1.4 Monitoring risks and mitigation measures

The laboratory manager should conduct regular audits to monitor risks and control measures. These can be done by reviewing reports of corrective actions taken after problems were identified earlier, thoroughly investigating incidents or accidents and implementing preventive measures, and ensuring that adequate resources are provided to maintain the necessary level of precautions. Documenting the risk assessment process and identifying mitigation measures are integral and important steps to ensure that biosafety measures selected and implemented are constantly improved.

The following events should trigger either a new procedural risk assessment or review of an existing one:

  • commencement of new work or changes to the programme of work, or alterations to workflow or volume;
  • new construction of or modifications to laboratories, or the introduction of new equipment;
  • altered staffing arrangements (including the use of contractors and other non-core personnel, or the need to accommodate visitors);
  • alterations to standard operating procedures or working practices (for example, changes in disinfection or waste management protocols, provision of personal protective equipment and its use, changes to entry or exit protocols);
  • an incident in the laboratory (for example, a major spill);
  • evidence of or suspicion of a laboratory-acquired infection;
  • consideration of emergency responses and contingency planning requirements;
  • the existing management system review process (for example, annually or at other appropriate and predetermined frequencies).

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