If you were to think back about this past year and how many risk assessments you conducted, what do you think the number would be? Do you have a plan in place to ensure that a thorough risk assessment is conducted prior to new biological agents being introduced into the laboratory?
Whether the answer is one, two, or a hundred, the number should reflect the changes to the biosafety program throughout the year. The BMBL recommends that the two broad categories to consider when conducting a risk assessment are agent hazards and laboratory procedure hazards. So as the agents in use change or the procedures change, risk assessments should be used as the tool to update procedures and work practices being followed. It is ideal to have a notification process in place so that new biological agents are not brought into the laboratories without a risk assessment being conducted.
If you do not have processes established to initiate risk assessments, please consider establishing a system that will work for the personnel at your facility.