Lab Safety 101–Compare and Contrast EHS

Crozier, John ; Yost, David ; Igras, Leon
(Arizona State University)

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This session addresses core principles of EHS practice as applicable to the general laboratory environment. Degree programs in EHS specialties have traditionally focused on manufacturing, construction, public safety and, in the recent past, healthcare settings. Both baccalaureate and advanced degree prerequisites and course requirements are limited as to the amount of pure and applied science needed. As a consequence there are EHS specialists practicing today who have limited knowledge of and experience in the laboratory setting. From a regulatory standpoint the laboratory environment has been considered something of a hybrid. Standards were considered applicable, but identification of compliance strategies and best practices have been less defined than in other settings. In recent years standards have been developed (e.g., Chemical Hygiene, Bloodborne Pathogens and others) but seamless integration of best practice EHS is still lacking in some settings. In the context of SESHA’s mission of education and support for its EHS specialists this gap can be reduced, giving these professionals tools to better support their lab clients. This presentation identifies core laboratory functions for EHS basics, and suggests tactics that can be useful in the context of a particular lab setting. Thus, the EHS specialist can leverage their knowledge from other settings into the lab environment. Building on a core of hazard analysis, core laboratory functions are meshed with specific EHS topic areas. These include hazardous materials, physical hazards and supplemental tactics such as personal protective equipment. Helping lab clients build these tactics into an EHS program specialized to their lab is then performed to the model for other, better defined settings.

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