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LABORATORY SAFETY

BLOOD BORNE PATHOGENS

1. Universal Precautions All blood and body fluids are considered potentially infected with
blood-borne pathogens

2. Examples of blood-borne pathogens:

a. HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus

b. HBV Hepatitis B Virus

c. HCV Hepatitis C Virus

3. OSHA Blood-Borne Pathogens standard requires written Exposure Control Plan

4. Categories of Exposure:

a. Category 1 exposed to blood and body fluids on a daily basis

b. Category 2 regularly exposed to blood and body fluids

c. Category 3 never exposed to blood and body fluids

5. Employers must offer hepatitis B vaccine at no cost to all personnel in Category 1 and
Category 2

6. Identify tasks causing causing exposure to blood or body fluids

a. Use engineering controls (work shields, face shields, pipeting devices, etc.) to minimize risk
of exposure

b. Employers must provide PPE (personal protective equipment) at no cost when needed (ex.
gloves, lab coats and safety glasses)

7. Good work practices

a. Wash hands before leaving the lab, before using the biologic safety cabinet (BSC) and after
removing gloves; first line of defense in infection control

b. Do NOT mouth pipet

c. Do NOT eat, drink, smoke, apply cosmetics, lip balm or contact lenses in clinical areas

d. Do NOT bend, break, shear or recap used needles and syringes

e. Clean up blood/body fluid spills immediately with 1:10 dilution of 5% household bleach
(hypochlorite) solution

f. Report all blood and body fluid exposures, document via incident report and have exposed
persons blood tested as well as source patients blood

g. Employees have right to know lab results of source patient but must observe confidentiality

h. Employees are entitled to medical consultation

i. Use universal precautions with all reagents prepared from human blood or body fluids

REMEMBER! Biological Safety Cabinets - MUST monitor airflow


Use BSC with samples potentially containing pathogens transmitted by aerosolization:

Ex. M. tuberculosis, C. Imitus, F. tularensis and B. anthracis

8. Biological safety cabinets (fume hoods)

a. Facilitates safe manipulation of infectious material

b. Reduces risk of exposure to personnel and laboratory area

c. Direct airflow (inward and downward through high efficiency filter)

HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS

1. OSHA Right-to-Know standard states employees have a right to know what hazardous
chemicals they work with and how to protect themselves when using them

2. Prepare a chemical inventory of all chemicals used

3. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

a. Information provided by the chemical manufacturer stating risks of exposure, what to do if


exposed and other important medical information

b. Must have MSDS on all chemicals used

4. Separate chemical according to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) coding:

a. Flammable Solvents store in flame cabinet; 1 gal or smaller containers may be kept under
fume hood

b. Corrosives separate from other non-compatible chemicals (alkali) for storage

c. Acids separate from other non-compatible chemicals for storage

5. Chemical Hygiene Plan

a. Written plan stipulates what to do in case of a chemical spill, fire or exposure to chemicals in
lab

b. Plan also requires training and the appointment of a chemical hygiene officer

c. General information \

- If a chemical is splashed in eye, go to the nearest eye wash and wash eye for 15 minutes;
seek medical attention

- If a chemical is splashed on person or clothing, go to nearest body shower and rinse for 15
minutes; seek medical attention

- Any chemicals considered carcinogenic should only be used while wearing gloves; consult
MSDS

- Any chemical considered a respiratory health threat should be handled under a fume hood

WASTE DISPOSAL

1. Types

a. Hazardous waste solid waste or mixture of solid wastes which may pose a threat to human
health or the environment when improperly handled
b. Infectious waste equipment, utensils or substances that may harbor or transmit pathogenic
organisms from individuals who may have a communicable disease

c. Medical waste any solid, semisolid or liquid waste generated in diagnosis, treatment or
immunization of humans or animals in research or production or testing of biologies

2. Identified by orange or red seamless plastic bags labeled with the biohazard symbol

3. Sharps container must be rigid, puncture-proof and leakproof

4. Treat infectious or medical wastes by incineration or autoclaving (public trash collection NOT
suitable for disposal of raw infectious waste)

5. Secured storage area for infectious material to prevent accidents in handling

RADIATION SAFETY

1. Dispose of all radioactive material in appropriate labeled container

2. Report any exposure to radioactive material and seek medical attention

3. Radiation monitoring

a. Film badge or survey meter

b. Exposure limits (maximum permissible dose equivalents 5000 mrem/yr; whole body)

c. Wipe test (leak test) laboratory work surfaces wiped with moistened absorbent material
(wipe); radiation contained in each wipe counted

