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Laboratory Risk Management Professor Michael Gillings Department of Biological Sciences Macquarie University, NSW 2109

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Presentation on theme: "Laboratory Risk Management Professor Michael Gillings Department of Biological Sciences Macquarie University, NSW 2109"— Presentation transcript:

1 Laboratory Risk Management Professor Michael Gillings Department of Biological Sciences Macquarie University, NSW 2109

2 My personal safety priorities 1. People 2. Samples 3. Equipment and infrastructure Safety is about understanding the risks, not about blindly following safety instructions

3 Risks to People Chemical Radiation Infectious Physical

4 Chemical Safety Chemical handling and disposal conforms with the most up to date regulations

5 Chemical risk management KnowledgeLaboratory induction, supervision MSDS documentation Chemical labeling ExposureProtective clothing Fume hoods Safety showers / eyewash DisposalSegregated waste streams Area of concernResponse Treat every compound as if it were poisonous

6 Long Term: Reduce and Replace Large volume phenol/chloroform DNA extractions Replace with small volume non-solvent kits DNA staining with ethidium bromide Replace with non-carcinogenic stains

7 Radiation Safety Radiation hazards are dealt with by induction, radiation safety officers and specialized containment

8 Radiation risk management Area of concernResponse Ultraviolet lightDedicated space / safety visors MicrowavesMicrowave testing RadioisotopesDedicated radiation suite Licensing / Radiation safety officer Radiation training / exposure badges Protective shields and clothing

9 Long Term: Reduce and Replace Significant decline in the use of radioactive materials. Replacement with non-isotopic labeling systems and detection methods.

10 Microbiological Safety Staff and students are trained in microbiological procedures, and governed by regulations on biosafety and quarantine

11 Risks with infectious agents Area of concernResponse Pathogenic organismsBiosafety approval / blood & tissuesGood microbiological practice Protective clothing Class II cabinets Zoonotic diseasesBiosafety approval Animal ethics approval SOPs for animal work

12 Physical containment Area of concernResponse Quarantinable specimensDedicated PC2 / quarantine lab Genetically modified organismsBiosafety induction & permits OGTR inspection & certification Physical containment laboratories PC2 operating rules / disposal

13 Physical risk management Laboratories conform to strict building codes (fire ratings, ventilation, emergency stops etc)

14 Physical risk management Area of concernResponse Trips and fallsNon-slip flooring, good housekeeping Needle stick injuryDedicated sharps and glass disposal ElectricalResidual current devices, Tagg testing Unanticipated risksRapid response and risk abatement

15 Sample management Samples are extremely valuable, reagents are expensive and have strict storage requirements

16 Why are samples so valuable? They are difficult and expensive to collect They are often irreplaceable They are easily destroyed They are labor intensive to prepare Majority of valuable samples are stored in dedicated freezers with back to base alarm systems installed

17 Managing equipment and infrastructure Laboratory space and equipment is expensive. Equipment can also be hazardous

18 Managing equipment risks Equipment risk is managed by adherence to specific Safe Work Procedures (SWPs) AutoclavesHigh pressures and temperatures CentrifugesHigh rotational velocities Electrophoresis gearHigh voltages -80 o C freezerContact freezer burns MicrowavesIncorrect use

19 For your lab inspection: We have stopped research and teaching activity for your tour of the PC2 and teaching laboratories. Even though you are just visiting, you will still need to conform with safety regulations: Closed in footwear No food or drink allowed (including chewing gum) Dont touch anything


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