Category Archives: Occupational health & safety

Laboratory safety | Relevant workplace accidents/incidents including those where fatal injuries and investigations occur.

Quad bike deaths: Regulation resisted despite becoming number one cause of fatal accidents on farms

ABC News August 27, 2014 David Lewis

Quad bikes are now the number one cause of fatal accidents on Australian farms, but even families who have lost loved ones in accidents are resisting any proposed reforms to increase safety.

A coronial inquest in Queensland is examining nine recent fatal crashes and a list of recommendations will be released later this year with the aim of making the vehicles less dangerous.  Continue reading…


Hundreds of bioterror lab mishaps cloaked in secrecy

USA Today Alison Young 17 August 2014

More than 1,100 laboratory incidents involving potential bioterror germs were reported to federal regulators during 2008 through 2012, reports show. Details of what happened are cloaked in secrecy.

More than half these incidents were serious enough that lab workers received medical evaluations or treatment, according to the reports. In five incidents, investigations confirmed that laboratory workers had been infected or sickened; all recovered.

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Sloppy practices by CDC scientist cited in lab mishap

USA Today Alison Young 15 August 2014

Sloppy lab practices by an experienced but overworked scientist rushing to get to a noon meeting is likely how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cross-contaminated a specimen of a benign bird flu virus with a dangerous strain that can kill people, according to an internal agency investigation released Friday.

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Faulty USB chargers recalled by Officeworks

The Sydney Morning Herald  August 5, 2014  Lucy Cormack

A line of USB chargers sold at Officeworks stores have been recalled after an incident in which the casing around a charger melted after overheating.

The incident, in which no one was injured, occured in Victoria and the device involved was one of 3400 sold nationally.  Continue reading…

New report calls for strong, positive safety culture in academic chemical labs

(National Academy of Sciences 31 July 2014) Everyone involved in the academic chemical research enterprise — from researchers and principal investigators to university leadership — has an important role to play in establishing and promoting a strong, positive safety culture, says a new report from the National Research Council.

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CDC Director Frieden confirms pattern of insufficient lab safety

BioPrepWatch  Bryan Cohen

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden testified before a House subcommittee last week and acknowledged that recent lab safety breaches were part of an insufficient culture of safety.

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing on Wednesday to review recent incidents at the CDC involving anthrax and other dangerous pathogens. In June, more than 80 workers at a CDC lab in Atlanta were potentially exposed to live anthrax. In the past month, additional reports emerged, adding urgency to a House Energy and Commerce Committee investigation, according to a committee press releaseContinue reading…

US admits security breaches with deadly virus samples

New Scientist No 2978 15 July 2014

Biosecurity slip-ups in US labs handling anthrax and smallpox happened because of lack of oversight and failure to follow protocol, says new report.  The incident has not yet made anyone ill, and poses negligible risk for the public, but it raises concerns about work with deadly pathogens.

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