Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Biosafety Practices and Techniques

When working in a Legionella testing laboratory or other facility that works with or handles biological hazards, it’s important to have your staff trained with the best biosafety practices and techniques in the case of a hazardous event.

First and foremost, you need to make sure your staff understands what the hazards are that they are working with and what to do if they come into contact with hazardous substances. Assistance should be sought out immediately in the event that an employee is splashed with these chemicals and any accident, injury, or uncontrolled release of hazardous materials should be reported as quickly as possible.

No one wants an accident to happen in their workplace and the most important thing you can do is to make sure you facility is prepared for whatever may happen. Be sure that you and your staff attend all required laboratory safety trainings and are well educated on all procedures and safety information associated with each task they are given.

Lastly, you’ll want to protect yourself, others, the research, and the environment while entering and exiting the facility. All employees must practice good personal hygiene by washing their hands frequently with mild non-antimicrobial soap, especially after handling potentially dangerous substances. It’s also important to wear all of the necessary protective equipment such as eye protection, gloves, and a gown or lab coat.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

3 Basic Risk Management Principles

When working with biohazardous substances, having your workplace trained in risk management is essential to your company’s well-being. Identifying these risks and understanding how to handle them should an accident occur can make all the difference in the health and safety of your staff.

1. If you don’t already know, you should first figure out what risks are presented to you, your organization, and your staff while in the workplace. Health and safety risks are extremely important to identify as well as property damage risks due to contamination or simple negligence of maintenance.

2. Once these risks are identified, it’s important to analyze each risk and determine “what’s the worst that could happen?” That may be a loss in finances or something more serious, such as a loss of life. It’s also important to determine the potential frequency of these events and why they might occur in the first place.

3. Proper risk control practices allow hazardous situations to be reduced, prevented, and even avoided based on the action that needs to take place for each potential event. In our Control of Biohazards course, we’ll train you and your staff on all of the risk management principles that are essential to your facility.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Importance of Legionella Testing

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia most common in the summer and fall. It can be deadly and there is no vaccination for the disease which is caused by any type of legionella bacteria. It is naturally found in a lot of water supplies like streams, rivers, pools, and ponds. Because of this, testing for legionella bacteria is a very important process. Here are some of the reasons accurate and regular legionella testing is important:

It can cause diseases – As we previously mentioned, legionella bacteria can cause a type of pneumonia called Legionnaires’ disease or legionellosis. This is typically accompanied by symptoms like fever, chills, muscle ache, chest pains, and more. There is no vaccination against Legionnaires and while most cases can be treated with antibiotics, about 10% percent of Legionnaires cases can be deadly. There are currently 1.62 legionellosis cases per 100,000 persons in the United States.

It can be found in common places – Legionella are found in a lot of fresh water sources, and while you may not be jumping in ponds frequently, you’re probably more likely to be around hot tubs and hot water tanks that supply showers. Even if you don’t go in the water, the bacteria can be found in the air near the body of water if there is water mist. Legionella grow in warm water-containing mechanical equipment and are released as a mist that you could inhale and become infected. Equipment associated with legionellosis includes cooling towers next to or on top of buildings, car wash facilities, grocery store vegetable misters, hot tubs, and of course, showers. Patients on respirators in healthcare facilities and people with inadequate immune systems may also aspirate legionella into their lungs. There is a 2016 guideline from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that helps building owners reduce the legionella hazard.

Though outbreaks of this Legionnaires’ disease are rare, it is still important for legionella testing to be implemented because of the above reasons. Legionella risk reduction procedures without legionella testing may not prevent legionellosis cases. So, to accurately protect the environment, yourself, and those around you, be sure to find a trustworthy legionella testing service. Find more information about reputable legionella testing and biosafety procedures at Legionella.com.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Who Should Attend our Biosafety Courses?

