Safety observer app for use in measuring safe working conditions and behaviour with nanomaterials

Konferenceabstrakt til konference - 2018

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Introduction: Occupational safety and health are often measure reactively with lagging indications such as accidents, injuries and illness. The objective of this presentation is to present preliminary results in developing a tool for use in safety rounds in workplaces and laboratories that work with or are exposed to chemicals and manufactured nanomaterials (MN). The tool is to be intuitive and easily useable by students, workers, faculty, lab directors and OSH professionals in assessing safety and health risks.
Methods: Safety observation templates are being developed for the free app ‘Safety Observer’. Safe and unsafe work conditions and behaviour regarding MN in a workplace are counted, e.g. use of personal protective equipment (e.g. protective clothing, one observation per person) and technical assistive devices (e.g. fume exhaust hoods, one observation per hood). Comments, smileys and photos can be added, and a final report containing leading safety indicators is generated and made available in the app and sent to one’s email for immediate use in reinforcing and improving OSH initiatives.
Results: The ‘Safety Observer’ app allows each user to either use the templates, or adapt them to the local context, language and culture. The templates for a MN lab could include topics such as: 1) Signage, marking and labelling (one of more observation for each room, storage area, piece of equipment or tool, etc.); 2) MN handling, storage, transport (one observation for each process in a given area); 3) Ventilation and filters (e.g. one observation for each HEPA-filer as to whether it is properly maintained and cleaned); 4) Personal protective equipment (e.g. gloves, lab coats, long pants, safety glasses, ear plugs, face shields, closed-toed shoes, respiratory masks); 5) Technical aids (e.g. fume exhaust hoods, glove boxes); 6) Order and tidiness (work and transport areas); First aid equipment; 7) Hygiene (e.g. no food or drinks in the lab); 8) Waste storage, recycling and disposal (e.g. labelling); 9) SOPs and risk assessments (e.g. chemical and MN specificity, use of hierarchy of controls).
Conclusion: The templates are an important contribution to providing positive, proactive and leading safety indicators in the daily promoting of healthy and safe work with MN.

Acknowledgement: The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Grant Agreement No.686239 ‘caLIBRAte’.

Reference

Safety observer app for use in measuring safe working conditions and behaviour with nanomaterials. 2018.

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caLIBRAte - test, kalibrering og implementering af et nyt model-baseret system til risikostyring under innovation og produktion af tekniske nanomaterialer