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Quality Assurance/Quality Control Manual: Ohio Water Microbiology Laboratory



Detailed laboratory safety practices and responsibilities are described in the Chemical Hygiene Plan. Safety activities include safeguards to avoid electric shock; prevent fire; prevent accidental chemical spills; and minimize microbiological dangers, facility deficiencies, and equipment failures.

Laboratory personnel that are isolating microorganisms from natural sources must be made aware that pathogens may be present in environmental samples. Technicians are to wear disposable gloves and lab coats when handling samples that are likely to contain pathogens. Safety glasses are worn if there is a chance of projectiles, aerosols, or other foreign matter entering the eye. This includes when using positive-pressure air to blow out any remaining liquid during the filtration of water samples. Immunizations are offered to all Ohio Water Microbiology Laboratory (OWML) workers for Hepatitis A virus, Hepatitis B virus, and tetanus. Laboratory personnel will receive immunizations for these pathogens for all laboratory work and for less common pathogens on a project-specific basis. Projects sending samples to the OWML for less common pathogens are required to have a project safety plan.

Safety equipment is tested at regular intervals. Safety showers and eyewash stations are tested annually and recorded in the LIMS. Locations of the shower and eye wash stations are indicated on the laboratory map (Appendix A4). Single-use eyewash bottles are located in the side laboratory and warehouse. Fire extinguishers are inspected annually. The Chemical Hygiene Officer maintains a database of lab chemicals and gives the list of chemicals ready for hazardous waste disposal to the environmental compliance coordinator each year.