Insights and updates from Safety Partners

Have You Conducted Refresher Safety Training in 2020?

It’s not too late to conduct your annual refresher safety training! With all the COVID 19-related changes that everyone has had to make in the workplace this year, it’s easy to see how this requirement could slip through the cracks.

In light of the pandemic, OSHA is making some allowances for lapses in annual training requirements such as for companies that were required to close for a period of time.

That said, OSHA is requiring that companies demonstrate that they have made a good faith effort to comply with annual training requirements including the use of virtual training options and other means of remote communication. The use of virtual training has been a great option for many companies and has even proven to make annual refresher training easier to schedule!

Which OSHA standards specifically require refresher training?

  • The OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030) requires that annual training be provided within one year (i.e., 12 months) […]

December Events in Biotech

We’re excited to attend these events in December! We hope to see you (virtually) at one of these events:

Upcoming MassBio Events
Upcoming WEST Webinars

The 6th Edition of the BMBL Has Been Published!

In a November 17th, 2020 Lab Advisory, the CDC announced the release of the 6th Edition of Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL)! The BMBL has become the foundation of biosafety practice since it was first published in 1984. Historically, the information in this publication has been advisory in nature although some legislation and regulations, in particular local recombinant DNA ordinances, have made compliance with the guidance provided mandatory. The previous version of the BMBL (5th Edition) was published in December 2009.

So what’s different about the 6th Edition? The updated BMBL is more detailed in many sections and has increased in length by ~160 pages! For example, the section describing Standard Microbiological Practices (Section IV) for BL1 and BL2 labs now includes a detailed description of content requirements for a written Biosafety Manual.

In addition, there is a new requirement that long hair be restrained so that it cannot contact hands, specimens, containers, or […]

Boston Lab Space Expands to the Suburbs

Over the last few years in Boston, we’ve seen an increasing trend of limited lab space in the city and more companies moving out to the suburbs – COVID-19 has only sped up this process.

This trend is partly due to the health crisis exacerbating shortages in the already tight Boston market, particularly in Cambridge (the epicenter of the state’s life sciences industry), and companies seeking lower rents found in the suburbs.

In this post, we’ll share what experts have been seeing with this phenomenon and what benefits they see in having lab and office space in the suburbs vs. Cambridge/Boston.

This past August, Safety Partners hosted a webinar with a group of partners representing architects, construction management, project management, and real estate brokers called a Primer on Moving Out, where we gave an overview of the keys to a successful lab relocation.  Understanding the markets is an important factor to consider.

In September, we had the opportunity to […]

November Events in the Biotech Space

We’re excited to attend these events in November! We hope to see you (virtually) at one of these events:

Upcoming MassBio Events

Upcoming WEST Webinars
Upcoming BisNow Event
November 11th, 2020|Categories: Events|Tags: |

Happy Veterans Day: Featuring tCSO Ryan Burke

Ryan Burke, tCSO at Safety Partners, is also part of the New Hampshire Marine Corps and currently on reserve. Note, as part of Safety Partners policies, we allow any employee to take a leave of absence from work to serve in the United States uniformed services – including active or inactive military duty for training, National Guard duty or training, and Armed Forces Reserve duty.

To observe Veterans Day, Emily Smith, our Digital Marketing Manager, recently interviewed Ryan about his experience in the Marine Corps. Learn more about Ryan’s experience below!

Where were you living when you were serving in the military?

We bounced all around. We started off in Massachusetts, then went to Virginia. Then we went to California. And then after a few months there, that’s when we shipped out to Japan, Korea, and the Philippines.

How long was your time there?

I think in total time overseas, it was a little over eight months. In total […]

The Bloodborne Pathogens Standard and the Needlestick Safety & Prevention Act: Not Just for OSHA Compliance

Often companies seek to check off all of the regulatory boxes so non-compliance doesn’t interfere with their work and timelines. While this may be reasonable, regulations can be general and do not always achieve safety standards that appropriately address workplace hazards.

The OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard went into effect in 1991 and was updated in 2001 to incorporate the requirements of The Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act.

This Standard is an example of a sweeping and effective regulation that has significantly reduced the risk of occupational transmission of bloodborne viruses.

In this post, we’re going to focus on the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act and the changes that have been made to reduce sharps injuries. The Act itself is only four pages and lays out the problem (occupational exposure to contaminated sharps), the empirical evidence for the need to resolve it, and specifies the requirements related to sharps with engineered sharps injury protections that were added to […]

Coronavirus Regulatory Enforcement- Are You Ready?

In an October 23rd news release, OSHA announced that since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic through October 15th, they have cited 112 establishments for violations related to Coronavirus, resulting in proposed penalties totaling $1,603,544. Approximately half of these violations occurred in the month of October!

Coronavirus-related violations cited by OSHA have included failures to:

  • Comply with the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard including not implementing a written program, and not providing medical evaluation, fit testing, and training
  • Record injuries or illnesses on OSHA recordkeeping forms
  • Report an injury, illness, or fatality
  • Comply with the General Duty Clause which states that each employer shall furnish to each of his employees, employment, and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.

Of the 112 establishments with violations, five were located in Massachusetts. These included four nursing homes […]

Featuring Beth Graham, One of Our Regular Blog Writers

In this post, we interview Beth Graham, our Associate Director of Quality, Research, and Training, who is one of our regular blog writers each week!

As we start to add more guest blogs, both from internal and external members of the company, we will spotlight our internal writers and their expertise.

Learn more about Beth, what inspires her to write, and what she does in QRT below!

What does a typical day look like for you in QRT?

I’m not sure there is a typical day! That said, most days are a combination of supporting newer consultants with their work through in-person and remote meetings and training and reviewing their client deliverables. Most days also include supporting more senior consultants often by email, phone calls, and QRT “Office Hours.”

Sometimes the support for consultants includes onsite mentoring visits at clients. A portion of my day also involves targeting and coordinating professional development for consultants. Many days also include updating […]

Guest Blog from CRB: Biologics Facility Considerations

Safety Partners welcomes the chance to share information from other companies serving the life science industry in MA and NY.

Today we’re proud to share our first guest blog, from CRB! CRB is a leading provider of sustainable engineering, architecture, construction, and consulting solutions to the global life sciences and advanced technology industries.

Moving to the Suburbs

Seems everyone is talking about how the coronavirus pandemic is contributing to an already growing life science industry in the Boston area. With this growth, life science firms and particularly those in biologics, are looking towards the suburbs both as a place to spread out and expand their operations and as a cost-saving alternative to the overheated Cambridge and Boston markets.

Good access to regional transit for talent and materials along with new suburban amenities of restaurants, retail, and hotels make this an attractive option.

Biotech companies planning operations in the suburbs can focus on some key considerations.

Start with a robust programming process that […]