How to assess corporate risk
(Assessment and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health)
Step 1: Identify every activity in the lab and assess it for hazard
- Specimen reception : unfixed body fluids, fixed slides
- Specimen preparation: unfixed body fluids, fixed slides
- Fine Needle Aspiration: unfixed body fluids
- Centrifugation and cytospin
- Cover slipping and Mounting: xylene, alcohol
- Staining : Papanicolaou, May Grunwald Giemsa, Gram, Diastase Haematoxylin, Grocott.Oil Red O, Chromotrope 2R, Toluidine blue, Ziehl Neelsen, Masson Fontana, Sudan Black, Perls Prussian Blue
- Flammables: alcohol, xylene
- Microscopy : fatigue, eye strain
- Data Entry : fatigue, repetitive strain injury
Step 2: Assess each hazard for risk as follows
- Is a hazardous substance involved? If yes , name substance and state location.
- If yes , state nature of risk e.g. corrosive, irritant, toxic, biohazard, carcinogen, flammable
- Describe level of risk High medium low
- Describe how substance can damage health e.g. inhalation ,fire,spillage,ingestion, skin or eye contact etc.
- Describe how substances are actually used and frequency of use.
- Identify persons at risk ? Are personnel trained in the use of the substance?
- Is personal protective equipment used?
- Are there existing control measures? Are they adequate?
- Are storage arrangements adequate?
- Is surveillance necessary ?
- Are antidotes or instructions for remedial action available ? If so where ?
- Are management protocols in place in event of risk?
- Are there safer alternatives that could be used
Example of a page in health and safety guidelines
|Activity/Work process||Specimen reception|
|Hazardous substance||Unfixed body fluids|
|Nature of hazard||Biohazard, risk of HIV, HepB, HepC|
|Level of risk||Low|
|Description of how substance are actually being used||Unfixed body fluids delivered in plastic container in sealed plastic bag labeled Biohazard.|
|Persons at risk||Receptionists and cytotechnologists|
|Frequency of use||Daily|
|Personal protective equipment used||Laboratory coat, disposable gloves, goggles|
|Existing control measures||Specimens normally opened in Class 1 cabinet . Personnel trained in handling biohazard .Instruction on managing spillage, leakage ,inhalation and eye or skin contact given|
|Are additional control measures required||No|
|Is health surveillance necessary||No|
|Assessment carried out by||Laboratory manager or health and safety office|
|Name and date||JJRP 13/5/2006|
|Date for review||1 year|