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Safe and Sound Week is Rapidly Approaching

Now that the kick off of OSHA’s inaugural Safe + Sound Week is less than three weeks away, it is time to start finalizing your plans and programs for the week.  If you have not considered taking advantage of this opportunity to highlight and invigorate your EHS program, please reconsider!

Document Review of Dosimetry Reports

When establishing a radiation safety program, be sure to assign the responsibility of reviewing the dosimetry reports to one individual. Whether you are exchanging dosimeters on a quarterly basis, monthly basis, or some other frequency, a specific person needs to own the responsibility of reviewing the reports and notifying individuals of their results as necessary.

What Is Your View of the Hazards?

Have you ever asked the scientists working in the labs at your facility what they view as the highest hazards associated with their work? Do you know what their answers would be if you did ask them this question?

Review Permit and License Conditions

As EHS permits and licenses are received, amended, and renewed, be sure to review the conditions stipulated in the permit or license upon receipt. Avoid the temptation to be happy that the final document has been received, and just file it away in your central recordkeeping location.

Keep an Eye on Wastewater Discharge Volumes

If you are the holder of a Low Flow/Low Pollutant wastewater discharge permit with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), be sure to keep an eye on the average daily discharge volume.

How Do You Communicate Hazards?

What does hazard communication mean in your laboratories? Are there hazard warning signs posted everywhere, are you constantly having to remind lab employees to label their chemical bottles appropriately, or do you need to update the door signs that have not been looked at in years?

Confirm UV Shielding is Available

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is an exposure hazard in laboratories that needs to be adequately addressed. Equipment interlocks, safety shields, appropriate work practices, and personal protective equipment can prevent exposure to UV sources when used properly.

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.