Category Archives: Reference material

Characterising bias in regulatory risk and decision analysis

There’s an interesting, although dense, article at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412016303877
entitled “Characterising bias in regulatory risk and decision analysis: An analysis of heuristics applied in health technology appraisal, chemicals regulation, and climate change governance”. It describes the root issues that many of us face in using specific tools (GHS, Job Hazard Analysis, Control Banding, etc.) to make decisions in the face of uncertainty. I am particularly interested in the article’s discussion of decision rules in Table 1 and how that compares to the various approaches outlined in Identifying and Evaluating Hazards in Research Laboratories.

In my mind, the goal of the article is to remind us to put some error bars arounds our decision-making criteria as we proceed with any of these approaches.

JCHAS Spotlight: Literature Review – Remediation of Meth Labs

The Editor’s Spotlight for the September / October 2017 issue of the Journal of Chemical Health and Safety is shining on:

Remediation of manufactured methamphetamine in clandestine laboratories: A Literature Review

By Clyde V. Owens

The abstract is:

The purpose of the current literature review was to identify, collect, review, and organize all available information concerning clandestine laboratories used to produce methamphetamine through an analysis of routinely collected data sources. There were numerous peer reviewed journals, electronic databases, websites, and commercial vendors relevant to the remediation process of methamphetamine laboratories. Our intention in this review was to produce background information as well as a reference guide relating to the critical problem of methamphetamine production nationally and internationally in addition to generat- ing future research projects associated with the topic. This literature review determined there has not been a national standardized analytical method recognized as a reference guideline for the remediation of clandestine laboratories for production of methamphetamine.

Other articles in this issue are:

A new language
Harry J. Elston

The efficacy of alkalized liquid hydrogen peroxide for the remediation of manufactured methamphetamine in clandestine laboratories Original Research Article
Clyde V. Owens

Accumulation and risk assessment of heavy metal contents in school playgrounds in Port Harcourt Metropolis, Rivers State, Nigeria Original Research Article
Chioma Joy Okereke, Peter Uchenna Amadi

Development and psychometric evaluation of the Research Laboratory Safe Behavior Survey (RLSBS) Original Research Article
Eric F. Jorgensen

Addressing as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) issues: Investigation of worker collective external and extremity dose data
Original Research Article
Michael E. Cournoyer, Stephen A. Costigan, Stephen B. Schreiber

JCHAS Spotlight: Ergonomics of Glove Boxes

The Editor’s Spotlight for the July / August 2017 issue of the Journal of Chemical Health and Safety is shining on:

Rotator cuff strength balance in glovebox workers (link to PDF version)

By Cindy M. Lawton, Amelia M. Weaver, Martha K.Y. Chan, Michael E. Cournoyer

The abstract is:

Gloveboxes are essential to the pharmaceutical, semi-conductor, nuclear, and biochemical industries. While gloveboxes serve as effective containment systems, they are often difficult to work in and present a number of ergonomic hazards. One such hazard is injury to the rotator cuff, a group of tendons and muscles in the shoulder, connecting the upper arm to the shoulder blade. Rotator cuff integrity is critical to shoulder health. This study compared the rotator cuff muscle strength ratios of glovebox workers to the healthy norm. Descriptive statistics were collected using a short questionnaire. Handheld dynamometry was used to quantify the ratio of forces produced for shoulder internal and external rotation. Results showed this population to have shoulder strength ratios significantly different from the healthy norm. Strength ratios were found to be a sound predictor of symptom incidence. The deviation from the normal ratio demonstrates the need for solutions designed to reduce the workload on the rotator cuff musculature in order to improve health and safety. Assessment of strength ratios can be used to screen for risk of symptom development. This increases technical knowledge and augments operational safety.

Other articles in this issue are:

Whither CSB?
Harry J. Elston

A software for managing chemical processes in a multi-user laboratory
F.E. Camino

Rotator cuff strength balance in glovebox workers
Cindy M. Lawton, Amelia M. Weaver, Martha K.Y. Chan, Michael E. Cournoyer

Assessment of shooter’s task-based exposure to airborne lead and acidic gas at indoor and outdoor ranges
Jun Wang, Hailong Li, Marcio L.S. Bezerra

Make safety awareness a priority: Use a login software in your research facility
F.E. Camino

JCHAS Spotlight: Bowtie Diagrams

The Editor’s Spotlight for the May / June 2017 issue of the Journal of Chemical Health and Safety is shining on:

Using bowtie methodology to support laboratory hazard identification, risk management, and incident analysis by Mary Beth Mulcahy, Chris Boylan,
Samuella Sigmann, and Ralph Stuart.

This is based on a technical program workshop which Mary Beth and Chris led at the 2016 San Diego ACS National Meeting and describes how a graphical tool for organized laboratory risk assessment and incident information can support a strong laboratory safety culture.

The abstract is:

Hazard prevention and control systems for specific laboratory processes must be readily shared between lab workers, their colleagues, and lab supervisors. In order for these control systems to be effective in a transferable and sustainable way, effective risk management communication tools must be present. These tools need to be adaptable and sustainable as research processes change in response to evolving scientific needs in discovery based laboratories.

In this manuscript, the application of a risk management tool developed in the oil and gas industry known as a ‘‘bowtie diagram’’ is assessed for application in the laboratory setting. The challenges of identifying laboratory hazards and managing associated risks as well as early experiences in adapting bowtie diagrams to the laboratory setting are described. Background information about the bowtie approach is provided and the technique illustrated using an academic laboratory research scenario. We also outline the role bowtie diagrams could play in a proactive safety culture program by facilitating hazard communication and maintaining hazard awareness across a wide spectrum of stakeholders.