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Containment safety awarenesss

2nd December 2013


Greater safety awareness and more frequent changes in analysis have given rise to a growing demand for a flexible approach to containment.

A containment device is in effect a hazardous zone (assuming that contamination will be concentrated in this area). Designing and implementing a containment solution will provide a certain level of safety, but the real safety control comes with the way in which analysts use the device. Great emphasis, therefore, is on the operator to use the device correctly, and understand where and how contamination occurs.

Contamination awareness training is an effective way to help analysts to understand why certain processes are contained. Key areas to understand are:

- Awareness of potent compounds;

- Exposure routes - how the drug enter the blood stream;

- How contamination moves about the laboratory;

- How to minimise contamination;

- Safe handling techniques.

In many cases not only can analysts work on different drugs, colleagues may also handle drugs at various potency levels within the same laboratory.

If an analyst experiences an adverse reaction as a result of over exposure, it could be difficult to establish whether it was because of the drug they were handling or that of a colleague.

Having clear and visible handling techniques common throughout a laboratory would help new analysts working in the lab; they also reinforce that good sample handling techniques should be part of their routine.

Hands-on training in the laboratory - sharing knowledge of how contamination occurs, and demonstrating proven sample handling and cleaning techniques - can assist in developing safe handling standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Using specialised UV detection equipment to monitor contamination zones and thus ensure equipment and surfaces are clean, can help analysts' awareness of laboratory contamination - how it collects on equipment and surfaces, and how it can be transferred.

By identifying contamination hot spots and monitoring these, analysts can develop SOPs to ensure exposure, and surface contamination on instruments and enclosures, are minimised.

Some companies, such as CTS, offer on-site contamination control and safe handling workshops. These workshops are designed to provide analysts with the knowledge and handling techniques important in implementing an effective containment solution for their particular laboratory process.

Effective engineering safety controls, along with good awareness training, allow analysts to work safely as they will understand the risks associated with handling APIs, and the ways in which they can become exposed.

Analysts will have practical techniques and easy-to-implement SOPs to minimise exposure risk.

Containment Technology Services Europe is based in Portsmouth, UK. www.containment-technology.co.uk or www.lab-bubble.com





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