Clinical laboratory safety manual

forensic laboratory safety manual and general laboratory safety manual and laboratory safety manual definition
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Published Date:13-07-2017
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Laboratory Safety Guidance OSHA 3404-11R 2011Introduction More than 500,000 workers are employed in labora- tories, from chemical hazards as well as biological, tories in the U.S. The laboratory environment can physical and safety hazards. For those hazards that be a hazardous place to work. Laboratory workers are not covered by a specific OSHA standard, OSHA are exposed to numerous potential hazards includ- often provides guidance on protecting workers from ing chemical, biological, physical and radioactive these hazards. This document is designed to make hazards, as well as musculoskeletal stresses. employers aware of the OSHA standards as well as Laboratory safety is governed by numerous local, OSHA guidance that is available to protect workers state and federal regulations. Over the years, OSHA from the diverse hazards encountered in laborato- has promulgated rules and published guidance to ries. The extent of detail on specific hazards provid- make laboratories increasingly safe for personnel. ed in this document is dependent on the nature of This document is intended for supervisors, principal each hazard and its importance in a laboratory set- investigators and managers who have the primary ting. In addition to information on OSHA standards responsibility for maintaining laboratories under and guidance that deal with laboratory hazards, their supervision as safe, healthy places to work appendices are provided with information on other and for ensuring that applicable health, safety governmental and non-governmental agencies that and environmental regulations are followed. deal with various aspects of laboratory safety. Worker guidance in the form of Fact Sheets and QuickCards™ is also provided for certain hazards This Laboratory Safety Guidance booklet deals that may be encountered in laboratories. There are specifically with laboratories within the jurisdiction several primary OSHA standards that apply to of Federal OSHA. There are twenty-five states and laboratories and these are discussed below. There two U.S. Territories (Puerto Rico and the Virgin are also other OSHA standards that apply to various Islands) that have their own OSHA-approved occu- aspects of laboratory activities and these are pational safety and health standards, which may be referred to in this document. different from federal standards, but must be at least “as effective as” the federal standards. The Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals Contact your local or state OSHA office for further in Laboratories standard (29 CFR 1910.1450) was information. More information on OSHA-approved created specifically for non-production laboratories. state plans is available at: Additional OSHA standards provide rules that www.osha.gov/dcsp/osp/index.html. protect workers, including those that who in labora- 4 Occupational Safety and Health AdministrationOSHA Standards Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and The Hazard Communication standard (29 CFR Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act), the General Duty 1910.1200), sometimes called the HazCom standard, Clause, requires that employers “shall furnish to is a set of requirements first issued in 1983 by each of his employees employment and a place of OSHA. The standard requires evaluating the poten- employment which are free from recognized haz- tial hazards of chemicals, and communicating infor- ards that are causing or likely to cause death or seri- mation concerning those hazards and appropriate ous physical harm to his employees.” Therefore, protective measures to employees. The standard even if an OSHA standard has not been promulgat- includes provisions for: developing and maintaining ed that deals with a specific hazard or hazardous a written hazard communication program for the operation, protection of workers from all hazards or workplace, including lists of hazardous chemicals hazardous operations may be enforceable under present; labeling of containers of chemicals in the section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act. For example, best workplace, as well as of containers of chemicals practices that are issued by non-regulatory organi- being shipped to other workplaces; preparation and zations such as the National Institute for distribution of material safety data sheets (MSDSs) Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the to workers and downstream employers; and devel- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opment and implementation of worker training pro- the National Research Council (NRC), and the grams regarding hazards of chemicals and protec- National Institutes of Health (NIH), can be enforce- tive measures. This OSHA standard requires manu- able under section 5(a)(1). facturers and importers of hazardous chemicals to provide material safety data sheets to users of the The principal OSHA standards that apply to all non- chemicals describing potential hazards and other production laboratories are listed below. Although information. They must also attach hazard warning this is not a comprehensive list, it includes stan- labels to containers of the chemicals. Employers dards that cover the major hazards that workers are must make MSDSs available to workers. They must most likely to encounter in their daily tasks. also train their workers in the hazards caused by the Employers must be fully aware of these standards chemicals workers are exposed to and the appropri- and must implement all aspects of the standards ate protective measures that must be used when that apply to specific laboratory work conditions in handling the chemicals. their facilities. The Bloodborne Pathogens standard (29 CFR The Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals 1910.1030), including changes mandated by the in Laboratories standard (29 CFR 1910.1450), com- Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act of 2001, re- monly referred to as the Laboratory standard, quires employers to protect workers from infection requires that the employer designate a Chemical with human bloodborne pathogens in the work- Hygiene Officer and have a written Chemical place. The standard covers all workers with “rea- Hygiene Plan (CHP), and actively verify that it sonably anticipated” exposure to blood or other remains effective. The CHP must include provisions potentially infectious materials (OPIM). It requires for worker training, chemical exposure monitoring that information and training be provided before the where appropriate, medical consultation when worker begins work that may involve occupational exposure occurs, criteria for the use of personal exposure to bloodborne pathogens, annually there- protective equipment (PPE) and engineering con- after, and before a worker is offered hepatitis B vac- trols, special precautions for particularly hazardous cination. The Bloodborne Pathogens standard also substances, and a requirement for a Chemical requires advance information and training for all Hygiene Officer responsible for implementation of workers in research laboratories who handle human the CHP. The CHP must be tailored to reflect the immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or hepatitis B virus specific chemical hazards present in the laboratory (HBV). The standard was issued as a performance where it is to be used. Laboratory personnel must standard, which means that the employer must receive training regarding the Laboratory standard, develop a written exposure control plan (ECP) to the CHP, and other laboratory safety practices, provide a safe and healthy work environment, but is including exposure detection, physical and health allowed some flexibility in accomplishing this goal. hazards associated with chemicals, and protective Among other things, the ECP requires employers to measures. make an exposure determination, establish proce- L A B O R A T O R Y S A F E T Y 5dures for evaluating incidents, and determine a protect the health of such individual. The employer schedule for implementing the standard’s require- must provide respirators that are appropriate and ments, including engineering and work practice suitable for the purpose intended, as described in 29 controls. The standard also requires employers to CFR 1910.134(d)(1). The employer is responsible for provide and pay for appropriate PPE for workers establishing and maintaining a respiratory protec- with occupational exposures. Although this stan- tion program, as required by 29 CFR 1910.134(c), dard only applies to bloodborne pathogens, the pro- that includes, but is not limited to, the following: tective measures in this standard (e.g., ECP, engi- selection of respirators for use in the workplace; neering and work practice controls, administrative medical evaluations of workers required to use res- controls, PPE, housekeeping, training, post-expo- pirators; fit testing for tight-fitting respirators; proper sure medical follow-up) are the same measures for use of respirators during routine and emergency sit- effectively controlling exposure to other biological uations; procedures and schedules for cleaning, dis- agents. infecting, storing, inspecting, repairing and discard- ing of respirators; procedures to ensure adequate The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) standard air quality, quantity, and flow of breathing air for (29 CFR 1910.132) requires that employers provide atmosphere-supplying respirators; training of work- and pay for PPE and ensure that it is used wherever ers in respiratory hazards that they may be exposed “hazards of processes or environment, chemical to during routine and emergency situations; training hazards, radiological hazards, or mechanical irri- of workers in the proper donning and doffing of res- tants are encountered in a manner capable of caus- pirators, and any limitations on their use and main- ing injury or impairment in the function of any part tenance; and regular evaluation of the effectiveness of the body through absorption, inhalation or physi- of the program. cal contact.” 