FIRE SAFET Y

1. What to do

a. Alert staff

b. Rescue any injured

c. Pull nearest fire alarm

d. Contain fire close doors

e. Call institution emergency number

f. Find nearest fire extinguisher; only attempt to put out fire if it is small

2. How to use a fire extinguisher

a. Use appropriate class of extinguisher

Class A wood and paper fires

Class B flammable liquid fires

Class C electrical fires


Class D reactive metals

b. Most fire extinguishers can be used on A, B, and C fires

c. Halon Gas

* Heavier than O2; displaces O2 near fire which extinguishes fire

* Will not harm lab equipment

d. Remove pin from fire extinguisher; slowly squeeze the handle

e. Aim base of fire; walk slowly up to fire while moving extinguisher in sweeping motion

NEVER use water on flammable liquids or electrical fires

ELECTRICAL FIRES

1. Lock out/tag out malfunctioning electrical or mechanical equipment until serviced

2. Report any small shocks; unplug and tag equipment until serviced

3. Replaced all frayed wires and plugs

4. If a severely shocked person cannot let go of the instrument, unplug it (without touching it) or
knock person loose with nonconductive material, such as wood

5. If the shock victim stops breathing, perform CPR

I. Hazards in the Workplace

A. Structural Requirements The very first place in which safety factors should be
considered is in the design and layout of the building and laboratory. Errors made at this
stage of the management plan can be extremely costly to correct. These structural
safety rules involve building materials, storm damage control, fire prevention, and fire-
fighting systems such as the location of sprinklers and fire extinguishers, entrance and
exit routes, storage of flammable materials, blockage of hallways, and doors, ventilation
systems, and other factors that have a direct effect on the safety of the occupants. Even
the number and location of parking spaces have safety implications.

Issues to be addressed through the floor plan layout and workspace design include:

The separation of nontesting functions such as clerical and administrative offices,


from areas containing hazardous materials by means of structural barriers and
control of traffic patterns.

The delivery and storage of potentially hazardous chemicals, such as flammables


and corrosive materials.

The processing of specimens, from their collection and arrival in the laboratory to
their final delivery to the testing site.

The ventilation back-up plan. This factor is especially critical in sections such as
Histology and Microbiology, where there may be unusually heavy concentrations of
chemical and biological material. These two sections should have direct access to
outside venting (windows and fans) in case of an emergency.
The location, ease of use, and rapid availability of any special safety equipment such
as fume hoods, decontamination facilities, and first-aid stations.

B. Fire Prevention

Fire prevention and safety can be divided into three topics: general fire prevention plans,
storage and handling of flammable substances, and fire-fighting strategies.

Fire Prevention Plans

Fire prevention and safety can be divided into three topics: general fire prevention plans,
storage and handling of flammable substance, and fire-fighting strategies.

1. Fire Prevention Plans A fire has three ingredients: an ignition source, oxygen, and
fuel. All building codes and fire prevention plans focus on preventing these three
items from combining. The main fire prevention strategies include keeping flammable
substances in separate rooms and storage cabinets, using fire-resistant building
products, explosion-proof refrigerators, and hoods, and performing procedures that
result in highly combustible reactions under water or in a vacuum chamber.

2. Handling of Flammable substances The most obvious method for preventing fire is
to control the union of fuel and ignition sources. In the laboratory, especially in
Histology and Special Chemistry, many procedures require the use of flammable
chemicals such as methanol and xylene. This presents a problem both at the bench
and in the bulk storage of these reagents.

3. Fire-Fighting Strategies

a. Construction The structure of a building, the materials used for construction,


the layout plan for entrances and exits, and the storage of flammable materials
are major deterrents to a fire.

b. Fire-fighting equipment Many fire-fighting features are designed directly into the
construction of the building. These require fire-resistant building materials,
automatic sprinklers, self-closing doors, and fire hydrants.

c. Training and practice The best-designed equipment and emergency plans are
of no use if workers dont what to do or how to use them. Orientation and in-
service training should cover all aspects of the fire plan, with individual hands-on
training in the use of fire extinguishers, fire blankets, emergency eyewash and
shower stations, and fire isolation techniques.