Chemical Safety in Academic Laboratories: An Exploratory Factor Analysis of Safe Work Practices & Facilities in a University

Mohsin Abbas, Adel M. Zakaria, Mansour A. Balkhyour, Muhammad Kashif


Academic laboratories considered as more hazardous than industry due to relaxed approach of academic management for chemical safety. This study designed to analyze the safe work practices and facilities by Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) using Varimax rotation. A designed checklist of 26 safety items administered personally in 68 academic laboratories in a Saudi university. From EFA, five factors were extracted: “Availability of laboratory safety documents (5 items, α = 0.92)”, “Maintenance of fume hood (2 items, α = 0.75)”, “Proper chemical storage (3 items, α = 0.64)”, “Proper use of fume hood for chemical handling (4 items, α = 0.62)” and “Laboratory safety labelling (2 items, α = 0.73)”. The results revealed the 5 factors model that grouped 16 safety items that may be crucial for chemical storage, fume hood, laboratory safety plans and labels in the academic laboratories. The extracted factors derived from EFA are expected to help in the development of chemical safety management in the academic laboratories. 

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