Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) and international experts have published a book on biological risk management within laboratories, the lab announced on Tuesday.
“This is the first full-length manuscript on the detailed implementation of bio-risk management,” Ren Salerno, senior manager of Sandia's Biological Sciences and Technologies program, said. “Laboratory bio-risk management is fundamentally a culture of rigorously assessing risks, deciding how to mitigate those risks deemed to be unacceptable and establishing mechanisms to constantly evaluate the effectiveness of the control measures.”
"Laboratory Biorisk Management" consists of 228 pages and is focused on the improvement on the management and handling of biological risks at hospitals and laboratories. Both Salerno and Senior Manager of the International Biological and Chemical Threat Reduction Program Jennifer Gaudioso worked as editors on the book.
The book focuses on the prioritization of evidence-based decisions being made in line with risk assessments on any facility. It suggests that facilities should be assessing their performance on a regular basis and that mitigation measures should be implemented at all facilities that manage and handle dangerous biological or chemical materials.
Sandia points out that recent incidents including the accidental shipment of live anthrax remnants and Ebola being spread to health workers in the U.S. are indicators of a need to reform how facilities manage dangerous biological material.
They state that focusing on performance in a safe manner can alleviate problems in this area before they become apparent.
“In other words, by evaluating performance you can adjust your safety measures before something happens,” Salerno said. “You don’t want a bad thing to happen to determine whether or not your system is working.”