Blog

Insights and updates from Safety Partners

March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month

Prevent Blindness, the nation’s first eye health and vision care nonprofit organization, has declared March as Workplace Eye Wellness Month.

Because one of the many negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is the increase in screen time for many remote workers, Prevent Blindness is raising awareness of digital eye strain and providing tips on ways to decrease the effects of increased screen time. Prevent Blindness also recently launched its Take a Screen Time Out awareness campaign.

Symptoms of digital eye strain also referred to as computer vision syndrome, include tired, burning, or itching eyes, sore dry eyes, difficulty focusing, and headaches. To help reduce the effects of increased screen time, Prevent Blindness recommends:

  • Placing computer screens an arms distance (~25 to 26 inches) away from your eyes and a little bit below eye level
  • Using a document holder placed next to the computer screen (it should be close enough so you don’t have to […]

March Events in Biotech

We’re excited to share these upcoming events in March. We hope to see you (virtually) at one of these events:

Upcoming MassBio Events
Upcoming WEST Webinars

A Mouse and a Needlestick

“A Mouse and a Needlestick” featured in Incidents, Accidents, and Near Misses in Laboratory Research, Volume 3, tells a real-life story about what can happen when safety procedures aren’t followed in animal care facilities. Read on to learn what happens:

I had just started a new job in an Animal Care Facility at an academic research lab in the heart of Kendall Square. I had three years of lab experience. I was confident in my new role and new procedures. I learned the hard way that I was overconfident.

A New Procedure

During my first month of on-the-job training, I learned how to do intraperitoneal (IP) injections into the body cavities of mice. We were working with a blank carrier and with a pretty potent chemical that basically stimulates the blood stem cells to evacuate the bone marrow. We did this to collect bone cells.

I’d done the IP Injection three or four times with no problems. So, […]

OSHA Issues Proposed Rule to Update the Hazard Communication Standard

On February 16, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) to amend the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). The current HCS was last updated in 2012 to align the standard with the third revision of the United Nations (UN) Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The proposed changes are to update the HCS to align it with the seventh revised edition of the GHS.

Highlights of the proposed changes include:

Definitions

  • Updates to three existing definitions (exposure/exposed, hazardous chemical, physical hazard)
  • Addition of eight new definitions (bulk shipment, combustible dust, gas, liquid, solid, immediate outer package, physician or other licensed health-care professional (PLHCP), and released for shipment)

Hazard Classification

  • Clarification that the hazard classification has to consider both normal considerations of use and foreseeable emergencies
  • Additional requirements that the hazard classification must include any hazards associated with a change in the chemical’s physical form or […]

Are You Ready for the March 1st Tier II Reporting Deadline?

Section 312 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) describes reporting requirements for facilities that possess chemicals above established reporting thresholds. For those facilities subject to reporting, submission of a Tier II Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Form to the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), and local Fire Department is required by March 1st of every year for the previous calendar year.

These reporting requirements allow state and local emergency response and planning committees to be aware of the hazardous materials present within their communities and to prepare for emergency responses.

Which facilities have to report?

Facilities storing a hazardous chemical that is an Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHS) in an amount equal to or greater than 500 pounds or above the Threshold Planning Quantity (TPQ), whichever is lower, are required to submit Tier II reports. EHS and TPQs can be found in 40 CFR part 355 Appendix B and the EPA’s […]

February Events in Biotech

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

Upcoming MassBio Events

Upcoming WEST Webinars
Upcoming BisNow Webinars
February 5th, 2021|Categories: Events|Tags: |

Webinar Recording of Moving Up, Moving Out: A NYC Primer + Best Practices

 

On January 28th, Safety Partners, East Egg Project Management, Newmark, Perkins & Will, and First Republic Bank discussed the NYC landscape for R&D companies considering moving and/or expanding into new space, either from an incubator, sub-leased, or currently leased space.

Check out this recording to learn about the essential elements needed along the journey to Day-One operations in that new space.

Webinar agenda:

Opening Remarks by Nishta Rao, Managing Director – Life Science, First Republic Bank

Panel Discussion with:

  • Yasmeen Ahmed Pattie, Principal, East Egg Project Management
  • Bill Harvey, Managing Director, Newmark
  • Matthew Malone, Associate Principal, Science & Technology Practice Leader, Perkins & Will
  • Rae Moore, Quality, Research, and Training Specialist, Safety Partners

From Ph.D. to Safety: Brown BioCon Recap

This past October, Safety Partners had the opportunity to speak at Brown University’s BioCon Seminar.

The BioCon Seminar series is focused on bringing in speakers, with higher degrees in the life sciences, to speak with post-docs, graduate students, and med students about diverse career paths outside of academia.

Each seminar features speakers that discuss their career path, their day-to-day work, and their advice for students and post-docs. This session featured two Safety Partners’ speakers, Dina Lloyd, Consulting Safety Officer (CSO), and Dana Zafiropoulos, Quality, Research, and Training (QRT) Specialist.

Dina graduated from Tufts’ Ph.D. program and Dana graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill’s Ph.D. program before joining Safety Partners. Since both Dina and Dana have successfully made this career transition from academia to environmental, health, and safety (EHS), they shared their experience with Brown students and post-docs and answered questions.

The discussion focused on how to find a career outside of academia and what careers in EHS look like, including […]

OSHA Violations and the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard

Did you know that the most frequent cause of OSHA violations related to the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard is outdated, or otherwise non-compliant, Exposure Control Plans?

It is generally known in the biotech community that Exposure Control Plans are required to be in place for any facility working with blood or other potentially infectious material (OPIM). What is often overlooked is that there is a specific regulatory requirement to update the Plan.

The Bloodborne Pathogens Standard (in section 1910.1030(c)(1)(iv) ) specifies that the Exposure Control Plan must be reviewed and updated at least annually and whenever necessary to include new or modified tasks and procedures which affect occupational exposure and to address new or revised employee positions with occupational exposure.

The review and update of the Exposure Control Plan must also reflect changes in technology that eliminate or reduce exposure to bloodborne pathogens and document annually consideration and implementation of appropriate commercially available and effective safer medical […]

January Events in Biotech

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

1/20/2021 Deciphering Lab Space Codes: What You Need to Know in NYC featuring Rae Moore, Quality Research and Training Specialist, Safety Partners, Inc 

1/28/2021 Moving Up, Moving Out: A NYC Primer + Best Practices featuring Rae Moore, Quality Research and Training Specialist, Safety Partners, Inc 

Upcoming BisNow Webinars
Upcoming MassBio Events
Upcoming WEST Webinars
January 19th, 2021|Categories: Events|Tags: |