29 CFR 1910.132(a) and 1910.132(h). In order to determine whether and what PPE is The Hand Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.138), needed, the employer must “assess the workplace requires employers to select and ensure that work- to determine if hazards are present, or are likely to ers use appropriate hand protection when their be present, which necessitate the use of PPE,” hands are exposed to hazards such as those from 29 CFR 1910.132(d)(1). Based on that assessment, skin absorption of harmful substances; severe cuts the employer must select appropriate PPE (e.g., pro- or lacerations; severe abrasions; punctures; chemi- tection for eyes, face, head, extremities; protective cal burns; thermal burns; and harmful temperature clothing; respiratory protection; shields and barriers) extremes, 29 CFR 1910.138(a). Further, employers that will protect the affected worker from the haz- must base the selection of the appropriate hand ard, 29 CFR 1910.132 (d)(1)(i), communicate selec- protection on an evaluation of the performance tion decisions to each affected worker, 29 CFR characteristics of the hand protection relative to the 1910.132 (d)(1)(ii), and select PPE that properly fits task(s) to be performed, conditions present, dura- each affected employee, 29 CFR 1910.132(d)(1)(iii). tion of use, and the hazards and potential hazards Employers must provide training for workers who identified, 29 CFR 1910.138(b). are required to use PPE that addresses when and what PPE is necessary, how to wear and care for The Control of Hazardous Energy standard (29 CFR PPE properly, and the limitations of PPE, 29 CFR 1910.147), often called the “Lockout/Tagout” stan- 1910.132(f). dard, establishes basic requirements for locking and/or tagging out equipment while installation, The Eye and Face Protection standard (29 CFR maintenance, testing, repair, or construction opera- 1910.133) requires employers to ensure that each tions are in progress. The primary purpose of the affected worker uses appropriate eye or face protec- standard is to protect workers from the unexpected tion when exposed to eye or face hazards from fly- energization or startup of machines or equipment, ing particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or release of stored energy. The procedures apply to or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or the shutdown of all potential energy sources associ- potentially injurious light radiation, 29 CFR ated with machines or equipment, including pres- 1910.133(a). sures, flows of fluids and gases, electrical power, and radiation. The Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134) requires that a respirator be provided to In addition to the standards listed above, other each worker when such equipment is necessary to OSHA standards that pertain to electrical safety 6 Occupational Safety and Health Administrationers and appropriate precautions taken. Similarly, (29 CFR 1910 Subpart S-Electrical); fire safety worker exposure to wet floors or spills and clutter (Portable Fire Extinguishers standard, 29 CFR can lead to slips/trips/falls and other possible 1910.157); and slips, trips and falls (29 CFR 1910 injuries and employers must assure that these haz- Subpart D – Walking-Working Surfaces, Subpart E - ards are minimized. While large laboratory fires are Means of Egress, and Subpart J - General rare, there is the potential for small bench-top fires, Environmental Controls) are discussed at pages 25- especially in laboratories using flammable solvents. 28. These standards pertain to general industry, as It is the responsibility of employers to implement well as laboratories. When laboratory workers are appropriate protective measures to assure the safe- using large analyzers and other equipment, their ty of workers. potential exposure to electrical hazards associated with this equipment must be assessed by employ- L A B O R A T O R Y S A F E T Y 7Hierarchy of Controls Occupational safety and health professionals use a gestions, since they have firsthand experience with framework called the “hierarchy of controls” to the tasks as actually performed. These controls select ways of dealing with workplace hazards. The need to be understood and followed by managers, hierarchy of controls prioritizes intervention strate- supervisors and workers. gies based on the premise that the best way to con- trol a hazard is to systematically remove it from the Examples include: workplace, rather than relying on workers to reduce No mouth pipetting; and • their exposure. The types of measures that may be Chemical substitution where feasible (e.g., • used to protect laboratory workers, prioritized from selecting a less hazardous chemical for a specific the most effective to least effective, are: procedure). engineering controls; • administrative controls; • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is protective work practices; and • gear needed to keep workers safe while performing personal protective equipment (PPE). • their jobs. Examples of PPE include respirators (for example, N95), face shields, goggles and dispos- Most employers use a combination of control meth- able gloves. While engineering and administrative ods. Employers must evaluate their particular work- controls and proper work practices are considered place to develop a plan for protecting their workers to be more effective in minimizing exposure to that may combine both immediate actions as well many workplace hazards, the use of PPE is also as longer term solutions. A description of each type very important in laboratory settings. of control for non-production laboratories follows. It is important that PPE be: Engineering controls are those that involve making Selected based upon the hazard to the worker; • changes to the work environment to reduce work- Properly fitted and in some cases periodically • related hazards. These types of controls are pre- refitted (e.g., respirators); ferred over all others because they make perma- Conscientiously and properly worn; nent changes that reduce exposure to hazards and • Regularly maintained and replaced in accord do not rely on worker behavior. By reducing a haz- • ard in the workplace, engineering controls can be with the manufacturer’s specifications; the most cost-effective solutions for employers to Properly removed and disposed of to avoid con- • implement. tamination of self, others or the environment; and If reusable, properly removed, cleaned, disinfec- Examples include: • ted and stored. Chemical Fume Hoods; and • Biological Safety Cabinets (BSCs). • The following sections of this document are organized based upon classes of hazards, i.e., Administrative controls are those that modify work- chemical, biological, physical, safety and other ers’ work schedules and tasks in ways that mini- hazards. The organization of these sections mize their exposure to workplace hazards. and/or subsections may differ somewhat. For instance, OSHA’s Laboratory standard is de- Examples include: scribed in greater detail than any other standard Developing a Chemical Hygiene Plan; and • in this document. This is because this is the only Developing Standard Operating Procedures for standard that is specific to laboratories (i.e., non- • chemical handling. production laboratories). In all other sections, only those specific aspects of various standards that are considered most relevant to non-produc- Work practices are procedures for safe and proper tion laboratories are discussed. In sections of this work that are used to reduce the duration, frequen- document where there are no specific OSHA cy or intensity of exposure to a hazard. When standards that apply, guidance in the form of Fact defining safe work practice controls, it is a good Sheets or QuickCards™ may be provided. idea for the employer to ask workers for their sug- 8 Occupational Safety and Health AdministrationChemical Hazards Hazardous chemicals present physical and/or health dard (29 CFR 1910.1200). Laboratory uses of chemi- threats to workers in clinical, industrial, and aca- cals which provide no potential for exposure (e.g., demic laboratories. Laboratory chemicals include chemically impregnated test media or prepared kits cancer-causing agents (carcinogens), toxins (e.g., for pregnancy testing) are not covered by the those affecting the liver, kidney, and nervous sys- Laboratory standard. tem), irritants, corrosives, sensitizers, as well as agents that act on the blood system or damage the Formaldehyde is one of the most commonly used lungs, skin, eyes, or mucous membranes. OSHA hazardous chemicals in laboratories. The OSHA rules regulate exposures to approximately 400 sub- Formaldehyde standard (29 CFR 