Risk Assessment in the Research Laboratory

LouAnn C. Burnett1

1 Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
Publication Name:  Current Protocols Essential Laboratory Techniques
Unit Number:  Appendix 1B
DOI:  10.1002/9780470089941.eta01bs01
Online Posting Date:  June, 2009
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Abstract

Risk assessment is a term that is applied to a process that we all use every day to make decisions. Conducting risk assessments while working in the laboratory should be integrated into the research culture. Reagents and equipment used in research laboratories can be hazardous if used improperly or without appropriate precautions. The first step in limiting risk is identifying the materials that can be hazardous. The second step is to assess the risk that they present during the experiments that will take place—a process called risk assessment. Once the hazards are identified and the risks assessed, a risk management strategy can be put in place to reduce the risks to an acceptable level. This process (hazard identification, risk assessment, risk management) must be repeated as often as new materials, new procedures, and new people are introduced into the laboratory. Curr. Protoc. Essential Lab. Tech. 1:A.1B.1‐A.1B.11. © 2009 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Keywords: risk assessment; hazards; risk; laboratory safety

     
 
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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Procedure
  • Using Risk Assessments to Manage Risk
  • Resources
  • Figures
  • Tables
     
 
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Materials

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Figures

Videos

Literature Cited

Key References
   Committee on Prudent Practices for Handling, Storage, and Disposal of Chemicals in Laboratories. 1995. Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Disposal of Chemicals. National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.
  This National Research Council document represents a consensus of best practices for handling and disposal of chemicals in laboratories.
   Fleming, D.O. 2006. Risk assessment of biological hazards In Biological Safety: Principles and Practices, 4th edition (D.O. Fleming and D.L. Hunt, eds) pp. 57‐64. ASM Press, Washington, D.C.
  This book is meant to be used as a resource by those who work with biological materials in research, production, or teaching.
   Jank, B., Haymerle, H., and Doblhoff‐Dier, O. 1996. Zurich hazard analysis in biotechnology. Nat. Biotechnol. 14:894‐896.
   Wagener, S. Bennett, A., Ellis, M., Heisz, Holmes, K., Kanabrocki, J. Kozlovac, J., Olinger, P. Previsani, N., Salerno, R., and Taylor, T. 2008. Biological Risk Assessment in the Laboratory: Report of the 2nd Biorisk Management Workshop. Applied Biosafety 13:169.
Internet Resources
   http://www.cdc.gov/od/ohs/biosfty/bmbl5/bmbl5toc.htm
  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2007. Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, 5th edition.
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