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Conduct Periodic, Unannounced Laboratory Inspections

Quarterly inspections are an integral part of a good safety program.

by James A. Kaufman
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Quarterly inspections are an integral part of a good safety program. They are conducted to ensure that the working and learning environment is safe and healthy for all.

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As you conduct your inspection, make a written list of items that you identify for improving lab safety. When you're done, prioritize the list to note the more serious issues. After the inspection, work diligently to make those improvements that are within your ability and resources. Seek assistance for the rest.

Perhaps one of the quarterly inspections can be done by people outside your lab; or let everyone on your staff have a chance on some rotating basis to help conduct the inspection. Not only will this bring fresh eyes to the process but it will share the responsibility for safety throughout the laboratory and the institution.

Inspections are your opportunity look for problems as well as things that are well done. Don't hesitate to praise good work, safe practice, improvements, and good ideas.