Who to Turn to For The Risk Assessments of Laboratories
Working in a laboratory – any type of laboratory – can be exceptionally rewarding. This is where discoveries are made, where the world is changed, and where work is done that influences our daily lives, whether in minute or grandiose ways. However, it is also an environment that poses a number of potential hazards, which could lead to inaccurate results, costly damages, and even potentially severe injuries. One way of avoiding these accidents is to have clear policies and regulations that are required for these environments. Another is to perform robust risk assessments of laboratories to help make these safer environments.
These two precautions actually go hand in hand. Risk assessments of laboratories often provide the insight to help create policies and regulations used to control the work environment and keep it safe. Approaching the assessments of laboratories is simply a process of applying logic and thorough attention to detail – cornerstones of science.
In reducing the process to its essentials, the steps taken in the assessments of laboratories can be broken down as follows:
Step 1: Identify All Potential Hazards Present in The Environment
This includes all types of hazards, including fire hazards, hazardous chemicals, possible contaminations, and more, as well as identifying the risks associated with these hazards.
Step 2: Identify Those Who Could Potentially Be Harmed, As Well As How
Considered each risk or hazard identified in step 1 and who might be exposed to it. Also determine how it is that they could be harmed and the likelihood of this happening. Using this information, rank each risk or hazard according to the level of concern, ranging from high to low.
Step 3: Develop Adequate Control Measures to Mitigate These Risks
Now that you have identified, defined, and prioritised the risks, you can start developing solutions for these scenarios. Start by listing all possible solutions for each situation and then deciding on the best option. A common approach is to consider the four Ts: Terminate, Treat, Transfer, or Tolerate. The financial impact of the solution should form part of the considerations that inform the decision.
Step 4: Record and Implement
Once the most ideal precaution, solution, or plan of action has been identified and agreed upon, it should be recorded in detail along with an implementation plan. This plan should then become policy and be implemented as agreed.
Step 5: Evaluate and Adjust as Necessary
From here, the success of the plan to mitigate the risks should be evaluated. The assessment should be reviewed with a critical eye and adjustments should be introduced where necessary.
Why Trust IOH Solutions to Conduct These Assessments of Laboratories?
This is a very important procedure that should be done by an entity that understands the environment inside out, has experience and a proven track record, and can demonstrate their strict adherence to best practice in the laboratory environment. IOH Solutions has been conducting risk assessments of laboratories for close to twenty years and is certified with the Department of Labour as an Approved Inspection Authority, with the SA Institute for Occupational Hygiene, and with the SA National Accreditation System. Contact us for more information on our services and to request a quote.