The traditional approach to laboratory safety focuses almost solely on fundamentals like following the rules and policies, wearing protective equipment, and knowing who to contact in an emergency. While these are all vital components to lab safety, they do not engage the critical thinking and active decision making necessary in a complex and dynamic research environment. The traditional approach only allows lab scientists to respond to generic safety concerns. Lab scientists also need to be encouraged to use more of their knowledge, expertise, and experience to critically assess potential safety issues, and to have the confidence to respond appropriately to new safety incidents. The principles of risk assessment and control described by the RAMP framework are core safety concepts that all lab personnel should learn and utilize in their daily work. This presentation will introduce the elements of RAMP, offer examples of RAMP in action, and provide resources for ongoing education and support for risk management. Lab scientists and managers who have any responsibility for lab safety would benefit from attending this presentation.
Key takeaways from this presentation will include:
• Why risk assessment should be a part of all lab scientists’ daily work
• How to actively identify lab hazards and assess the risks of those hazards
• What the hierarchy of controls is and how it is used to manage risk
• Why emergency preparation is part of the risk assessment process
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