1910.1048) specifi- stances. cally deals with protecting workers from the hazards associated with exposure to this chemical. It should Laboratory Standard be noted that the scope of the Formaldehyde stan- (29 CFR 1910.1450) dard is not affected in most cases by the Laboratory standard. The Laboratory standard specifically does In 1990, OSHA issued the Occupational Exposure not apply to formaldehyde use in histology, pathol- to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories standard ogy and human or animal anatomy laboratories; (29 CFR 1910.1450). Commonly known as the however, if formaldehyde is used in other types of Laboratory standard, it was developed to address laboratories which are covered by the Laboratory workplaces where relatively small quantities of haz- standard, the employer must comply with 29 CFR ardous chemicals are used on a non-production 1910.1450. basis. However, not all laboratories are covered by the Laboratory standard. For example, most quality Program Description control laboratories are not covered under the stan- The Laboratory standard consists of five major ele- dard. These laboratories are usually adjuncts of ments: production operations which typically perform Hazard identification; • repetitive procedures for the purpose of assuring Chemical Hygiene Plan; • reliability of a product or a process. On the other Information and training; • hand, laboratories that conduct research and devel- Exposure monitoring; and • opment and related analytical work are subject to Medical consultation and examinations. • the requirements of the Laboratory standard, regardless of whether or not they are used only to Each laboratory covered by the Laboratory standard support manufacturing. must appoint a Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO) to develop and implement a Chemical Hygiene Plan. The purpose of the Laboratory standard is to The CHO is responsible for duties such as monitor- ensure that workers in non-production laboratories ing processes, procuring chemicals, helping project are informed about the hazards of chemicals in directors upgrade facilities, and advising administra- their workplace and are protected from chemical tors on improved chemical hygiene policies and exposures exceeding allowable levels i.e., OSHA practices. A worker designated as the CHO must be permissible exposure limits (PELs) as specified in qualified, by training or experience, to provide tech- Table Z of the Air Contaminants standard (29 CFR nical guidance in developing and implementing the 1910.1000) and as specified in other substance-spe- provisions of the CHP. cific health standards. The Laboratory standard achieves this protection by establishing safe work Hazard Identification practices in laboratories to implement a Chemical Each laboratory must identify which hazardous Hygiene Plan (CHP). chemicals will be encountered by its workers. All containers for chemicals must be clearly labeled. Scope and Application An employer must ensure that workers do not use, The Laboratory standard applies to all individuals store, or allow any other person to use or store, any engaged in laboratory use of hazardous chemicals. hazardous substance in his or her laboratory if the Work with hazardous chemicals outside of laborato- container does not meet the labeling requirements ries is covered by the Hazard Communication stan- outlined in the Hazard Communication standard, L A B O R A T O R Y S A F E T Y 9products, and pesticides. SDSs will follow a new 29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(4). Labels on chemical con- 16-section format, containing requirements similar tainers must not be removed or defaced. to those identified in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z400 and International Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) for chemicals Organization for Standardization (ISO) 11014 stan- received by the laboratory must be supplied by the dards. Information on GHS classification, labels and manufacturer, distributor, or importer and must be SDSs is available at: http://www.unece.org/ maintained and readily accessible to laboratory trans/danger/publi/ghs/ghs_welcome_e.html. workers. MSDSs are written or printed materials concerning a hazardous chemical. Employers must Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) have an MSDS in the workplace for each hazardous chemical in use. The purpose of the CHP is to provide guidelines for prudent practices and procedures for the use of MSDS sheets must contain: chemicals in the laboratory. The Laboratory stan- 1. Name of the chemical; dard requires that the CHP set forth procedures, 2. Manufacturer’s information; equipment, PPE and work practices capable of pro- tecting workers from the health hazards presented 3. Hazardous ingredients/identity information; by chemicals used in the laboratory. 4. Physical/chemical characteristics; 5. Fire and explosion hazard data; The following information must be included in each 6. Reactivity data; CHP: 7. Health hazard data; 8. Precautions for safe handling and use; and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs): Prudent 9. Control measures. laboratory practices which must be followed when working with chemicals in a laboratory. These The United States is participating in the Global include general and laboratory-specific procedures Harmonization System of Classifying and Labeling for work with hazardous chemicals. Chemicals (GHS) process and is planning to adopt the GHS in its Hazard Communication standard. Criteria for Exposure Control Measures: Criteria The GHS process is designed to improve compre- used by the employer to determine and implement hensibility, and thus the effectiveness of the Hazard control measures to reduce worker exposure to Communication standard (HCS), and help to further hazardous chemicals including engineering con- reduce illnesses and injuries. GHS is a system that trols, the use of PPE and hygiene practices. defines and classifies the hazards of chemical prod- ucts, and communicates health and safety informa- Adequacy and Proper Functioning of Fume Hoods tion on labels and material safety data sheets and other Protective Equipment: Specific measures (called Safety Data Sheets, or SDSs, in the GHS). that must be taken to ensure proper and adequate The most significant changes to the Hazard performance of protective equipment, such as fume Communication standard will include changing ter- hoods. minology: “hazard determination” to “hazard clas- sification” (along with related terms) and “material Information and Training: The employer must pro- safety data sheet” to “safety data sheet.” The goal vide information and training required to ensure is that the same set of rules for classifying hazards, that workers are apprised of the hazards of chemi- and the same format and content for labels and cals in their work areas and related information. safety data sheets (SDS) will be adopted and used around the world. An international team of hazard Requirement of Prior Approval of Laboratory communication experts developed GHS. Procedures: The circumstances under which certain laboratory procedures or activities require approval The biggest visible impact of the GHS is the from the employer or employer’s designee before appearance of and information required for labels work is initiated. and SDSs. Labels will require signal words, pic- tograms, precautionary statements and appropriate Medical Consultations and Examinations: hazard statements. The GHS system covers all haz- Provisions for medical consultation and examina- ardous chemicals and may be adopted to cover tion when exposure to a hazardous chemical has or chemicals in the workplace, transport, consumer may have taken place. 1 0 Occupational Safety and Health AdministrationChemical Hygiene Officer Designation: Exposure Determination Identification of the laboratory CHO and outline of OSHA has established permissible exposure limits his or her role and responsibilities; and, where (PELs), as specified in 29 CFR 1910, subpart Z, for appropriate, establishment of a Chemical Hygiene hundreds of chemical substances. A PEL is the Committee. chemical-specific concentration in inhaled air that is intended to represent what the average, healthy Particularly Hazardous Substances: Outlines addi- worker may be exposed to daily for a lifetime of tional worker protections for work with particularly work without significant adverse health effects. The hazardous substances. These include select carcino- employer must ensure that workers’ exposures to gens, reproductive toxins, and substances which OSHA-regulated substances do not exceed the PEL. have a high degree of acute toxicity. However, most of the OSHA PELs were adopted soon after the Agency was first created in 1970 and Information andTraining were based upon scientific studies available at that Laboratory workers must be provided with informa- time. Since science has continued to move forward, tion and training relevant to the hazards of the in some cases, there may be health data that sug- chemicals present in their laboratory. The training gests a hazard to workers below the levels permit- must be provided at the time of initial assignment ted by the OSHA PELs. Other agencies and organi- to a laboratory and prior to assignments involving zations have developed and updated recommended new exposure situations. occupational exposure limits (OELs) for chemicals regulated by OSHA, as well as other chemicals not The employer must