The Need for Review and Improvement of Laboratory training Program in UNTHSC
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Introduction: The three main components of an efficient safety program are policies that outline the regulatory requirements, training programs that educate the research community about the risk involved and the audit program that ensure the effective safety practice implementation. The importance of an excellent safety program cannot be undermined in an academic setting because it is an essential tool for smooth running of daily activities on the campus. An efficient safety program ensures that the research activities are in compliance with the federal, state and institutional level regulations. Thus the safety program protects the employees and environment from exposure to hazardous materials The objective of this study is to improve the training aspect of the UNT HSC Environmental Health and Safety Laboratory Inspection Program. Methods: Unscheduled inspections were carried out to examine safety practices in laboratories across campus. A total of 92 laboratories were inspected in which some of the laboratories use strong chemicals, some work with cell lines, biohazard pathogens and some work with laser materials. Minor deficiencies identified during the inspection were analyzed and a program improvement plan was created. Results: Data analysis revealed minor deficiencies in the safety practices in the laboratories inspected. Defaults in the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), laboratory manuals, chemical inventory keeping, and other safety procedures were discovered. Recommendations: Training and retraining of laboratory personnel; quarterly lab inspections.