Session 1 - a : New Updates in Biosafety in Laboratory Animal Facilities, NACLAR and AAALAC Guidelines
Nov 08, 2018 8:50 AM - 10:40 AM
Laboratory biosafety is predominantly aimed at controlling the exposure of workers and the environment to harmful pathogens. Recently the World Health Organization has announced that a risk-based approach will be used in the next edition of the Laboratory Safety Manual which is expected to be published in 2019. The previous method of classification of infective agents into four risk groups each requiring four biocontainment levels is considered prescriptive and a one-size-fits-all approach. Especially, in developing regions where resources are not readily available it is essential that the approach is locally sustainable. While the previous approach was to rely heavily on engineering controls, it is noted that many accidents are not due to failure of engineering but operational controls. Understanding that in order to be sustainable the risk control measures have to be locally available and sustainable, WHO is now taking a more human focused and flexible approach in the new edition.
This ties in very beautifully with the two concepts of safety in the field of safety science. The old view or safety I, as it is called pays attention to accidents and considers that humans are a liability and have to be controlled in how they work. The new view of safety called safety II, pays attention to the things that workers do right and emphasizes that this should be supported. The new view states that most of the time there is no accident and this is because the workers are able to anticipate and prevent accidents and it is their resilience that keeps accidents to a low level. In this case the organization should support and strengthen what the workers are already doing thus improving their resilience. Safety has to be seen in the light of productivity and the same resilience that prevents an accident also ensures that productivity is maintained, because if the workers are not productive what is the use of being safe?