Laboratory Management

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Lab Hazards, OSHA Pathogen Regulations & Laboratory Safety Management

References:
1. Linne & Ringsrud's Clinical Laboratory Science: The Basics & Routine Techniques, 6th Edition, Mary Louise Turgeons, Elsevier Inc.
2. Clinical Laboratory Safety, Susan L. Rose, J.B. Lippincott Company

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Laboratory Management

  1. 1. Laboratory Management HAZARDS IN THE WORKPLACE OSHA PATHOGEN REGULATIONS MANAGEMENT OF LABORATORY SAFETY
  2. 2. Hazards in the Workplace 1. Biological Hazards 2. Chemical Hazards 3. Electrical Hazards 4. Fire Hazards 5. Glassware Hazards
  3. 3. Hazards in the Workplace ● Chemical Hazards – Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS): ● describes hazards, safety handling, storage, and disposal of hazardous chemicals. ● designed to ensure that lab workers are fully aware of hazards associated w/ chemicals in workplace – United Nations Hazard Classification ● Closest to ideal classification system: – Standard, universally recognized hazard classification system – Readily understood everywhere & minimizes ambiguities
  4. 4. Hazards in Workplace ● U.N. Hazard Classification: 1. Explosives (ex. sodium azide) 2. Compressed Gases (ex. ethelyn [cryogenic]) 3. Flammable liquids (ex. alcohol) 4. Flammable solids (ex. magnesium) 5. Oxidizing materials (ex. nitrites) 6. Poisonous materials (ex. benzene) 7. Radioactive materials (ex. iodine) 8. Corrosive materials (ex. HCl) 9. Other (ex. mercury)
  5. 5. Hazards in the Workplace ● NFPA 704. Identification of the Hazards of Materials – Designed to be: simple, easily understood interpreted quickly in poor light adequate for emergencies – Diamond identifies the chemical hazards under: 1. health (blue) 2. flammability (red) 3. reactivity (yellow) 4. other (white) – Indicate severity of each: 0-4 scale 0: lowest degree of hazard 4: highest degree of hazard
  6. 6. Hazards in the Workplace ● Corrosives: acids/bases causing 1st , 2nd , 3rd degree burns 24 hours after contact ● Toxic Substances (Poisons): – Should always be handled under a hood – Threshold Limit Values (TLV) ● Max allowable safe-exposure limits to toxic materials – Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) ● level & duration of allowable exposures to OSHA- regulated toxic chemicals
  7. 7. Hazards in the Workplace ● Explosives: primarily defines a set of conditions, not a chemical type – All flammable chemicals must be kept away from oxidizing agents ● Oxidizers: materials that contain Oxygen available to react w/ reducing materials to yield an overall net energy release – Should be handled under a hood w/ sash lowered
  8. 8. Hazards in the Workplace ● Electric Hazards – Do not handle electrical equipment and connections w/ wet hands – Electrical equipment should not be used after liquid has been spilled on it – Any equipment used in an area where organic solvents are present must have explosion-free fittings (e.g., outlets, plugs) – OSHA requires grounding electrical equipment
  9. 9. Hazards in the Workplace ● Fire Hazards: Class A Ordinary Combustibles Class B Flammable Liquids & Gases Class C Electrical Equipment Class D Powdered metal (Combustible) Material Class E Cannot be extinguished – Use of fire extinguishers: PASS Pull Aim Squeeze Sweep
  10. 10. Hazards in the Workplace ● Glassware Hazards – Discard broken glassware in special container for broken glass – Common sense when storing glassware: ● Heavy pieces on lower shelves ● Tall pieces behind shorter ones ● Should not be stored out of reach ● Shelves should be installed at reasonable heights
  11. 11. OSHA Pathogen Regulations ● The OSHA-mandated program, Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens, became law in March 1992 ● This regulation requires that laboratories: – Develop, implement, and comply with a plan that ensure the protective safety of laboratory staff to potential infectious bloodborne pathogens – Manage and handle medical waste in a safe and effective manner
  12. 12. OSHA Pathogen Regulations ● Government regulations require: – All employees handling hazardous material and waste to be trained to use and handle these materials – Chemical hazard education sessions must be presented to new employees and conducted annually for all employees – Each laboratory required to evaluate effectiveness of its plan at least annually to update it as necessary – Written plan must be available to employees
  13. 13. OSHA Pathogen Regulations ● Written laboratory plan must include: – Purpose & Scope of plan – References – Definition of terms – Definition of Responsibilities – Detailed procedural steps to follow
  14. 14. OSHA Pathogen Regulations ● Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends safety precaution concerning the handling of all patient specimens, known as: STANDARDS PRECAUTION “All human blood and other body fluids are treated as potentially infectious for HIV, HBV, and other bloodborne microorganisms that can cause disease in humans” ● Formerly: Universal Precaution/ Universal blood & body fluid precaution ● Eliminates need for separate isolation procedures for patients known/suspected to be infectious ● Eliminates need for warning labels on specimens