inform workers currently regulated by OSHA. Employers should about the following: consult other OELs, in addition to the OSHA PEL, to make a fully informed decision about the potential The content of the OSHA Laboratory standard • health risks to workers associated with chemical and its appendices (the full text must be made exposures. The American Conference of available); Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), the The location and availability of the Chemical • American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), Hygiene Plan; the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Permissible exposure limits (PELs) for OSHA- • Health (NIOSH), as well as some chemical manufac- regulated substances, or recommended expo- turers have established OELs to assess safe expo- sure levels for other hazardous chemicals where sure limits for various chemicals. there is no applicable standard; Signs and symptoms associated with exposure • Employers must conduct exposure monitoring, to hazardous chemicals in the laboratory; and through air sampling, if there is reason to believe The location and availability of reference materi- • that workers may be exposed to chemicals above als on the hazards, safe handling, storage and the action level or, in the absence of an action level, disposal of hazardous chemicals in the laborato- the PEL. Periodic exposure monitoring should be ry, including, but not limited to, MSDSs. conducted in accord with the provisions of the rele- vant standard. The employer should notify workers Training must include the following: of the results of any monitoring within 15 working Methods and observations used to detect the • days of receiving the results. Some OSHA chemical presence or release of a hazardous chemical. standards have specific provisions regarding expo- These may include employer monitoring, contin- sure monitoring and worker notification. Employers uous monitoring devices, and familiarity with should consult relevant standards to see if these the appearance and odor of the chemicals; provisions apply to their workplace. The physical and health hazards of chemicals in • the laboratory work area; Medical Consultations and Examinations The measures that workers can take to protect • Employers must do the following: themselves from these hazards, including pro- Provide all exposed workers with an opportunity • tective equipment, appropriate work practices, to receive medical attention by a licensed physi- and emergency procedures; cian, including any follow-up examinations Applicable details of the employer’s written • which the examining physician determines to be Chemical Hygiene Plan; necessary. Retraining, if necessary. • L A B O R A T O R Y S A F E T Y 1 1Provide an opportunity for a medical consulta- examinations, including medical tests and written • tion by a licensed physician whenever a spill, opinions. Employers generally must maintain worker leak, explosion or other occurrence results in the exposure records for 30 years and medical records likelihood that a laboratory worker experienced for the duration of the worker’s employment plus 30 a hazardous exposure in order to determine years, unless one of the exemptions listed in 29 CFR whether a medical examination is needed. 1910.1020(d)(1)(i)(A)-(C) applies. Such records must be maintained, transferred, and made available, in Provide an opportunity for a medical examina- • tion by a licensed physician whenever a worker accord with 29 CFR 1910.1020, to an individual’s physician or made available to the worker or his/her develops signs or symptoms associated with a hazardous chemical to which he or she may designated representative upon request. have been exposed in the laboratory. Roles and Responsibilities in Establish medical surveillance for a worker as • Implementing the Laboratory Standard required by the particular standard when expo- sure monitoring reveals exposure levels routine- The following are the National Research Council’s recommendations concerning the responsibilities of ly exceeding the OSHA action level or, in the absence of an action level, the PEL for an OSHA various individuals for chemical hygiene in labora- regulated substance. tories. Provide the examining physician with the identi- • Chief Executive Officer ty of the hazardous chemical(s) to which the Bears ultimate responsibility for chemical individual may have been exposed, and the con- • hygiene within the facility. ditions under which the exposure may have occurred, including quantitative data, where Provides continuing support for institutional • available, and a description of the signs and chemical hygiene. symptoms of exposure the worker may be expe- riencing. Chemical Hygiene Officer Develops and implements appropriate chemical Provide all medical examinations and consulta- • • hygiene policies and practices. tions without cost to the worker, without loss of pay, and at a reasonable time and place. Monitors procurement, use, and disposal of • chemicals used in the lab. The examining physician must complete a written Ensures that appropriate audits are maintained. • opinion that includes the following information: Helps project directors develop precautions and • Recommendations for further medical follow-up. adequate facilities. • The results of the medical examination and any Knows the current legal requirements concern- • • associated tests. ing regulated substances. Any medical condition revealed in the course Seeks ways to improve the chemical hygiene • • of the examination that may place the individual program. at increased risk as a result of exposure to a hazardous chemical in the workplace. Laboratory Supervisors Have overall responsibility for chemical hygiene A statement that the worker has been informed • • in the laboratory. of the results of the consultation or medical examination and any medical condition that Ensure that laboratory workers know and follow • may require further examination or treatment. the chemical hygiene rules. However, the written opinion must not reveal Ensure that protective equipment is available • specific findings of diagnoses unrelated to occu- and in working order. pational exposure. Ensure that appropriate training has been pro- • vided. A copy of the examining physician’s written opinion Provide regular, formal chemical hygiene and • must be provided to the exposed worker. housekeeping inspections, including routine inspections of emergency equipment. Recordkeeping Know the current legal requirements concerning • Employers must also maintain an accurate record of regulated substances. exposure monitoring activities and exposure mea- Determine the required levels of PPE and equip- • surements as well as medical consultations and ment. 1 2 Occupational Safety and Health AdministrationThis OSHA standard also requires manufacturers Ensure that facilities and training for use of any • and importers of hazardous chemicals to provide material being ordered are adequate. MSDSs to users of the chemicals describing poten- tial hazards and other information. They must also Laboratory Workers attach hazard warning labels to containers of the Plan and conduct each operation in accord with • chemicals. Distributors of hazardous chemicals the facility’s chemical hygiene procedures, must also provide MSDSs to employers and other including use of PPE and engineering controls, distributors. as appropriate. Develop good personal chemical hygiene habits. • An OSHA QuickFacts entitled Laboratory Report all accidents and potential chemical • Safety – Labeling and Transfer of Chemicals has exposures immediately. been developed to supplement this section and is available online at www.osha.gov. For more detailed information, OSHA has devel- oped a Safety and Health Topics Page on Laboratories available at: www.osha.gov/SLTC/labo- Specific Chemical Hazards ratories/index.html. See the Appendix for other Air Contaminants standard (29 CFR OSHA documents relevant to this topic. 1910.1000) The Air Contaminants standard provides rules for Two OSHA Fact Sheets have been developed protecting workers from airborne exposure to over to supplement this section. One is entitled 400 chemicals. Several of these chemicals are com- Laboratory Safety – OSHA Laboratory Standard, monly used in laboratories and include: toluene, and the other is entitled Laboratory Safety – xylene, and acrylamide. Toluene and xylene are sol- Chemical Hygiene Plan; both are available online vents used to fix tissue specimens and rinse stains. at www.osha.gov. They are primarily found in histology, hematology, microbiology and cytology laboratories. Hazard Communication Standard Toluene (29 CFR 1910.1200) Exposure routes Symptoms Target Organs This standard is designed to protect against chemi- cal source illnesses and injuries by ensuring that Inhalation; Irritation of Eyes; employers and workers are provided with sufficient eyes, nose; Ingestion; Skin; information to recognize, evaluate and control Weakness, Skin and/or Respiratory chemical hazards and take appropriate protective exhaustion, eye contact; system; measures. confusion, Skin absorption. Central euphoria, nervous The steps that employers must take to comply with headache; system; the requirements of this standard must include, but Dilated are not limited to: Liver; pupils, Development and maintenance of a written haz- • tearing; Kidneys. ard communication program for the workplace, Anxiety; including lists of hazardous chemicals present; Ensuring that containers