Environmental Health & Safety (EHS)

June Events in Biotech

We’re excited to share these upcoming events in June. We hope to see you at one of these events:

HubCures Series

Upcoming MassBio Events

Upcoming WEST Webinars
Upcoming NSTC Events

Risk Groups and Biosafety Levels: Understanding the Differences

It’s often assumed that a biological agent’s risk group (RG) and the biosafety level at which it should be handled are synonymous, when in fact this is not always the case. In addition to an agent’s risk group, there are many other factors to consider when designating a biosafety level for a biological agent.

Risk group describes the relative risk to the individual and the environment by the organism. There are four risk group classifications described in the NIH Guidelines and in the World Health Organization’s Laboratory Biosafety Manual:

  • Risk Group 1 agents are not associated with disease in healthy adults
  • Risk Group 2 agents are associated with human disease that is rarely serious and for which preventative or therapeutic interventions are often available
  • Risk Group 3 agents are associated with serious or lethal human disease for which preventative or therapeutic interventions may be available
  • Risk Group 4 agents are likely to […]

May is National Electrical Safety Month

May is National Electrical Safety Month! This annual campaign is sponsored by the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) to provide education and awareness about the steps that can be taken in order to reduce the number of electrically related fires, fatalities, injuries, and property loss. This is a great time to raise awareness about electrical hazards in your workplace.

In laboratories, in particular, there can be an elevated risk of electrical fires and electrical shock due to the many types of electrical equipment used including vacuum pumps, electrophoresis devices, hot plates, heating mantles, centrifuges, UV lamps, refrigerators, and freezers. This equipment can pose a significant electrical hazard if not properly used and maintained.

Laboratory employees should be trained on the risks associated with electrically energized equipment including the importance of adhering to the following practices:

  • Inspect equipment cords before each use; replace any frayed or damaged cords immediately
  • Use only equipment with three prongs (ground […]

Returning to Work – We’ve Been Here the Whole Time!

In this new quarterly blog series, our President and COO, Jennifer Reilly, will share her insights and updates in the life sciences industry from a safety perspective. In this quarter’s blog, gain insight into how Safety Partners managed through a pandemic and what you can learn from our experience as you start to return to work:

A couple of weeks ago there were several key updates related to lifting many COVID-19 restrictions in MA.  Last week we were able to remove face coverings when outside in public when we can socially distance.

More recreation opportunities will be possible with the opening of amusement, theme, and water parks at 50% capacity along with road races and other outdoor athletic events.  Although there will still be some approved health and safety protocols in place, it is exciting to continue to move toward returning and reopening what looks like what will be our “new normal” by August.

Many articles and […]

May Events in Biotech

We’re excited to share these upcoming events in May. We hope to see you at one of these events:

Hub Cures Series

Upcoming Safety Partners Events
Upcoming MassBio Events

National Work Zone Awareness Week 2021

This year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is taking place April 26-30.  The theme is Drive Safe. Work Safe. Save Lives

NWZAW is a nation-wide event sponsored by partnerships between state departments of transportation (DOT), national road safety organizations, government agencies, private companies, and individuals.

Work zones play a critical role in maintaining and upgrading our nation’s roadways. They separate construction and maintenance activities from traffic, providing a safe route for all road users (motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists) and a safe area for workers. However, as seen from National Highway Administration (FHWA) data, work zone-related changes in traffic patterns and rights of way, combined with the presence of workers, and the frequent movement of work vehicles results in an increased incidence of crashes, injuries, and fatalities.

What are the goals of NWZAW?

This annual spring campaign encourages safe driving through roadway work zones. The goals of NWZAW include:

  • Highlighting the deadly dangers of inattention at roadway […]

Earth Day is April 22: Your Company’s Environmental Impact

Earth Day is April 22! Do you have anything planned? It is a great time for employee engagement and there are many activities that can be organized such as a volunteer day for picking up trash in the community, scheduling learning sessions on environmentally friendly practices like composting, holding a company-wide donation or fundraising event, or maybe even holding a contest or game about recycling.

Long term though, it is also a good time to look at your company’s environmental impact and think of ways to minimize that impact. This will not only help the environment but will also increase employee morale and reduce company costs!

Where can you start?

A good starting point is to look at your current practices and to start small. Here are some ideas to get you started, that we’ve implemented at Safety Partners.

  • Engage your employees

Talk to employees and co-workers. They may already have lots of great ideas that they have […]

World Day for Safety and Health at Work

World Day for Safety and Health at Work (World Day) will take place on April 28, 2021. The International Labour Organization (ILO) began observing World Day in 2003 to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally.

World Day is an awareness-raising campaign intended to focus international attention on the magnitude of work-related injuries, diseases, and fatalities worldwide and to highlight the importance of creating and promoting a strong occupational safety and health culture in the workplace.

What is the magnitude of the problem?

  • The ILO estimates that there are 2.3 million fatalities worldwide each year from work-related accidents or diseases; this corresponds to over 6000 deaths every day.
  • Diseases related to workplace exposures cause the most deaths among workers; hazardous substances alone are estimated to cause over 650,000 deaths a year.
  • Worldwide, there are an estimated 340 million occupational accidents and 160 million workers who develop work-related illnesses annually.

What is the focus of […]

April Events in Biotech

We’re excited to share these upcoming events in April. We hope to see you (virtually) at one of these events:

Upcoming MassBio Events
Upcoming WEST Webinars
Upcoming NSTC Events
  • April 1, 2021 – 

OSHA Launches a COVID-19 National Emphasis Program

On March 12, 2021, OSHA announced that it has launched a National Emphasis Program (NEP) focusing enforcement efforts at companies where there is the largest number of workers at serious risk of contracting COVID-19. The program also prioritizes employers that retaliate against workers for complaints about unsafe or unhealthy conditions, or for exercising other rights protected by federal law.


Why was the NEP Established and What is its Goal?

The NEP is in response to the January 21, 2021 Presidential Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety, which directs OSHA to focus its enforcement efforts related to COVID-19 on violations that put the largest number of workers at increased risk for acquiring COVID-19 in the workplace, and on employers that engage in retaliation against employees who complain about unsafe or unhealthful conditions related to SARS-CoV-2 exposure.

Per the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Jim Frederick, “This program seeks to substantially […]