  15. 15. OSHA Pathogen Regulations ● Purpose of standards for bloodborne pathogens & occupational exposure: – To provide a safe work environment ● OSHA mandates that an employer: 1. Educate & train all health care workers in Standard Precautions and preventing bloodborne infections 2. Provide proper equipment & supplies (e.g., gloves) 3. Monitor compliance w/ the protective biosafety policies
  16. 16. Management of Laboratory Safety ● The Safety Manual should: – be prepared by every laboratory & available to all employees – be tailored to circumstance of respective clinical lab. – include names, contact no.s, & responsibilities of relevant authorized persons – specify an evacuation plan – provide: vital safety & first-aid information, emergency plans, incident-/accident- reporting procedure, employee health requirements – state safety policy
  17. 17. Management of Laboratory Safety ● Management – Safety responsibility of Lab management incl. the ff: ● Establishing a safety policy ● Providing a safe workplace ● Providing facilities adequate for task required in the lab ● Complying w/ established safety & health std's ● Assessing progress of safety program ● Reviewing & acting on reports of the ff: – Safety committee – Safety officer – Accidents – Inspections
  18. 18. Management of Laboratory Safety ● Safety Officer – Has clearly defined set of duties & resp. who answers directly to pathologist – Develop safety goals; Set up & maintain a safety program acceptable to lab & hospital inspection & accrediting agencies – Develop & maintain safe working conditions – Maintain health records – Remedy unsafe conditions – Provide safety education for new & old employees – Can & should enlist help of safety committee & lab staff in pursuing these objectives
  19. 19. Management of Laboratory Safety ● Safety Officer – Act as a liaison b/w lab management & dept. heads & staff – Promote safety awareness, motivate personnel, review & inspect working conditions, uncover problems, involve all lab personnel in safety – Should attend relevant conferences & training programs & set up a safety library for staff – Should conduct informal safety inspections at regular intervals – Resp. for alerting security staff to what must be monitored when lab is unattended as well as to all other safety-related security matters
  20. 20. Management of Laboratory Safety ● Safety Committee – Composed of 5-10 members sharing work & resp. Of safety officer – Should incl. representatives of all organizational levels & depts of lab – Regular meetings (monthly) w/ minutes recorded & agenda prepared; safety officer chairs meetings – Major goal: to maintain employee interest in safety program – Coverage of meeting: safety education; review accidents, inspections, & apparent problems – Reports should be supplied to management w/ written recommendations; problems discussed & suggestions should be transmitted to lab staff
  21. 21. Management of Laboratory Safety ● Laboratory Supervisors – Responsible for training employees in general safety techniques (ex. wearing an apron, chaining compressed gas cylinders) and those specific safety matters unique to each procedure (ex. Transferring TB culture properly in a hood) – Training critical esp. w/ new employees to establish expected level of performance – When writing the standard-operating-procedures manual, safety tips must be included – Must eliminate hazardous conditions/behaviours; report on accidents; make daily effort to operate the dept. w/ a constant awareness of safe working procedures
  22. 22. Management of Laboratory Safety ● Laboratory Supervisors – Responsible for training employees in general safety techniques (ex. wearing an apron, chaining compressed gas cylinders) and those specific safety matters unique to each procedure (ex. Transferring TB culture properly in a hood) – Training critical esp. w/ new employees to establish expected level of performance – When writing the standard-operating-procedures manual, safety tips must be included – Must eliminate hazardous conditions/behaviours; report on accidents; make daily effort to operate the dept. w/ a constant awareness of safe working procedures
  23. 23. Management of Laboratory Safety ● Laboratory Staff – Employees share in responsibility for own safety & of their co-workers – All safety equipment provided must be used as appropriate to task/situation – Lab procedures must be followed w/o shortcuts/modifications – Injuries, hazards & accidents must all be reported immediately – Safety education must be an integral part of each job – Good lab management = provide & encourage training in safety
  24. 24. Management of Laboratory Safety ● Day-to-day safety, safe work performance, & knowledge of stated lab requirements lies w/n each employee ● Supervisor & chief technologist resp. for eliminating unsafe practices & conditions ● Overall lab safety resp. is shared by staff w/ safety officer (authorized to correct & report safety hazards whenever seen) ● Chief pathologist resp. for safety of ALL lab employees - must rely on & provide support to safety officer & safety committee & follow their safety recommendations to make system work as it should - can appoint & authorize staff to make situation as safe and as compliant w/ legal guidelines as possible
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