of chemicals in the Muscle • fatigue; workplace, as well as containers of chemicals being shipped to other workplaces, are properly Insomnia; labeled; Tingling, Ensuring that material safety data sheets • pricking, or (MSDSs) for chemicals that workers may be numbness exposed to are made available to workers; and of skin; Development and implementation of worker • Dermatitis; training programs regarding hazards of chemi- Liver, cals they may be exposed to and the appropriate kidney protective measures that must be used when damage. handling these chemicals. L A B O R A T O R Y S A F E T Y 1 3Employers must do the following to prevent Xylene worker exposure: Exposure routes Symptoms Target Organs Implement a written program for chemicals that Inhalation; Irritation Eyes; workers are exposed to and that meet the require- of eyes, ments of the Hazard Communication standard. This Ingestion; Skin; skin, nose, program must contain provisions for worker train- Skin and/or Respiratory throat; ing, warning labels and access to Material Safety eye contact; system; Data Sheets (MSDSs). Dizziness, Skin absorption. Central excitement, nervous Formaldehyde standard (29 CFR drowsiness, system; 1910.1048) incoherence, staggering GI tract; Formaldehyde is used as a fixative and is common- gait; ly found in most laboratories. The employer must Blood; ensure that no worker is exposed to an airborne Corneal Liver; concentration of formaldehyde which exceeds 0.75 vacuoliza- Kidneys. parts formaldehyde per million parts of air (0.75 tion (cell ppm) as an 8-hour time weighted average (TWA), debris); 29 CFR 1910.1048(c)(1). Anorexia, nausea, The Hazard Communication standard requires vomiting, employers to maintain an MSDS, which manufac- abdominal turers or distributors of formaldehyde are required pain; to provide. The MSDS must be kept in an area that Dermatitis. is accessible to workers that may be exposed to formaldehyde. Acrylamide is usually found in research laboratories and is used to make polyacrylamide gels for separa- Formaldehyde tions of macromolecules (e.g., DNA, proteins). Exposure routes Symptoms Target Organs Acrylamide Inhalation; Irritation Eyes; Exposure routes Symptoms Target Organs of eyes, skin, Ingestion; Skin; nose, throat, Inhalation; Irritation of Eyes; Skin and/or Respiratory respiratory eyes, skin; Ingestion; Skin; eye contact. system. system; Ataxia (stag- Skin and/or Central gering gait), Tearing; eye contact; nervous numb limbs, system; Coughing; Skin absorption. tingling, Peripheral Wheezing; pricking, or nervous numbness Dermatitis; system; of skin; Potential Reproductive Muscle occupational system (in weakness; nasal car- animals: Absence of cinogen. tumors of the deep tendon lungs, testes, reflex; thyroid and Hand sweat- adrenal Employers must provide the following to workers ing; glands). to prevent exposure: Tearing, Appropriate PPE, 29 CFR 1910.132, 29 CFR • Drowsiness; 1910.133, and 29 CFR 1910.1048(h). Reproductive Acceptable eyewash facilities within the immedi- • effects; ate work area for emergency use, if there is any Potential possibility that a worker’s eyes may be splashed occupational with solutions containing 0.1 percent or greater carcinogen. formaldehyde, 29 CFR 1910.1048(i)(3). 1 4 Occupational Safety and Health AdministrationLatex An OSHA QuickFacts entitled Laboratory One of the most common chemicals that laboratory Safety – Latex Allergy has been developed to workers are exposed to is latex, a plant protein. The supplement this section and is available online at most common cause of latex allergy is direct con- www.osha.gov. tact with latex, a natural plant derivative used in making certain disposable gloves and other prod- Specific Engineering Control - ucts. Some healthcare workers have been deter- Chemical Fume Hoods mined to be latex sensitive, with reactions ranging The fume hood is often the primary control device from localized dermatitis (skin irritation) to immedi- for protecting laboratory workers when working ate, possibly life-threatening reactions. Under with flammable and/or toxic chemicals. OSHA’s OSHA’s Personal Protective Equipment standard, Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in 29 CFR 1910.132, the employer must ensure that Laboratories standard, 29 CFR 1910.1450, requires appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is that fume hoods be maintained and function prop- accessible at the worksite or issued to workers. erly when used, 29 CFR 1910.1450(e)(3)(iii). Latex-free gloves, glove liners, powder-free gloves, or other similar alternatives are obtainable and An OSHA QuickFacts entitled Laboratory must be readily accessible to those workers who are Safety – Chemical Fume Hoods has been allergic to latex gloves or other latex-containing developed to supplement this section and is PPE, 29 CFR 1910.1030(c)(3)(iii). available online at www.osha.gov. Latex allergy should be suspected in workers who develop certain symptoms after latex exposure, Biological Hazards including: Biological Agents (other than Bloodborne nasal, eye, or sinus irritation • Pathogens) and BiologicalToxins hives or rash • Many laboratory workers encounter daily exposure difficulty breathing • to biological hazards. These hazards are present in coughing • various sources throughout the laboratory such as wheezing • blood and body fluids, culture specimens, body tis- nausea • sue and cadavers, and laboratory animals, as well vomiting • as other workers. diarrhea • A number of OSHA’s Safety and Health Topics Pages mentioned below have information on select An exposed worker who exhibits these symptoms agents and toxins. These are federally regulated should be evaluated by a physician or other biological agents (e.g., viruses, bacteria, fungi, and licensed healthcare professional because further prions) and toxins that have the potential to pose a exposure could cause a serious allergic reaction. severe threat to public health and safety, to animal or plant health, or to animal or plant products. Once a worker becomes allergic to latex, special The agents and toxins that affect animal and plant precautions are needed to prevent exposures. health are also referred to as high-consequence Certain medications may reduce the allergic symp- livestock pathogens and toxins, non-overlap agents toms, but complete latex avoidance is the most and toxins, and listed plant pathogens. Select effective approach. agents and toxins are defined by lists that appear in sections 73.3 of Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations (HHS/CDC Select Agent Regulations), Appropriate work practices should be used to sections 121.3 and 121.4 of Title 9 of the Code of reduce the chance of reactions to latex. If a worker Federal Regulations (USDA/APHIS/VS Select Agent must wear latex gloves, oil-based hand creams or Regulations), and section 331.3 of Title 7 of the Code lotions (which can cause glove deterioration) should of Federal Regulations (plants - USDA/APHIS/PPQ not be used unless they have been shown to reduce Select Agent Regulations) and Part 121, Title 9, Code latex-related problems and maintain glove barrier of Federal Regulations (animals – USDA/APHIS). protection. After removing latex gloves, workers Select agents and toxins that are regulated by both should wash their hands with a mild soap and dry HHS/CDC and USDA/APHIS are referred to as “over- them thoroughly. L A B O R A T O R Y S A F E T Y 1 5lap” select agents and toxins (see 42 CFR section effects on human health including, allergic 73.4 and 9 CFR 121.4). reactions, asthma, and other respiratory problems. Employers may use the list below as a starting point for technical and regulatory information about some Plague. The World Health Organization reports 1,000 of the most virulent and prevalent biological agents to 3,000 cases of plague every year. A bioterrorist and toxins. The OSHA Safety and Health Topics release of plague could result in a rapid spread of Page entitled Biological Agents can be accessed at: the pneumonic form of the disease, which could www.osha.gov/SLTC/biologicalagents/index.html. have devastating consequences. Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is an HHS/CDC select Anthrax. Anthrax is an acute infectious disease agent. caused by a spore-forming bacterium called Bacillus anthracis. It is generally acquired following contact Ricin. Ricin is one of the most toxic and easily pro- with anthrax-infected animals or anthrax-contami- duced plant toxins. It has been used in the past as a nated animal products. Bacillus anthracis is an HHS bioterrorist weapon and remains a serious threat. and USDA select agent. Ricin is an HHS/CDC select toxin. Avian Flu. Avian influenza is caused by Influenza A Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). SARS viruses. These viruses normally reside in the intes- is an emerging, sometimes fatal, respiratory illness. tinal tracts of water fowl and shore birds, where According to the Centers for Disease Control and they cause little, if any, disease. However, when Prevention (CDC), the most recent human cases of they are passed on to domestic birds, such as chick- SARS were reported in China in April 2004 and ens, they can cause deadly contagious disease, there is currently no known transmission anywhere highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). HPAI virus- in the world. es are considered USDA/APHIS select agents. Smallpox. Smallpox is a highly contagious disease Botulism. Cases of botulism are usually associated unique to humans. It is estimated that no more than with consumption of preserved foods. However, 20 percent of the population has any immunity from botulinum toxins are currently among the most previous vaccination. Variola major virus, the common compounds explored by terrorists for use causative agent for smallpox, is an HHS/CDC select as biological weapons. Botulinum neurotoxins, the agent. causative agents of botulism, are HHS/CDC select agents. Tularemia. Tularemia is also known as “rabbit fever” or “deer fly fever” and is extremely infectious. Foodborne Disease. Foodborne illnesses are caused Relatively few bacteria are required to cause the dis- by viruses, bacteria, parasites, toxins, metals, and ease, which is why it is an attractive weapon for use prions (microscopic protein particles). Symptoms in bioterrorism. Francisella tularensis, the causative range from mild gastroenteritis to life-threatening agent for tularemia, is an HHS/CDC select agent. neurologic, hepatic and renal syndromes. Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (VHFs). Hemorrhagic Hantavirus. Hantaviruses are transmitted to humans fever viruses are among the agents identified by the from the dried droppings, urine, or saliva of mice Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as and rats. Animal laboratory workers and persons the most likely to be used as biological weapons. working in infested buildings are at increased risk to Many VHFs can cause severe, life-threatening dis- this disease. ease with high fatality rates. Many VHFs are HHS/CDC select agents; for example, Marburg virus, Legionnaires’ Disease. Legionnaires’ disease is a Ebola viruses, and the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic bacterial disease commonly associated with water- fever virus. based aerosols. It is often the result of poorly main- tained air conditioning cooling towers and potable An additional OSHA Safety and Health Topics page water systems. on Pandemic Influenza has been added in response to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. It can be Molds and Fungi. Molds and fungi produce and accessed at: www.osha.gov/dsg/topics/ release millions of spores small enough to be air-, pandemicflu/index.html. water-, or insect-borne which may have negative 1 6 Occupational Safety and Health AdministrationPandemic Influenza. A pandemic is a global disease requires employers to maintain a log of injuries outbreak. An influenza pandemic occurs when a from contaminated sharps. new influenza virus emerges for which there is little or no immunity in the human population; begins to OSHA estimates that 5.6 million workers in the cause serious illness; and then spreads easily per- healthcare industry and related occupations are son-to-person worldwide. at risk of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens, including HIV, HBV, HCV, and others. The list above does not include all of the biologi- All occupational exposure to blood or OPIM places cal agents and toxins that may be hazardous to workers at risk for infection with bloodborne laboratory workers. New agents will be added pathogens. OSHA defines blood to mean human over time. For agents that may pose a hazard to blood, human blood components, and products laboratory workers but are not listed above, con- made from human blood. OPIM means: (1) The fol- sult the CDC web page at: www.cdc.gov. See lowing human body fluids: semen, vaginal secre- Appendix for more information on BSL levels. tions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) fluid, saliva in dental procedures, any body fluid on Infectious Agents that is visibly contaminated with blood, and all body fluids in situations where it is difficult or impossible Although MSDSs for chemical products have been to differentiate between body fluids; (2) Any unfixed available to workers for many years in the U.S. and tissue or organ (other than intact skin) from a other countries, Canada is the only country that has human (living or dead); and (3) HIV- or HBV-contain- developed MSDSs for infectious agents. These ing cell or tissue cultures, organ cultures, and HIV- MSDSs were produced by the Canadian Public or HBV-containing culture medium or other solu- Health Agency for personnel working in the life sci- tions; and blood, organs, or other tissues from ences as quick safety reference material relating to experimental animals infected with HIV or HBV. infectious microorganisms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention These MSDSs on Infectious Agents are organized to (CDC) notes that although more than 200 different contain health hazard information such as infectious diseases can be transmitted from exposure to dose, viability (including decontamination), medical blood, the most serious infections are hepatitis B information, laboratory hazard, recommended virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human precautions, handling information and spill immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Fortunately, the risk procedures. These MSDSs are available at: of acquiring any of these infections is low. HBV is www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/msds-ftss. the most infectious virus of the three viruses listed above. For an unvaccinated healthcare worker, the Bloodborne Pathogens risk of developing an infection from a single needle- The OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) standard stick or a cut exposed to HBV-infected blood ranges (29 CFR 1910.1030) is designed to protect workers from 6-30%. The risk for infection from HCV- and from the health hazards of exposure to bloodborne HIV-infected blood under the same circumstances is pathogens. Employers are subject to the BBP stan- 1.8 and 0.3 percent, respectively. This means that dard if they have workers whose jobs put them at after a needlestick/cut exposure to HCV-contaminat- reasonable risk of coming into contact with blood ed blood, 98.2% of individuals do not become or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). infected, while after a similar exposure to HIV-con- Employers subject to this standard must develop a taminated blood, 99.7% of individuals do not written Exposure Control Plan, provide training to become infected. (http://www.cdc.gov/OralHealth/ exposed workers, and comply with other require- infectioncontrol/faq/bloodborne_exposures.htm). ments of the standard, including use of Standard Precautions when dealing with blood and OPIM. In Many factors influence the risk of becoming infected 2001, in response to the Needlestick Safety and after a needlestick or cut exposure to HBV-, HCV- or Prevention Act, OSHA revised the Bloodborne HIV-contaminated blood. These factors include the Pathogens standard. The revised standard clarifies health status of the individual, the volume of the the need for employers to select safer needle blood exchanged, the concentration of the virus in devices and to involve workers in identifying and the blood, the extent of the cut or the depth of pen- choosing these devices. The updated standard also etration of the needlestick, etc. L A B O R A T O R Y S A F E T Y 1 7Employers must ensure that workers are trained Engineering Controls and and prohibited from engaging in the following Work Practices for All activities: HIV/HBV Laboratories Mouth pipetting/suctioning of blood or OPIM, Employers must ensure that: • WARNING 29 CFR 1910.1030(d)(2)(xii); All activities involving OPIM • Eating, drinking, smoking, applying cosmetics or are conducted in Biological • lip balm, or handling contact lenses in work BIOHAZARD Safety Cabinets (BSCs) or areas where there is a reasonable likelihood of other physical-containment occupational exposure to blood or OPIM, 29 CFR devices; work with OPIM must not be conducted 1910.1030(d)(2)(ix); and on the open bench, 29 CFR 1910.1030(e)(2)(ii)(E); Storage of food or drink in refrigerators, freezers, • Certified BSCs or other appropriate combinations • shelves, cabinets or on countertops or benchtops of personal protection or physical containment where blood or OPIM are present, 29 CFR devices, such as special protective clothing, res- 1910.1030(d)(2)(x). pirators, centrifuge safety cups, sealed centrifuge rotors, and containment caging for animals, be Employers must ensure that the following are used for all activities with OPIM that pose a provided: threat of exposure to droplets, splashes, spills, or aerosols, 29 CFR 1910.1030(e)(2)(iii)(A); Appropriate PPE for workers if blood or OPIM • Each laboratory contains a facility for hand exposure is anticipated, 29 CFR 1910.1030(d)(3); • washing and an eyewash facility which is readily  The type and amount of PPE depends on the available within the work area, 29 CFR anticipated exposure. 