Laboratory Safety Awareness for Non-laboratory Personnel
Outline • Laboratory Hazards • Chemical • Biological • Radiological • Physical • Personal Protective Equipment • Emergency Procedures • Special Procedures
How Chemicals Enter the Body There Are Three Routes of Entry: • Ingestion – swallowing the chemical • Inhalation – breathing in the chemical • Absorption – the chemical soaks through the skin
Chemical Hazards • Chemicals are the most common and significant health hazards • Chemicals can be hazardous for numerous reasons and can combine with other chemicals to make new hazards. Hazard Type Common Related Task
The degree of hazard associated with a particular chemical will depend on: 1. Its physical properties 2. Its toxicity 3. The way it is used and the environment in which it is encountered.
Biological Hazards • Sources of biological hazards include bacteria, viruses, insects, plants, birds, animals, and humans. • These sources can cause a variety of health effects ranging from skin irritation and allergies to infections, cancer and so on.
Prevention of biological hazards at work: • Wear the appropriate PPE • Look for information about the biological hazards that may be present in the workplace. • Make sure you receive all the information relevant to your tasks. • Identify the sources of biological agents present in the workplaces. • Set priorities for action according to the magnitude of the risk, numbers affected, etc. Prevention should follow a hierarchy of measures: Avoid risks
3 Rules to Reduce Exposure • Time • Reduce time in areas containing radioactive materials. • Distance • Keep your distance from radioactive materials- exposure drops very quickly. • Shielding • Use proper shielding to reduce exposure if shielding is necessary. • Contamination Control • PPE • Surveys
Radiation 101 • There are two ways that an individual can be exposed to radiation • Internal exposure • By mouth, nose, eyes, or any open cut • Main concern with alpha and low energy beta • External exposure • Energy is passed through the body and/or absorbed by tissues • Main concern with high energy beta, gamma, and neutron radiation
Routes of Radiation Exposure • Internal • (alpha, low energy beta) • Inhalation • Ingestion • Injection (wound) • Absorbtion External (high energy beta, gamma, neutron)
Minimizing Personal Hazards • Observe and obey all radiation signs • Do not empty radioactive trash • Do not utilize or service radioactive labeled equipment without authorization from REM radiation staff (see updated “Clean Sheet” on REM’s Forms webpage) • Note that if equipment comes from a radioactive material use lab but does NOT have a radioactive label, then there is no need to have the radiation safety staff perform a survey on that piece of equipment.
Common Signs- Door Sticker On laboratories authorized for radioactive materials. Lists what common practices allowed in lab (eating, drinking, etc.)
Common Signs- Hood/Refrigerator Label On hoods, refrigerators, freezers, other large lab equipment
Common Signs- Radioactive Waste Label On waste bags, areas, liquid containers, drums, and buckets.
Common Signs- Item Label For beakers, small containers, laboratory equipment, etc.
Emergency Procedures • In case of emergency or spill in the area • Call campus police/fire (i.e. 911) if there is a fire or serious accident in the lab. • Call REM Rad Staff to let them know of the accident involving radioactive material. • If there is anything unusual in laboratory that could possibly be a hazard, report to REM Rad Staff. • Puddles of water around radioactive waste, liquids leaking from radioactive refrigerators, waste spilling out of hoods or containers, etc.
Overview • Radioactive material must be secured. • Only authorized individuals should have access to the radioactive material. • Material or waste with radiation labels should never be handled by non-authorized individuals. • Notify lab director of any work that will be done in lab before starting. • Radioactive waste must be segregated from hazardous waste, biological waste, etc. • If a pickup is requested for non-radioactive waste, and radioactive materials are stored in same location - REM Rad Staff must perform a survey of the waste prior to pickup.
Physical Hazards • Wet floors • Electrical hazards • Burns • Back injuries • Trip hazards • UV lights (sunburns) • Others…
Physical Hazards • The most common types of physical hazards are: • Fire • Explosion • Chemical Reactivity • Physical hazards are defined as those type of hazards that can cause harm to a worker from an external source. • Other physical hazards include, but are not limited to, slips and falls, exposed machinery because of improper guarding, live electrical circuits or conductors, equipment moving about on site, confined spaces, and falling objects.
