Safety Update

improvements to CFN safety

Wai-Lin Ng

Wai-Lin Ng

During this time, safety is at the forefront of our minds in our daily lives as we adapt to conduct work at home or on site to help reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Brookhaven Lab has been closed since March, with on-site staff levels set at a minimum to maintain essential core operations. With the statewide PAUSE executive order expiring on May 28, the Lab will be preparing to reopen its facilities in the coming weeks following federal and state guidelines. The CFN has been developing a plan to safely resume operations using a phased-in approach for returning staff and users. Following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we will be taking new measures to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission at our facility. These measures include limiting the number of people in labs, implementing cleaning protocols, and encouraging regular handwashing.

New Hazard Controls to Prevent COVID-19 Transmission  

According to the CDC, germs are more likely to spread from person to person during close contact (within six feet), when an infected person coughs or sneezes, producing droplets in the air that can be deposited in the mouth, nose, or eyes of nearby people or inhaled into the lungs.

People can also become infected with the virus by touching contaminated surfaces or objects and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes. Frequent cleaning of visibly dirty and high-touch surfaces, followed by disinfection, can help prevent SARS-CoV-2 and other germs from spreading in the workplace.

The following hazard controls will be implemented at the CFN:

  • Wear cloth face coverings at all times, with the exception of when you are alone in a closed-door office. Face coverings may be brought from home. The CFN will provide face coverings to those who need them. 
  • Maintain a minimum distance of at least six feet when you are interacting with each other.
  • Wash hands regularly and immediately upon finishing lab work.
  • Clean high-touch surfaces in labs (e.g., instrument controls) with provided cleaning supplies before and after each use.
  • Wear disposable nitrile gloves upon entering labs for personal protection while working with chemicals or handling nanomaterials and to minimize contamination of surfaces.

We look forward to your return to the CFN and working with you as we roll out these hazard controls while supporting user science in this new environment. We are counting on everyone to follow the practices and provide feedback so that we know what works and what needs improvement. Please contact me directly at

— Wai-Lin Ng
ES&H Manager

2020-17234  |  INT/EXT  |  Newsroom