1910.1030(e)(3)(i); and Gloves must be worn when hand contact • • Each work area contains a sink for washing • with blood, mucous membranes, OPIM, hands and a readily available eyewash facility. or non-intact skin is anticipated, or when The sink must be foot, elbow, or automatically handling contaminated items or surfaces, operated and must be located near the exit door 29 CFR 1910.1030(d)(3)(ix). of the work area, 29 CFR 1910.1030(e)(4)(iii). Surgical caps or hoods and/or shoe covers • • or boots must be worn in instances when Additional BBP Standard Requirements gross contamination can reasonably be Apply to HIV and HBV Research anticipated such as during autopsies or Laboratories orthopedic surgery, 29 CFR 1910.1030(d) Requirements include: (3)(xii). Waste materials: • Effective engineering and work practice controls •  All regulated waste must either be incinerated to help remove or isolate exposures to blood and or decontaminated by a method such as auto- bloodborne pathogens, 29 CFR 1910.1030(d)(2)(i), claving known to effectively destroy blood- CPL 02-02-069 (CPL 2-2.69); and borne pathogens, 29 CFR 1910.1030(e)(2)(i); Hepatitis B vaccination (if not declined by a • and worker) under the supervision of a physician or  Contaminated materials that are to be decon- other licensed healthcare professional to all taminated at a site away from the work area workers who have occupational exposure to must be placed in a durable, leakproof, blood or OPIM, 29 CFR 1910.1030(f)(1)(ii)(A)-(C). labeled or color-coded container that is closed before being removed from the work area, Labels 29 CFR 1910.1030(e)(2)(ii)(B). When any blood, OPIM or infected animals are Access: present in the work area, a hazard warning sign • (see graphic) incorporating the universal biohazard  Laboratory doors must be kept closed when work involving HIV or HBV is in progress, symbol, 29 CFR 1910.1030(g)(1)(ii)(A), must be posted on all access doors, 29 CFR 1910.1030(e) 29 CFR 1910.1030(e)(2)(ii)(A); (2)(ii)(D).  Access to the production facilities’ work area must be limited to authorized persons. Written policies and procedures must be established whereby only persons who have been advised of the potential biohazard, who 1 8 Occupational Safety and Health Administrationmeet any specific entry requirements, and research studies, there are more reports of allergies who comply with all entry and exit proce- to rodents than other laboratory animals. Most dures must be allowed to enter the work workers who develop allergies to laboratory ani- areas and animal rooms, 29 CFR mals will do so within the first twelve months of 1910.1030(e)(2)(ii)(C); working with them. Sometimes reactions only occur in workers after they have been handling animals  Access doors to the production facilities’ work for several years. Initially, the symptoms are present area or containment module must be self- within minutes of the worker’s exposure to the ani- closing, 29 CFR 1910.1030(e)(4)(iv); mals. Approximately half of allergic workers will  Work areas must be separated from areas that have their initial symptoms subside and then recur are open to unrestricted traffic flow within the three or four hours following the exposure. building. Passage through two sets of doors must be the basic requirement for entry into Employers should adopt the following best the work area from access corridors or other practices to reduce allergic responses of workers: contiguous areas. Physical separation of the Eliminate or minimize exposure to the proteins • high-containment work area from access cor- found in animal urine, saliva and dander. ridors or other areas or activities may also be Limit the chances that workers will inhale or • provided by a double-doored clothes-change have skin contact with animal proteins by using room (showers may be included), airlock, or well-designed air handling and waste manage- other access facility that requires passing ment systems. through two sets of doors before entering the Have workers use appropriate PPE (e.g., gloves, • work area, 29 CFR 1910.1030(e)(4)(i); and gowns, hair covers, respirators) to further mini-  The surfaces of doors, walls, floors and ceil- mize their risk of exposure. ings in the work area must be water-resistant so that they can be easily cleaned. Zoonotic Diseases Penetrations in these surfaces must be sealed There are a host of possible infectious agents that or capable of being sealed to facilitate decon- can be transferred from animals to humans. These tamination, 29 CFR 1910.1030(e)(4)(ii). are referred to as zoonotic diseases. The common (These requirements do not apply to clinical or diag- routes of exposure to infectious agents are inhala- nostic laboratories engaged solely in the analysis of tion, inoculation, ingestion and contamination of blood, tissue, or organs, 29 CFR 1910.1030(e)(1).) skin and mucous membranes. Inhalation hazards may arise during work practices that can generate Research Animals aerosols. These include the following: centrifuga- All procedures on animals should be performed by tion, mixing (e.g., blending, vortexing, and sonica- properly trained personnel. By using safe work tion), pouring/decanting and spilling/splashing of practices and appropriate PPE, 29 CFR 1910.132(a), culture fluids. Inoculation hazards include needle- workers can minimize the likelihood that they will sticks and lacerations from sharp objects. Ingestion be bitten, scratched, and/or exposed to animal body hazards include the following: splashes to the fluids and tissues. mouth, placing contaminated articles/fingers in mouth, consumption of food in the laboratory, and Possible Injuries/Illnesses mouth pipetting. Contamination of skin and mucous The most common work-related health complaints membranes can occur via splashes or contact with contaminated fomites (e.g., towels, bedclothes, reported by individuals working with small animals are the following: cups, money). Some of the zoonotic diseases that 1. Sprains; can be acquired from animals are listed below. 2. Strains; Zoonotic Diseases – Wild and 3. Bites; and Domesticated Animals 4. Allergies. Wild rodents and other wild animals may inflict an Of these injuries, allergies (i.e., exaggerated reac- injury such as a bite or scratch. Workers need to tions by the body’s immune system) to proteins in receive training on the correct way to capture and small animals’ urine, saliva, and dander are the handle any wild animals. While they may carry or greatest potential health risk. An allergic response shed organisms that may be potentially infectious may evolve into life-long asthma. Because mice and to humans, the primary health risk to individuals rats are the animals most frequently used in L A B O R A T O R Y S A F E T Y 1 9working with captured animals is the development Avoid use of sharps whenever possible. Take • of an allergy. The development of disease in the extreme care when using a needle and syringe human host often requires a preexisting state that to inject research animals or when using sharps compromises the immune system. Workers who during necropsy procedures. Never remove, have an immune compromising medical condition recap, bend, break, or clip used needles from or who are taking medications that impair the disposable syringes. Use safety engineered nee- immune system (steroids, immunosuppressive dles when practical. drugs, or chemotherapy) are at higher risk for con- Take extra precautions when handling hoofed • tracting a rodent disease. animals. Due to the physical hazards of weight and strength of the animal, large hoofed mam- Wild rodents may act as carriers for viruses such as mals pose additional concerns for workers. Hantavirus and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus Hoofed mammals may resist handling and may (LCMV) depending on where they were captured. require multiple workers to administer medica- Additionally, each rodent species may harbor their tion or perform other functions. own range of bacterial diseases, such as tularemia Keep hands away from mouth, nose and eyes. • and plague. These animals may also have biting Wear appropriate PPE (i.e., gloves, gowns, face • insect vectors which can act as a potential carrier of protection) in all areas within the animal facility. disease (mouse to human transmission).  A safety specialist may recommend additional precautions, based upon a risk assessment of Examples of zoonotic diseases that can be transmit- the work performed. ted from wild and domesticated animals to humans Wear tear-resistant gloves to prevent exposure • are listed in the table at page 45 in the Appendix. by animal bites. Micro-tears in the gloves may compromise the protection they offer. Zoonotic Diseases – Non-human Primates Remove gloves and wash hands after handling (e.g., monkeys) • animals or tissues derived from them and before It should not be surprising that, given our many leaving areas where animals are kept. similarities, humans and non-human primates are Use mechanical pipetting devices (no mouth • susceptible to similar infectious agents. Because of pipetting). our differences, the consequences of infection with Never eat, drink, smoke, handle contact lenses, the same agent often vary considerably. Infection • apply cosmetics, or take or apply medicine in may cause few if any symptoms in one group and areas where research animals are kept. may be lethal to the other. Exposures to body fluids from non-human primates should be treated imme- Perform procedures carefully to reduce the • diately. possibility of creating splashes or aerosols. Contain operations that generate hazardous • In 2003, a report entitled, Occupational Safety and aerosols in BSCs or other ventilated enclosures, Health in the Care and Use of Non-Human Primates such as animal bedding dump stations. (see References) was published. This report covers Wear eye protection. • topics relevant to facilities in which non-human pri- Wear head/hair covering to protect against • mates are housed or where non-human primate sprays or splashes of potentially infectious fluids. blood or tissues are handled. The report describes Keep doors closed to rooms where research • the hazards associated with work involving non- animals are kept. human primates and discusses