Electrical hazards • Some electrical units can cause electric shock and fire hazards • Physical harm from shock or burns • Danger from fire due to heat and sparks produced.
Other Hazards Cryogenic materials hazards Compressed Gases Danger of fire Explosion Asphyxiation Mechanical Injury Preventive measures: Observe proper labeling and storage condition. Follow correct handling & transport of tanks. • Fire or explosion • Asphyxiation • Pressure buildup • Embrittlement of materials • Tissue damage Preventive measures: • Use of appropriate gloves and all the PPE associated. • Appropiated storage in well-insulated containers.
Safe work practices • Wash your hands after performing any task, after removing gloves, and always before eating (eating and drinking away from the workplace). • Avoid hand-mouth and hand-eye contact, protecting wounds.
Universal Precautions: 1. Treat all laboratory specimen/substance as infectious/dangerous. 2. Use a protective barrier: • These barriers consist of: 1. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 2. Work Practice Controls
What is personal protectiveequipment PPE? • It is designed to protect employees from serious workplace injuries or illnesses resulting from contact with workplace hazards. • The employer must assess the workplace and determine what hazards may necessitate the use of PPE before assigning PPE to workers.
What is Included? • Head, hard hats • Eye, safety glasses and goggles • Face, face shields • Hearing, earplugs, earmuffs • Respiratory Protection • Hands, gloves • Foot, safety shoes • Clothing, vest
Eye and Face Protection • Safety Glasses: Primary protectors intended to shield the eyes from a variety of impact hazards • Goggles: Primary protectors intended to shield the eyes against flying fragments, objects, large chips, and particles. • Face Shields: Secondary protectors intended to protect the entire face against exposure to impact hazards
Some Rules for Glove Use • Select gloves which are resistant to the chemicals you may be exposed to. • Check gloves (even new ones) for physical damage • Wash the external surface of the gloves frequently with water. • Some gloves, especially lightweight disposables, may be flammable. • Avoid the contaminated exterior contacting the skin. • Dispose of contaminated gloves properly. • Do not attempt to re-use disposable gloves. • Never wear possibly contaminated gloves outside of the laboratory or to handle telephones, computer keyboards, etc.
Personal Contamination • Flush contaminated area with water • Remove contaminated clothing • Rinse with water for 15 minutes • Seek medical attention if irritation persists
Chemical in the Eye(s) • Flush eyeballs and inner eyelids • Forcibly hold eyes open • Irrigate for at least 15 minutes • Seek medical attention immediately
Safety showers and eye washes yearly. The location of each safety shower and eye wash should be clearly posted. The area around showers and eye washes must be left unobstructed. Laboratory personnel should inspect eyewashes weekly.
Spills and releases • Spills and releases of hazardous materials, exposure to hazardous materials, or incidents involving fire or explosion.
Accident Documentation and Investigation Any accidents involving personal injures, even minor ones, should be reported immediately to a supervisor. First report of injury: • Information of the employer and the injured person • Time and place • Cause • Nature of the injury
Special Procedures and Safety Guidelines Maintenance
Employee’s Responsibilities: • Be familiar and comply with the established laboratory work safety methods. • Give prompt notification of unsafe conditions or practices to the immediate supervisor. • Engage in the conduct of safe work practices and use of personal protective equipment PPE. COMMUNICATION IS THE KEY Workplace Safety is a Shared Responsibility
Fume Hood Tasks Finding source of a problem Repairing Replacing ductwork Running ductwork for new hoods Repairs from explosions Sash repair or replacement Retro fitting controls • Fan: blades, motor, housing • Electrical: lights, alarm, controls, circuits • Plumbing: water, sinks, gas, vacuum • Repairs from fire
Fume Hood Hazards Types Exposure Physical characteristics of chemicals Routes of entry: respirable, oral, skin Amount Time • Chemical • carcinogens • radioactive isotopes • sensitizers • explosives • flammables • toxins • Physical • Biological