Our Control of Biohazards course covers a variety of important topics such as infectious waste disposal, bloodborne pathogens, and risk management principles. Understanding how to handle dangerous biohazards is crucial to preventing laboratory accidents and contamination both in and out of the workplace. Below is a list of who we recommend take our highly valuable biosafety courses.
  • Biosafety offices
  • Occupational medicine physicians and nurses
  • Safety officers
  • Industrial hygienists
  • Directors of health and safety programs
  • Biosafety committee chairs and members
  • Research compliance managers
  • Occupational health personnel
  • Clinical and biomedical laboratory supervisors
  • Scientists and technicians
  • Architects
  • Facility engineers
  • Laboratory animal veterinarians dealing with ABSL facilities
  • Designated responsible facility officials
  • Security managers
These biosafety courses also provide the proper background needed for individuals applying to the American Biological Safety Association for designation as Registered Biological Safety Professionals or are planning to take the National Registry of Microbiologists, Specialist Microbiologist in Biological Safety examination to qualify as a Certified Biological Safety Professional.

Whether participants have prior biosafety experience or not, this course will provide in-depth information on how to handle biohazards and prevent contamination within their facility or workplace. The Control of Biohazards course can also be taken by those who are already certified SM (NRCM) s or CBSPs and want to renew their certification or refresh their knowledge.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

An Overview of Bioterrorism

Bioterrorism is the act of releasing toxic biological agents in order to harm a group of people. In our biohazard training courses, we’ll provide course takers with the information they’ll need to handle and treat the effects of a bioterrorism attack. Biological agents such as viruses and bacteria are typically found in nature, but it’s possible for them to be altered by man for malicious intent against a country or group. These agents are separated into three categories, A, B, and C based on how easily they can be spread and the severity of their symptoms.

The most recent bioterrorism attack on the United States occurred shortly after 9/11 by a series of letters sent out containing anthrax powder. These letters arrived in two waves. The first were sent from Trenton, New Jersey to newspapers and media in New York and Boca Raton on September 18, 2001. Only two of these letters were found, but the outbreak of anthrax infections led to the conclusion that there had been others. Two more letters were sent on October 9, again from Trenton, addressed to two Democratic senators at the Capitol in Washington DC. The contaminants in these two letters were stronger than the substance in the first set and the letters contained approximately on gram of almost pure anthrax spores.

Through our biohazard training courses, we can educate individuals on how to prepare for a bioterrorist attack and prevent harmful biological agents from escaping and infecting millions.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

GTS Legionella Testing Laboratory agrees with CDC's statement on testing;

“Environmental testing for Legionella is useful to validate the effectiveness of control measures. The program team should determine if environmental testing for Legionella should be performed and, if so, how test results will be used to validate the program. If the program team decides to test for Legionella, then the testing protocol should be specified and documented in advance.”

Source: Page 21. CDC - Developing a Water Management Program to Reduce Legionella Growth & Spread in Buildings  http://www.cdc.gov/legionella/maintenance/wmp-toolkit.html

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Importance of our Biosafety Training Course

Whether you’re a microbiology researcher or on a biosafety team at an institution, enrolling in our biosafety training course, Control of Biohazards, can be immensely beneficial. The course is directed towards those who are biosafety officers, industrial hygienists, occupational health personnel, scientists and technicians, facility engineers, and those in-between. First started in 1979, the Control of Biohazards training course provides an individual with the necessary information to apply to ABSA International to become a certified biological safety professional.

Understanding how to handle dangerous biohazards can make all the difference in preventing laboratory acquired infections or helping others to safe science. Some of the topics covered in our course include biosafety practices, biological packaging and shipping, proper use of biosafety cabinets, bloodborne pathogens standard, risk management principles, and more.

One of the main focuses of biosafety is ensuring the health of laboratory workers and by providing legionella testing, we at GTS Legionella Water Testing Lab help organizations determine whether their legionella control programs are effective in preventing potentially fatal Legionnaires ’ disease outbreaks.

Even if you’re not in a highly specialized position, our course is designed for participants with and without biosafety experience as well as those looking to obtain continuing education credits. For more information on our biosafety training course, call us today at 855-628-7853 or visit our website at www.legionella.com.