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Evaluate Safer Sharps

When was the last time the use of safer sharps was evaluated at your facility? The use of sharps should be reviewed on a regular basis, from razor blades used to open boxes in the shipping and receiving area to sharps being utilized with hazardous materials.

Conduct Controlled Substance Inventories

Be sure to conduct inventories of your controlled substances in accordance with regulatory requirements. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health Drug Control Program issues Massachusetts Controlled Substance Registrations, and the Drug Enforcement Administration issues federally regulated controlled substance registrations allowing for the storage and use of regulated controlled substances.

Remind Employees About Self-Identifying

The fifth edition of Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) states that personal health status may impact an individual’s susceptibility to infection, ability to receive immunizations or prophylactic interventions. This statement is included even in biosafety level 1 laboratories, so be sure to address this for all biological laboratories.

OSHA Announces Safe + Sound Week

June may seem like a long way away, especially with the impending snow storm headed our way, but it will be here before you know it! OSHA along with NSC, AIHA, ASSE and NIOSH, has announced that June 12-18, 2017 is Safe + Sound Week.

Evaluate Noise Levels

With the release of the NIOSH Sound Level Meter mobile application, noise levels may become a hot topic at your facility. Increased awareness around noise levels and hearing protection is an important aspect to any EHS program.

Mandatory Respirator Program Implementation

When implementing a mandatory respirator program, be sure to adhere to the applicable stipulations in OSHA’s Respirator Standard, 29 CFR 1910.134.  Requiring the use of respirators can be driven by several factors, including a company deciding to require the use of respirators even when exposure levels are below permissible exposure limits.

Are Your Door Signs Effective?

In the event of a hazardous material spill at your facility, are door signs used to notify individuals of the spill situation? Or do you use caution tape, cones, or some other physical barrier to prevent unauthorized entry into the hazardous material spill area?

Consider Cell Phone Distractions

On a day like today when people are making last minute dinner plans, the use of cell phones and people’s desire to be constantly connected to their phone may be exemplified. In addition to the possibility of cell phones being fomites when allowed in laboratories, the distraction factor is also a concern.

How Many Risk Assessments Have You Conducted?

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?

Universal Waste Management

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP) regulates Universal Waste, which includes hazardous batteries, mercury containing devices such as thermometers, mercury containing lamps, and pesticides. Be sure that your facility is properly collecting, storing, and disposing of universal waste streams.

Evaluate Available Gloves

As of January 18, 2017, the FDA has banned powdered surgeon’s gloves, powdered examination gloves, and absorbable powder for lubricating a surgeon’s gloves. Manufacturers of powered gloves have been sending notices to customers to advise them of the ban and request that any banned products currently available in the workplace be disposed of.