Printable .pdf version
Tier 1 Inspection Results for FY 2010
by Bob Colichio
The chart below reflects the “Top 7” categories for most of the findings discovered during Tier 1 Safety Inspections for the Biology and Medical Departments over the past 3 years.
To further break it down, I’ve listed several examples of the types of deficiencies we’ve discovered in each of the categories:
The majority of these findings were associated with open/unattended sharps containers. Although not a regulatory requirement,
we find it a good practice to keep the sharps container “wheel” in a closed (not locked) position, especially if it’s on
the floor, to prevent used sharps from falling out if accidentally knocked over. We’ve also discovered several incidents of
open empty chemical bottles in fume hoods. Another deficiency also noted in large numbers were overflowing sharps containers
and glassware recycling containers.
Work Environment – Dept
Deficiencies noted in this group were refrigerators/freezers not labeled “For Chemicals Only – No Food”, obstructed eyewashes
or safety showers and trip hazards caused by equipment and electrical cords.
Chemical – Labeling
We still find this problem quite a bit where chemical bottles are labeled with a chemical formula instead of the name
(ie; ETOH instead of Ethyl Alcohol or Ethanol).
A large number of these findings have to do with equipment and supply storage in the labs and general cleanliness and
clutter throughout. Always keep benches, chemical hoods, floors, aisles, and other work surfaces clear of all material
not being used.
Chemicals not stored within secondary containment in case of leakage. Incompatible chemicals being stored together
(ie; acetic acid and nitric acid)
and corrosives being stored on shelves above eye level.
Mercury thermometers being used where they could be replaced by alcohol or other spirit filled thermometers.
(An event that happened here at BNL several years ago where a mercury thermometer was knocked off a table and broke
on the floor resulted in approximately $10K in manpower, monitoring and cleanup costs). Un-encapsulated lead being
used as weights or doorstops.
Unsecured gas cylinders, missing safety caps and incorrect “Empty/In Use/Full” tags. Liquid
Nitrogen Dewars missing Cryogen Safety Postings.
Last Modified: December 22, 2010
Please forward all questions about this site to: