Safety in Health Care Laboratories
Document produced by the WHO Unit of Health Laboratory Technology
Technical Units
Order Number    19300105 Format    E-book collection (PDF)
Price    CHF    35.00 / US$    42.00 Developing countries:    CHF    24.50
English     1997        157   pages
Table of contents
Related Publications
Translation(s) available
A logical, step-by-step guide to the broad range of measures needed to maximize safety in health care laboratories. Addressed to laboratory staff as well as directors and supervisors, the manual adopts a pragmatic, didactic, and preventive approach, alerting readers to virtually all risks and hazards - whether related to staff attitudes and training or specific items of equipment - that may be encountered in routine practice. Emphasis is placed on measures that can prevent injury and illness in all medical, technical, and ancillary laboratory personnel. The protection of other people with right of entry is also covered.
Throughout the manual, numerous diagrams, checklists, charts, tables and illustrations of equipment and premises are used to help readers recognize risks and find ways to minimize them. Information ranges from advice on how to prevent bacterial contamination of water systems, through examples of design features that make standard equipment less hazardous, to guidelines for the safe recycling of reusable items and the recovery of salvage from waste.
The manual has twelve concise chapters. The first two describe the principles and components of a laboratory safety programme and outline the training required to establish and maintain safe work practices. Chapter three, on laboratory premises, covers the many factors that need to be considered when siting and designing laboratory facilities for maximum safety. Information is provided on hazard zoning and on standard safety requirements for electricity supplies, lighting, water supply and drainage, fuel gas, piped compressed gases, equipment and furniture, and storage facilities.
Against this background, chapters offer detailed advice on risks and their prevention specific to fire hazards, the electrical supply, hazards posed by equipment, microbiological hazards, and chemical hazards. Advice on radiation safety in the radionuclide laboratory is also provided. The chapter on equipment, which is especially detailed, gives numerous examples of equipment-related accidents and the remedial steps needed to protect personnel. The remaining chapters cover the safe transport and receipt of clinical material, describe procedures for the disposal of waste and recycling of materials, and provide instructions for first aid in the laboratory.
Since some of the chemicals, equipment, and procedures used in health laboratories are intrinsically hazardous, the book includes a step-by-step guide to procedures for risk assessment. Also included in annexes are advice on how to prepare standard operating procedures and an outline of the specific hazards and corresponding precautions for some 46 chemicals commonly used in health laboratories.