Research activities, whether conducted in the field or laboratory, can pose unique hazards to researchers, their subjects, and the public. Our laboratory safety group includes engineers, explosion and fire experts, certified hazardous materials managers, occupational safety specialists, toxicologists, and certified industrial hygienists.

Laboratory Safety

The laboratory environment can be a hazardous place to work. Laboratory workers are exposed to numerous potential hazards including chemical, biological, physical and radioactive hazards, as well as musculoskeletal stresses. Laboratory safety is governed by numerous local, state and federal regulations.

The laboratory safety experts at Robson Forensic have designed, built, maintained, and operated laboratories. Our experts are well versed in federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, state OSHA planning requirements, industry laboratory consensus standards, guidelines, and the best practices for the control of exposure to potentially hazardous substances. These mandated requirements, standards, guidelines, and best practices are designed to provide an acceptable low risk of exposure in the work environment for the protection of workers’ health and to safeguard the community and environment.

Laboratory Hazards

The experts at Robson Forensic investigate incidents, involving a broad range of hazards that are found in the laboratory settings;

  • Biological hazards: fungi/mold, bacteria and viruses, blood or body fluids, plants, animal or bird droppings
  • Chemical hazards: dusts, fumes, mists, vapors, gases, steam, liquids, acids/bases, explosive compounds, salts, alcohols, asphyxiates, flammable solvents, oxidizing agents, cryogens and dry ice
  • Ergonomic hazards: repetitive motion (pipetting), lifting, work areas (computers, instruments)
  • Physical hazards: fire, electrical, ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, high/low pressure, pressure vibration, temperatures, noise, magnetic fields, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, laser light, autoclaves and sterilizers, centrifuges

Hazard Mitigation

To mitigate the hazards that are found in the laboratory, safety professionals utilize a framework called the “hierarchy of controls”. The hierarchy of controls prioritizes intervention strategies based on the premise that the best way to control a hazard is to systematically remove it from the workplace, rather than relying on workers to reduce their exposure. The types of measures that may be used to protect laboratory workers, prioritized from the most effective to least effective, are:

  1. Engineering controls
  2. Administrative controls
  3. Work practices
  4. Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Most employers use a combination of control methods. The laboratory safety experts at Robson Forensic are frequently tasked with investigating particular workplaces, specific to an incident, to evaluate the adequacy of building space, equipment, safety plans and policies.

Laboratory Casework Frequently Involves:

  • Ventilation/glove boxes
  • Radiation safety and exposure
  • Biohazards
  • Hazardous wastes
  • Air pollution/contaminant dispersion
  • Facility decommissioning
  • Evaluation of adequate training
  • Evaluation of appropriate engineering and administrative controls

LABORATORY EVIDENCE & TESTING

Robson Forensic offers a fully appointed mechanical testing laboratory to assist our clients with the inspection of evidence related to laboratory safety cases. Our lab facilities can accommodate large industrial equipment and are equipped to perform testing on a variety of electrical and mechanical devices. Visit our Mechanical Testing Laboratory page for more information.

DISCUSS YOUR CASE WITH AN EXPERT

Call or submit an inquiry to tell us about your case. Once we determine which expert is best qualified to assist, we will put you in direct contact.