If you are conducting internal laboratory audits, how do you handle the findings?
Once internal lab audits are implemented, the appropriate approach to handling the findings needs to established. Any items identified as needing attention during internal lab audits should be followed up on in a timely fashion, and corrective actions should be noted. Regulatory compliance deficiencies and deficiencies that have the potential to lead to an incident or accident should be addressed immediately. It is equally as important to provide positive feedback on the compliant lab areas so employees are aware that their attention to safety is appreciated and noticed. Any procedures, work practices, or set ups that are noted as being particularly successful may be implemented in other lab areas.
If the same issues are observed audit after audit, a different approach to the corrective action may be needed to achieve compliance. Every lab is different so procedures and practices need to be adapted and modified to be appropriate for the specific lab needs.
Having a system in place to identify deficiencies and achievements in lab safety will make everyone safer. Hazardous situations need to be addressed to prevent the occurrence of incidents, accidents, or near misses. Compliant and safe labs should be praised and exemplified to promote a safe work environment.