Insights and updates from Safety Partners

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 […]

Election Day 2020 Resources!

With the upcoming election on November 3rd, we provided #TeamSP with all the resources needed to vote! Here’s what we shared so you can vote too.

Having a plan is the best way to ensure you make your voice heard this election. This year, there are more ways to vote in Massachusetts than ever before. Every voter can choose to vote:

  • By mail
  • In-person, at an early voting site
  • On Election Day, in person at your polling place

Registering to Vote:

  • You can register to vote by Saturday, October 24, 2020. You now have until 10 days before the election to register to vote, due to an extension of the date from COVID-19.
  • You can now register online. If you have a valid driver’s license, learner’s permit, or non-driver ID issued through the Massachusetts RMV you […]

Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire!

dumpster on fire

According to a report published by the NFPA in 2019, smoking was the leading cause of home fire deaths for the five year period reviewed.

Smoking can also result in serious fires in the workplace, often the result of improperly discarded cigarettes.

Fire Prevention Week (FPW) (and throughout October’s Fire Prevention Month), is a great time to remind employees about your workplace smoking policy, including the importance of using designated smoking areas located a safe distance from the building (and using them even during the colder months!).

“A Dumpster Story” featured in Incidents, Accidents, and Near Misses in Laboratory Research, Volume 2, tells a real-life story about what can happen when No Smoking rules aren’t followed! Read on to learn what happens:

I’m pretty much screwed. I sat there in the construction trailer. I didn’t have to guess what was about to happen.

“Marcellus. […]

October 4th – 10th is Fire Prevention Week!

This year’s Fire Prevention Week (FPW) campaign theme is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!™”.
The goal is to educate everyone about the simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves, and those around them, safe in the kitchen.
An FPW toolkit is available that has everything you need to promote the campaign at your organization, from safety tips sheets to printable activities, logos, and more!
Did you know that cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries? […]

October Events in the Biotech Space

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

Career Fair
Upcoming MassBio Events

Selecting the Right Enclosure for Your Laboratory

Vented or ductless enclosures are some of the most important tools in the laboratory for controlling exposure.

In this article, we’re going to teach you how to select the right enclosure for your laboratory, using expertise from our consulting safety officers.

Selecting the appropriate enclosure for the work being conducted is extremely important for employee safety and is a task that requires more review and assessment than one might initially think.

There are many types of enclosures available, including ventilated balance enclosures (VBEs), glove boxes, downdraft tables, and ductless fume hoods.

First and foremost, you must take into consideration the hazards of the material being used.

  • Is it a potent compound?
  • Is it an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API)?
  • Maybe it’s simply a particularly hazardous stock chemical?

The first step in the selection process is to review the safety data sheets (SDS) or other safety information documents available for the material being used to determine the hazards involved.

Vendors can also […]