As you prepare for extended breaks during the holiday season, make sure all unattended experiments are well thought out. A full review of any experiment, process, or reaction being left unattended at your facility should be conducted.
Any time overnight reactions are necessary, control measures to safely conduct the work need to be developed and implemented. This can be accomplished by conducting a job safety analysis of the procedure and having detailed discussions with the individuals involved to fully understand the scope of the steps that will be unattended. Control measures for individuals to take prior to leaving for the day need to be agreed upon, and must be realistic to implement. If control measures are too cumbersome or the individuals feel they are unnecessary, the likelihood of compliance is slim. So make sure you involve the individuals setting the process up in all discussions so the established procedures will be followed. Developing a checklist or form with the control measures clearly laid out may also encourage compliance and serve as a reminder.
During this time of year in particular, people may be extra busy and distracted by thinking about holiday plans. Now would be a good time to remind everyone to follow established procedures and plan for overnight reactions.