Thursday, June, 1st, 2017
The purpose of the Experiment Hazard Assessment Tool is to assist researchers with incorporating safety fundamentals into an experiment, thus creating an improved, safe and complaint work environment. This is accomplished by identifying hazards and the controls to mitigate or eliminate such hazards. (Common hazards include: Asphyxiation, Cancer, Electrical shock, Eye injury, Hearing loss, Infection, Poisoning, Reproductive organ damage, Repetitive Strain Injury, Respiratory disease, Skin burn, Skin cut and abrasion, Skin disease, Traumatic blood loss and Whole body trauma from explosions, falls, falling objects.) When planning an experiment, while the outcome is often unknown, the equipment, materials, processes and methods are well defined. Using the Experiment Hazard Assessment Tool in conjunction with the A-Z of Laboratory Safety at Tufts Guide, researchers should understand all applicable hazards, whether minor or major and be comfortable with implementing the correct controls to mitigate these prior to beginning work.
The completion of the Tool should be based on an experiment PROTOCOL. You write a protocol to ensure that you have a definite plan for conducting the experiment. This protocol is typically written in your laboratory notebook (paper or electronic). The protocol for your experiment should identify every piece of equipment, all materials, specific processes and step-by-step methods for performing each task. Using your protocol, mark “YES” or “NO” for each hazard. Those that are marked “YES” should be described and have identified control(s) noted. Amongst other resources, utilize reference documents cited within the Tool and/or contact Tufts Environmental Health and Safety for assistance. Once complete, the filing of the Tool is the discretion of the lab, so long as it is easily assessable to researchers performing the experiment.
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