Manual of Laboratory Safety Ramnik Sood, Najat Rashid
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3Manual of LABORATORY SAFETY: (Chemical, Radioactive, and Biosafety with Biocides)
Najat Rashid MSc PhD (UK) Director Federal Medical Laboratories Consultant Clinical and Molecular Biochemist Ministry of Health United Arab Emirates Ramnik Sood MD (Path, Gold Medalist) Consultant Reem Medical and Diagnostic Center Healthcare Mena Limited Sharjah United Arab Emirates Foreword Mansour Al-Zarouni
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© 2013, Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior permission of the publisher.
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This book has been published in good faith that the contents provided by the authors contained herein are original, and is intended for educational purposes only. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy of information, the publisher and the authors specifically disclaim any damage, liability, or loss incurred, directly or indirectly, from the use or application of any of the contents of this work. If not specifically stated, all figures and tables are courtesy of the authors. Where appropriate, the readers should consult with a specialist or contact the manufacturer of the drug or device.
Manual of Laboratory Safety
First Edition: 2013
Printed at
5Dedicated to
Our Friend, Philosopher and Guide
Dr Ahmed Abdul-Ghaffar Khatib
It gives me immense pleasure to introduce this excellent treatise on safety and security in a medical diagnostic laboratory. Having spent all my working life in such a laboratory, I am well-aware of the problems often encountered in clinical and research laboratories. Although I stood at the apex of the setup, but it was always necessary for me to look down even at the status of the floors of my setup. The tabletops ambient air that we breathed had all to be free from pathogens. I have seen technologists getting Brucellosis by smelling the Brucella growing culture plates. Many an individuals have acquired HIV/AIDS from the laboratory and lost their lives (from preventable causes).
This textbook will serve as an ideal partner/companion and tool to make your workplace namely, the laboratory, as the safest place (whether you run a stand-alone laboratory or as part of a hospital setup). A simple step such as keeping the sleeves of your labcoat a little short can prevent spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and fomite transmittable viral diseases.
The measures suggested within the covers of this book are up to date and as per current internationally acceptable standards and protocols. What World Health Organization (WHO) recommends, what Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends—the reader will find everything just by flipping a few pages.
Mansour Al-Zarouni BSc (USA), MSc and PhD (UK)
Medical and Molecular Microbiologist
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Sharjah Medical District
Ministry of Health
United Arab Emirates
Medical diagnostic laboratories can usually be classified into basic or primary, medium or secondary, and advanced or tertiary laboratories. However, one fact cannot be overlooked that they are and can be the most dangerous places in a hospital for the personnel working in them and for individuals who visit them. Most cases or samples that reach a laboratory come with a presumption that they are pathological or abnormal. Consequently, one has to exercise more precautions in a laboratory as compared to other regions of a healthcare providing facility. Needless to say that the basic or peripherally situated laboratories would normally have the least protective measures in place. Also, one has to remember that besides harboring bacteria, viruses; all laboratories also house numerous simple and dangerous chemicals and some even deal with radioactive materials and substances. So, all laboratories must have all provisions and adequately understand the concepts and designs and operations/ methods to keep a laboratory safe at all times for all those who visit them either as workers or as patients. One could pick up MRSA or H1N1 virus from the tabletop. One could easily carry them home and put others at risk—individuals who have nothing to do with medical diagnostic laboratory. While working in a laboratory there may be a spill sometime, so everyone must know how to deal with them. Personal accidents can and do happen. One must, as a matter of principle, avoid working alone in a laboratory at all times. The person not involved in the accident in the laboratory comes in handy in saving the life of the other.
Also with the emergence of rules that make laboratories mandatorily to be International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/Joint Commission International (JCI) or Certified Authorization Professional (CAP) certified or compliant, the laboratory safety measures acquire greater significance. Without perfect safety measures in place, such accreditations are never granted.
So, peep within the pages of this book and get “A to Z” of all aspects related to laboratory safety and security. The book amply covers biosafety and biosecurity while not forgetting safety with chemicals and radioactive materials. The book suggests measures to prevent accidents and should they happen, what to do under those circumstances.
Why wait, own this copy and take it to your place and start checklisting the appropriate measures that you have and those that you do not have. Set them right and make your facility as safe if possible and necessary.
We would like to place on record the help and assistance rendered by Mr Abdul Razaq Donigal Mohammed, without his unceasing passion, this book would not have seen the light of the day.
Najat Rashid
Ramnik Sood