Domestic Disaster Preparedness

Now that hurricane season is officially here, here are some tips to help you can be assured that you’re prepared... (care of Lab Safety Supply and the Department of Homeland Security).

No matter what type of emergency or disaster occurs, planning in advance can make a difference between life and death. While there are federal, state and local police and fire department resources set up to provide assistance, they can quickly become overwhelmed by the scope or scale of an event. Given this possibility, personal preparedness is essential.

With any disaster or emergency, there are basic needs and essentials that must be met. At a minimum, water, food and shelter are absolute necessities. Depending on the nature of the event, clean, breathable air and additional supplies may also be needed. Keep everything in a container or some other device that provides protection, portability and ease of access.

While no one can fully anticipate what kinds of emergencies or disasters may occur, preparing for them in advance can make a difference in the days that follow. Collecting supplies and planning and preparing for your personal needs are best done before warnings are issued or after something happens. This way, there is no rush and supplies are plentiful.

For the more detailed information on this topic see Domestic Disaster Preparedness.

Working With Cryogens

There have been two recent incidents involving liquid nitrogen, one resulting in an injury and another in a near miss. The main hazards in handling cryogenic materials are extremely low temperatures (on the order of -200° C or lower), which can lead to tissue damage, and volumetric expansion, which can result in an uncontrolled release of pressure.

For the more information on these incidents and how to avoid them, see Working with Cryogens.

Microwave Safety at Work

Microwave ovens can be safely used in a laboratory, provided that certain precautions are scrupulously observed. Here is a list of simple safety dos and don'ts:

• Use microwave-transparent containers whenever possible.
• Always handle containers with potholders or thermal mitts.
• Never cover containers tightly.
• Never operate the microwave without a minimum volume of microwave-absorbing material inside
  the cavity.
• Never put a conductive material (such as a metal container) inside the microwave.
• Periodically inspect and clean door seals and hinges.
• Periodically use a microwave leakage detector to check for microwave leakage from the door seals.
• Never heat food in a microwave oven used for laboratory procedures.
• Never use toxic chemicals in a microwave oven unless you have a laboratory microwave with a
  high-volume exhaust (100 cubic feet per minute should be the standard) ventilating the cavity
  into a fume hood.
• Never use flammable solvents in a kitchen microwave oven; these chemicals can only be safely
  heated in a laboratory microwave designed for this purpose, with a temperature feedback system
  which will prevent overheating.

Following BNL Bicycling Regulations

All BNL and non-BNL staff must follow the New York State driving regulations when riding a bicycle on-site. Failure to follow them may result in a citation being issued for a traffic violation and disciplinary action. Complete biking regulations.

Integrated Safety and Security Management

Review Your Responsibilities:

• Work safely and securely
• Know how your actions impact the safety and security of others
• Protect each other and the public
• Protect BNL assets (information and property)
• Obey barricades, signs, postings, labels and tags
• Ask questions when in doubt and communicate any concerns
• Do not participate in activities you believe are unsafe or compromise security
• Complete training requirements for your work area
• Always wear proper Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
• Provide feedback to make improvements
• Wear your badge at all times and keep it in a safe place when you are off site
• Lock offices and buildings when not occupied
• Remember to password your computer when you leave your office for an extended period of time
• Report any suspicious activity immediately to the BNL Police Group at ext. 2238/2239/2222 or 911

For more information contact your organization’s representative or visit the ISSM web site:

Guidance When Workers Becomes Injured or Ill on the Job

For the Employee: It is a requirement of your employment to report work-related injuries, illnesses, potential exposures to chemical, biological, radiological or other hazard, and near misses immediately to your line organization supervisor, manager, or Principal Investigator (PI).
You must report to the OMC within 24 hours of incurring the injury or when an occupational illness is confirmed.

Supervisors: It is the Supervisors responsibility to send their employees to the Occupational Medicine Clinic prior to returning to work from a work incurred injury or illness, or if they use greater than 5 consecutive sick days for non work related illness or injury.

Complete Role of "All" Participants.

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Last Modified: July 16, 2008
Please forward all questions about this site to: Kathy Folkers

DOE, Office of Science One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE's Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by the Research Foundation for the State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.

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