What Should My Laboratory Desk Look Like?
April 23, 2020 | Lab Workstation

What Should My Laboratory Desk Look Like?

Most people who think of desks think about a large wooden desk with pictures of kids or a spouse, with perhaps a coffee cup or a plant. However, laboratory desks or laboratory workstations are different than a regular desk would be, because of the nature of the work. If you are working in a laboratory, or you manage one, there are things you need to think about when you are designing space for a professional to work. Here are some of the items you need to consider when you are designing a workspace.

What Kind of Work Will Be Done?

Some labs have a laboratory desk that is separate from the work area, while others have laboratory workstations where all the work is done. You need to think about the kind of work that is done in the lab. The most common type of laboratories are chemical ones. Chemical labs need specialized work areas for people to experiment. If you are working with chemicals, you will need a surface that is easily cleaned and impervious to chemicals. A wood desk would not be suitable here, because chemicals can cause deterioration of the wood, or it can rot. A better surface would be stainless steel or powder coated steel, as they clean easily and are impervious to most chemicals.
You also need to consider the type of lab work someone will be doing. Will they need a storage area right by their desk? If so, you may want to consider a workstation with shelves directly above it, where equipment is easily in reach. If you have a design lab, or an engineering lab, you may not need shelving directly above the workspace.

Chemical labs often have hood vents as well, so that fumes from chemicals escape directly into a ventilated system, and do not affect the laboratory workers. If you have fume hoods, your workstation area will be smaller than other workstations because of the size of the fume hood.

When you are designing a lab, you need to consider the size of the lab, and the space each person has to work in. If you have a small, compact space for a lab, every square foot of space is important, so you’ll need to find a workstation or desk with lots of storage space.

Whether you choose a laboratory desk or a workstation, you need to find equipment that will meet the needs of the lab, and the safety requirements as well.