Reducing Risk and Liability in Shops and Science Labs

Shops and science labs can be very dangerous places. There are many different dangers such as high heat, dust, machines, flammable liquids/chemicals, excess noise, and more. A high-risk lab could result in an injury or fatality very easily if safety precautions are not taken. The key to reduce risk and liability in such spaces is to be proactive, and a Suncorp Shop & Science Lab Safety Survey is your starting point.


Suncorp Shop & Science Lab Safety Survey Details

A Suncorp Shop and Science Lab Safety Survey touches on many different important points, including the following:

  • Analysis of the layout of each Shop and Science Lab to ensure there are adequate clearances around your equipment (delineation lines), and separation of processes involved in these areas.
  • An inventory of your major equipment and an analysis of the safety controls in place within each of these facilities.
  • A detailed listing and condition assessment of your equipment located in the Shop and Science Labs.
  • An inventory with condition notes of all power tools general condition, and notes on any safety concerns/infractions observed.
  • An analysis of the general condition of all welders, cutting torches and equipment, grinders, etc.
  • An inventory with condition notes of all safety equipment including safety glasses, shields, hearing protection, guards, eye wash stations, etc.


  • Analysis of the controls in place within all science labs in the handling and use of chemicals.
  • An analysis of chemicals stored and sued within the various Science Labs and controls thereof.
  • A review of ventilation, fume hoods and dust control equipment within the various Technology Shops and Science Labs in the schools.
  • A review of the safety meetings and instruction to students in place within the School Division or District.
  • A general review of the electrical supply and equipment including emergency stop switches, magnetic switches, power cords and outlets (overloading), extension cord use, etc.
  • Recommendations regarding how to improve compliance with current codes, provincial standards, CSA standards, NFPA standards, and other relevant regulations.


The Bottom Line on Shops and Science Lab Safety

Shops and science labs are known to be full of danger. It’s important to ensure these areas are as safe as possible. Your Suncorp Shop & Science Lab Safety Survey will provide you with reliable data and recommendations regarding the safety of your operation from our qualified and trained experts. With these tools you can ensure that your shop & science labs will run more efficiently, and will be safer for students and teachers as well. Call Suncorp today to learn more about our Shop & Science Lab Safety survey.



Inspection Tip: Fire Safety Plans

Learning Objective: Understanding the requirements of a Fire Safety Plan

In simple terms, a Fire Safety Plan involves the sounding of a fire alarm, the notification of the fire department and instructing occupants on how to exit the building safely. The requirements & recommended practices for the development and maintaining of Fire Safety Plans in buildings are found in the various National and Provincial Fire Codes. A building owner and/or agent is responsible to develop and implement the provisions of a Fire Safety Plan and should include specific information on the building and its contents.

Fire Safety Plans – Design

  1. A full risk assessment should be provided for each building to determine the potential risk exposures and/or emergency situations.
  2. The Fire Safety Plan for a building must itemize all fire protection equipment, emergency lights, shut-offs, evacuation routes, etc. in place at each facility.
  3. The building safety or management committee should be involved to assist with the design and implementation of an emergency fire safety response plan.
  4. The Fire Safety Plan should be designed based on the requirements of the local Fire Department and may require to be approved by them once complete.
  5. The Fire Safety Plan should be reviewed on a regular scheduled basis.
  6. Documented practices/drills should be completed as required by the Fire Code.
  7. A de-brief discussion should take place with all involved after a practice or drill to answer any questions or make any changes if required.

Fire Safety Plan – Performance Objectives

  1. The Fire Safety Plan should include documented/practiced procedures to follow in the event of a fire emergency.
  2. The Fire Safety Plan development & implementation should account for all local emergency services including fire, police, ambulance, municipal, utilities (gas, power & water), etc.
  3. Keep up-to-date on all Code, Standards and Regulation changes.
  4. Update changes to the Fire Safety Plan as required.

For additional information, contact: Doug Taylor, CRM, CCPI, Managing Director, Risk Management Group or 1-800-764-4454

About Suncorp Valuations

Suncorp Valuations is a leading provider of independent valuation, appraisal, and advisory services. Suncorp’s valuations and appraisals have been relied upon by leading insurance companies, public and private companies, property owners and managers, tax authorities, accounting bodies, courts, municipalities and financial institutions from all over the world.

Our valuation and appraisal staff consist of professionals that are highly accredited in the fields of engineering, real estate and equipment appraisal, business valuation, risk management and loss control. Our multi-disciplinary, multi-regional and multilingual staff take an interactive team approach and have been involved in some of the most complex valuation assignments across the globe.

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