5 Ways to Keep Your Lab Employees Safe
October 26 2019 - Adequate safety measures are essential for any workplace, but especially so in a hazardous environment such as a laboratory. A medical environment poses a number of more significant risks, including issues of hygiene and hazardous chemicals, which is why it's even more critical to ensure the proper safety measures are adhered to at all times. Here's how to keep your employees safe in a lab environment.
1. Implement a Risk Assessment
Your health and safety procedure should include a thorough risk assessment performed by a professional. This risk assessment should be performed when your lab is fully kitted out and ready to be operational, but before you or your employees begin to use it.
You should hire the services of a company such as macontrols.com, which is skilled in the testing and maintenance of laboratory environments, including risk analysis. Any risks identified should be handled accordingly before work can commence.
2. Ensure Proper Training is Provided
This includes general health and safety training, but also general safe practices and how to safely operate all laboratory machinery and equipment. Training should be provided before employees commence their work in the laboratory, and employees should also be required to pass a training exam or test to ensure that they have fully understood health and safety within the lab, and safe practices therein.
Employees should be made aware of who to speak to regarding any health and safety concerns.
Training should also include the position of emergency exits, and what to do in the event of a risk occurrence.
3. Be Approachable
If you want employees to inform you should they have any issues, then you need to be open and communicative with all employees. If you are running a lab, you should encourage a more positive and clear communication between all parties involved and work to create a productive and comfortable working environment. Employees are more likely to pay attention to any risks and issues if they feel safe and happy in their environment, instead of being distracted by negative energy in the workspace.
4. Invest in High Quality Equipment
Any and all equipment which is purchased for lab use, and which is used regularly by employees, should be safe to do so and of the highest quality. It can be tempting to want to cut corners and find cheaper deals when kitting out your lab if you have limited funding or if investors have made cutbacks, but you should never compromise on the quality of your equipment.
Cheaper equipment, especially in the case of glass beakers and machinery, increases the likelihood of risks, including breakages, spillages, and malfunctions. All equipment should also be tested for its safety during an official risk assessment.
5. Pay Attention to Illness
Not only can employee sickness compromise the hygiene of the lab itself, but it can also cause the concentration of employees to be compromised as well. Meaning, if an employee is trying to mask an illness, it could pose a danger to the lab environment and their safe working practice, too. Ensure that you design a specific policy for handling illness and sickness, and ensure that your staff know what to do in the event that they do fall ill.