely due to the fact that petroleum field laboratories harbor potent hazardous risks. These regulations include the following:

  • ANSI/AIHA Z9.5-2003, American National Standard for Laboratory Ventilation. Section 3.3.3 Flow-Measuring Device for Laboratory Chemical states, “The device shall be calibrated at least annually and whenever damaged.”
  • Section 6.4 Ongoing or Routine Hood and System Tests includes “periodic testing at a minimum of 1-year intervals…” and “Routine performance tests shall be conducted at least annually…”
  • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1450 also recommends a Chemical Hygiene Plan in Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories. Section (3)(e)(iii) includes a requirement that “measures… to ensure proper and adequate performance” of fume hoods be part of a review process “at least annually.”

EcoFlex Modular Labs can help. We provide auditing services, design/build and construction management for the petroleum pipeline laboratory industry. With over 20 years of laboratory engineering and inspection experience, EcoFlex also has the qualifications to deliver customized or standard modular laboratories on skids with the internal systems completely built-out and ready for external plumbing and electrical connections. We are registered with ISNetworld and meet our pipeline clients’ criteria for working on DOT regulated sites. For more information, visit https://gk-development.com/services/modular-labs/ or http://EcoFlex-Labs.com. You can also call us at (219) 365-3508.