Going above and beyond

My latest paper in the Journal of Chemical Health and Safety is out.  Always a cause for celebration, but for the rest of you, here is the distilled version.

Regard local laws and regulations as the bare minimum of what you need to do to keep your lab safe.  The more people a law needs to apply to, the more it will avoid specific challenges.

This is made worse by regulations changing from place to place and institution to institution.  Some items are tightly regulated in one country that can be bought from Amazon in another.  When you are managing an international lab – and which lab isn’t international, these days? – much will not be obvious to the workers that you think you can take for granted.

So, if the rules require that staff should be debriefed, debrief them, make them sit a little test, and put signs with the essential elements up around the lab.  If controlled materials are to be checked monthly, institute a weekly check.  Set up back-up record systems.  If you need to set up CCTV cameras, buy a two-for-one and create redundancy.

Going above and beyond is good practice throughout the lab management world, and it also makes it much easier for your licenses to be approved on the first go.

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