Academic & Research Labs

What if you lost funding for all of your biological research programs? Could your organization survive?

A report from the Office of the Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services revealed that a whopping 73% of academic containment laboratories have weaknesses related to biosafety and biosecurity.

There was a 1,500% increase in the number of laboratory incidents between 2004 and 2010. Odds are if it hasn’t happened to you, it WILL.

Your reputation is your most valuable asset, once lost it’s nearly impossible to regain.

An academic institution’s status not only attracts cutting-edge research programs, teaching talent and eager students—it also elicits funding.

In a University setting few areas pose as much risk for disaster as BSL-2 or BSL-3 laboratories. While these labs are fraught with risks, the high containment BSL-3 laboratories may arguably present fewer dangers than the BSL-2 laboratories. Do you know why?

BSL-2 labs consist of hazardous equipment and chemicals requiring focused attention, yet inexperienced guests are frequently onsite— visitors who are ignorant of the hazards present. Their presence alone compounds safety risks by interrupting the focus and concentration of your scientists and laboratory staff.

Many academic organizations delegate the responsibility of biosafety to the Campus Safety Officer, or a similar individual who has no formal education or specialized training in biological safety.

Some research campuses subordinate safety oversight to the office of campus security. Unless those security officers are appropriately educated and credentialed in safety, this is not advisable. After all, security and safety are different and security personnel aren’t usually trained or credentialed in laboratory risk management.

High containment labs (BSL-3) possess specialized safety, design and engineering components. These unique buildings or sections of a building typically require redundant power and ventilation filtration systems. Even waste disposal frequently involves complicated processes.  Does your lab currently employ a Biosafety Officer who has credentialed knowledge of these specialized requirements?

The consequences of a failure in your lab may be irreparable:

  • NIH grants and funding can be pulled from all of your labs, not just the ones in question.
  • Injury, sickness and even death of students, staff members and members of the community can occur, resulting in adverse publicity and potential litigation.
  • The CDC can cancel your Select Agent Program registration.
  • Staff can be fined and incarcerated due to lack of accountability.
  • Your laboratory can be crippled due to loss of funding, running the very real risk of closure.
  • Your organization may experience the cost and distraction to staff of costly protracted litigation.
  • Negative publicity and media coverage can make it difficult to win back the public’s trust.

Once a biological accident or event occurs, the harm to others and the damage to your organization’s reputation can’t be undone.

Inspirion supplies the services of certified and internationally recognized professionals to provide you the knowledge and support to achieve compliance and keep your laboratory safe.

Inspirion provides specialized services customized to the research and academic environment including:

  • Select Agent Program application pre-inspection
  • Biosafety/Biosecurity Program Review
  • Needs Assessments, Safety Audits and Risk Assessments
  • Temporary staffing
  • BioRisk Management Program Development
  • Biosafety/Biosecurity Curriculum Development
  • Development/Review of Administrative Controls
  • Training of facility staff (management, scientists, safety/security officers, housekeeping staff)
  • Facility Design Review
  • Commissioning Services
  • Support with AAALAC Accreditation
  • BSL-3 Verification
  • Laboratory Decontamination
  • Laboratory Decommissioning
  • Transitional Operations

Do you have concerns regarding the safety and compliance of your lab? Inspirion provides peace of mind. Contact us today—we’re ready to help.

BioRisk. Managed. TM

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