health and safety in forensic DNA lab (FBI)

In an fbi forensics lab there are certain health and safety practices and procedures to be followed;

general safety:

  • documented health and safety programme including that for waste such as chemical and biological.
  • documented health and safety training to all employees, at a minimum of bloodborne pathogen and chemical hygiene.
  • designated health and safety manager
  • health and safety programme to be monitered regularly and annualy checked for effectiveness.
  • specific procedures for an accident or exposure to hazardous materials
  • emerency fire protection plan
  • designated areas for consuming and storing food and beverages
  • accessable personal health and safety equipment
  • first aid kits available and strategically located
  • safety shower and emergency eyewash kit, fully working and strategically placed.
  • emergency exits to be left unobstructed and safety routes on posters in lab
  • general cleanliness and good housekeeping

radiation safety;

  • if the laboratory uses instruments or procedures using radiation (ionising), procedures for monitoring, labelling and disposal must be used.

biological safety;

  • documented training programmes in place for any personnel that work with blood or other infectious material, including handling, disposal and use.
  • universal precautions must be observed when handling infectious materials such as blood.
  • biohazard warnings must be in place
  • any personnel that experience an occupational exposure to infectious materials such as blood must have the hepatitis b vaccine series made available to them.


chemical safety;

  • documented training programme for chemical hazards and hygiene communication
  • laboratory access to up to date material data sheets for chemicals used.
  • current chemical inventories
  •  equipment and material ready for use in incidents of hazardous chemical spills that may be carcinogenic and/or toxic.
  • employees must have instructions on what to do in the case of a chemical spill
  • allotted space provided for hazardous chemicals
  • all incompatible chemicals separated accordingly
  • secondary containers used with labels to identify not only the contents, but also any hazards associated
  • a safe working environment must be maintained by having sufficient exhaust hoods
  • chemical and biological waste procedures must be in place




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