17.10.2011

New educational materials on protecting workers from hazards found in laboratories

The US American Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published
new educational materials for laboratory managers on protecting their workers
from exposure to chemical, biological and physical hazards.

The new materials include the Laboratory Safety Guidance document, which
describes how electrical, fire, explosions and falls, among other hazards, can
be minimized or eliminated if employers use safety plans, worker training,
engineering controls and personal protective equipment. New laboratory safety
materials also include fact sheets that each focus on a specific hazard related
to laboratory environments. Practices and precautions to protect laboratory
personnel include safety guidance for using autoclaves, use of chemical fume
hoods, labeling and transferring chemicals, and latex exposure.

Over the past several years, there have been a number of laboratory incidents
resulting in fatalities and injuries caused by fires, explosions and equipment.
These incidents have resulted in debilitating injuries and death.

"The chemicals and equipment that laboratory workers use present a number of
serious, sometimes life-threatening hazards," said Assistant Secretary of Labor
for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels. "These educational materials
will help employers identify hazards and measures to ensure safe and healthful
conditions for their workers and promote a robust safety culture in the
workplace."

OSHA is collaborating with the National Academies on resources to help improve
the safety of laboratory workers. OSHA used the original edition of the
National Academies' Prudent Practices in the Laboratory manual, the
authoritative source on the handling of chemical hazards, as the foundation for
the agency's laboratory standard.

More info


AplusA-online.de - Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration