Classification: UK OFFICIAL
For what it’s worth, here is what is written in our laboratory risk assessment for lone working:
“Lone working involving synthesis or handling operations is not permitted under any circumstances. Washing-up may be undertaken unaccompanied, so long as another member of staff is working in an adjacent laboratory or office and is informed that washing up is taking place. Washing-up must only be undertaken by members of staff who have been briefed on local procedures and hazards associated with working with enhanced hazard materials by the WPS, DWPS, TL or Mentor.”
Happy to field questions about how it actually works….
Gareth R. Williams PhD
Synthetic Chemistry Team
Defence Science & Technology Laboratory
Thanks very much, that is a very useful template.
We’ve struggled with a similar question and came up with a “working alone” SOP template here: http://ehs.ucdavis.edu/article/standard-operating-procedure-templates (it’s the last template in the list).
It provides a framework within which an individual could work alone and the constraints around that. There are some activities the institution forbids working along but I don’t think you’ll get any argument about that prohibition.
Hope this helps - development of this SOP is required of all chemistry department research PIs.
Debbie M. Decker, CCHO, ACS Fellow
Immediate Past Chair, Division of Chemical Health and Safety
University of California, Davis
Birkett's hypothesis: "Any chemical reaction
that proceeds smoothly under normal conditions,
can proceed violently in the presence of an idiot."
Our EHS group is revising our lone worker policy for R&D and I am a member of the larger team providing input. Initially the team essentially came up with a document that amounted to a prohibition of working alone. That is to say, it was so prohibitive that it essentially precluded this activity altogether. After multiple rounds of discussion we were able to first articulate that working alone is risky, and requires a discussion between employee and manager as to the risks and potential hazards. Second, we identified “buckets” of tasks that should not be prohibited while working alone (confined spaces, cyanide work, etc.).
But I wanted to look externally for benchmarking to see if any of you have wrestled with ensuring a safe work environment without sacrificing productivity unnecessarily. If any of you can provide any input into your organization’s approach to this topic I’d be much obliged.
Thank you in advance,
Andrew J. Nation, M.A., M.B.A.
Bristol Myers Squibb Company
Research Business Operations
Bristol-Myers Squibb R&D
Princeton, NJ 08543
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