the components of a Clean all spills immediately. • successful occupational health and safety program, Report all incidents and equipment malfunctions • including hazard identification, risk assessment and to the supervisor. management, institutional management of workers Promptly decontaminate work surfaces when • after a suspected occupational exposure, applicable procedures are completed and after surfaces are safety regulations, and personnel training. soiled by spills of animal material or waste. Properly dispose of animal waste and bedding. • Employers should ensure that workers are trained Workers should report all work-related injuries to adhere to the following good practices to prevent • and illnesses to their supervisor immediately. exposure to zoonotic diseases when working with research animals: Following a bite by an animal or other injury in • which the wound may be contaminated, first aid should be initiated at the work site. 2 0 Occupational Safety and Health Administration Contaminated skin and wounds should be microtomes, using cell counters and keyboarding at washed thoroughly with soap and water for computer workstations. Repetitive motion injuries 15 minutes. develop over time and occur when muscles and joints are stressed, tendons are inflamed, nerves are  Contaminated eyes and mucous membranes pinched and the flow of blood is restricted. Standing should be irrigated for 15 minutes using and working in awkward positions in front of labo- normal saline or water. ratory hoods/biological safety cabinets can also Consult an occupational health physician • present ergonomic problems. concerning wound care standard operating procedures (SOPs) for particular animal By becoming familiar with how to control laboratory bites/scratches. ergonomics-related risk factors, employers can reduce chances for occupational injuries while TM An OSHA QuickCard entitled Laboratory Safety – improving worker comfort, productivity, and job sat- Working with Small Animals has been developed isfaction. In addition to the general ergonomic guid- to supplement this section and is available online ance, laboratory employers are reminded of some at www.osha.gov. simple adjustments that can be made at the work- place. While there is currently no specific OSHA standard relating to ergonomics in the laboratory Specific Engineering Control – workplace, it is recommended that employers pro- Biological Safety Cabinets (BSCs) vide the information to laboratory workers contained Properly maintained BSCs, when used in conjunc- in the new OSHA fact sheet highlighted below. tion with good microbiological techniques, provide an effective containment system for safe manipula- An OSHA Fact Sheet entitled Laboratory Safety – tion of moderate and high-risk infectious agents Ergonomics for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Biosafety Level 2 (BSL 2) and 3 (BSL 3) agents. Disorders in Laboratories has been developed to BSCs protect laboratory workers and the immediate supplement this section and is available online at environment from infectious aerosols generated osha.gov. within the cabinet. Biosafety Cabinet Certifications Ionizing Radiation BSCs must be certified when installed, whenever OSHA’s Ionizing Radiation standard, 29 CFR 1910. they are moved and at least annually, 29 CFR 1096, sets forth the limitations on exposure to radia- 1030(e)(2)(iii)(B). tion from atomic particles. Ionizing radiation An OSHA Fact Sheet entitled Laboratory Safety sources are found in a wide range of occupational settings, including laboratories. These radiation – Biosafety Cabinets (BSCs) has been developed sources can pose a considerable health risk to to supplement this section and is available affected workers if not properly controlled. online at www.osha.gov. Any laboratory possessing or using radioactive iso- topes must be licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Physical Hazards and Others Commission (NRC) and/or by a state agency that has been approved by the NRC, 10 CFR 31.11 and Besides exposure to chemicals and biological 10 CFR 35.12. agents, laboratory workers can also be exposed to a number of physical hazards. Some of the common The fundamental objectives of radiation protection physical hazards that they may encounter include measures are: (1) to limit entry of radionuclides into the following: ergonomic, ionizing radiation, non- the human body (via ingestion, inhalation, absorp- ionizing radiation and noise hazards. These hazards tion, or through open wounds) to quantities as low are described below in individual sections. as reasonably achievable (ALARA) and always with- in the established limits; and (2) to limit exposure to Ergonomic Hazards external radiation to levels that are within estab- Laboratory workers are at risk for repetitive motion lished dose limits and as far below these limits as is injuries during routine laboratory procedures such reasonably achievable. as pipetting, working at microscopes, operating L A B O R A T O R Y S A F E T Y 2 1All areas in which radioactive pose a considerable health risk to potentially materials are used or stored exposed workers if not properly controlled. must conspicuously display the symbol for radiation hazards and The following OSHA Safety and Health Topics Pages WARNING access should be restricted to provide links to technical and regulatory information authorized personnel. on the control of occupational hazards from non- RADIATION ionizing radiation and are available at: The OSHA Ionizing Radiation standard requires pre- www.osha.gov/SLTC/radiation_nonionizing/index.html. cautionary measures and personnel monitoring for workers who are likely to be exposed to radiation Extremely Low Frequency Radiation (ELF) hazards. Personnel monitoring devices (film Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) radiation at 60 HZ is badges, thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD), pock- produced by power lines, electrical wiring, and elec- et dosimeters, etc.) must be supplied and used if trical equipment. Common sources of intense expo- required to measure an individual’s radiation expo- sure include ELF induction furnaces and high-volt- sure from gamma, neutron, energetic beta, and X- age power lines. ray sources. The standard monitoring device is a clip-on badge or ring badge bearing the individual Radiofrequency and Microwave Radiation assignee’s name, date of the monitoring period and Microwave radiation (MW) is absorbed near the a unique identification number. The badges are skin, while radiofrequency (RF) radiation may be provided, processed and reported through a com- absorbed throughout the body. At high enough mercial service company that meets current require- intensities both will damage tissue through heating. ments of the National Institute of Standards and Sources of RF and MW radiation include radio emit- Technology’s National Voluntary Laboratory ters and cell phones. Accreditation Program (NIST NVLAP). Infrared Radiation (IR) It is important for employers to understand and fol- The skin and eyes absorb infrared radiation (IR) as low all applicable regulations for the use of iso- heat. Workers normally notice excessive exposure topes. In institutional settings, it is the responsibility through heat sensation and pain. Sources of IR radi- of each institution to ensure compliance with local, ation include heat lamps and IR lasers. state, and federal laws and regulations; to obtain licenses for official use of radioactive substances; Visible Light Radiation and to designate a radiation safety officer (RSO) to The different visible frequencies of the electromag- oversee and ensure compliance with state and/or netic (EM) spectrum are "seen" by our eyes as dif- NRC requirements. Information on radioactive ferent colors. Good lighting is conducive to materials licenses may be obtained from the increased production, and may help prevent inci- Department of Public Health from individual states dents related to poor lighting conditions. Excessive or from the NRC. visible radiation can damage the eyes and skin. The following OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page Ultraviolet Radiation (UV) provides links to technical and regulatory informa- Ultraviolet radiation (UV) has a high photon energy tion on the control of occupational hazards from range and is particularly hazardous because there ionizing radiation: are usually no immediate symptoms of excessive www.osha.gov/SLTC/radiationionizing/index.html. exposure. Sources of UV radiation in the laboratory include black lights and UV lasers. Non-ionizing Radiation Laser Hazards Non-ionizing radiation is described as a series of Lasers typically emit optical (UV, visible light, IR) energy waves composed of oscillating electric and radiations and are primarily an eye and skin hazard. magnetic fields traveling at the speed of light. Non- Common lasers include CO2 IR laser; helium - neon, ionizing radiation includes the spectrum of ultravio- neodymium YAG, and ruby visible lasers, and the let (UV), visible light, infrared (IR), microwave (MW), Nitrogen UV laser. radio frequency (RF), and extremely low frequency (ELF). Lasers commonly operate in the UV, visible, LASER is an acronym which stands for Light and IR frequencies. Non-ionizing radiation is found Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. in a wide range of occupational settings and can 2 2 Occupational Safety and Health Administration

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