Reducing Risk Working Alone in Labs PPT

Reducing Risk:
Working Alone in
the Laboratory
Sarah Meyer, MSPH, CIH, CSP
Laboratory Safety Compliance Specialist
Janette de la Rosa Ducut, Ed.D.
Training and Communications Manager
Russell Vernon, Ph.D.
Project Objectives
Reduce risk for lone
workers in Chemistry
Identify the program
components needed to
implement on campus
Review best practices
and lessons learned
Working Alone
Do you have employees who work alone
routinely, periodically, or occasionally?
What type of hazards are they exposed to?
What type of controls should be
Working Alone
California Code of Regulations, Title 8 §3400(f) Effective
provisions shall be made in advance for prompt medical
treatment in the event of serious injury or illness…avoid
unnecessary delay in treatment…
(1) A communication system for contacting a doctor or
emergency medical service, such as access to 911 or
equivalent telephone system…
Who is a lone worker?
Lone worker is
someone who
cannot be seen or
heard by another
person, or cannot
expect a visit from
another employee.
(March 2014)
Keeping Lone Workers Safe
Assess the hazards
Take corrective action to
minimize potential risks
Provide appropriate
Schedule higher-risk
tasks during normal
business hours, or when
someone else is present
Create a check-in
Check-in procedure
1. Use a daily work plan
2. Contact an employee or
supervisor at designed
3. Follow the emergency
action plan for missed
check ins
(March 2014)
The “No working alone in labs” rule was commonly
ignored through at least the late 1980s to today.
Late nights and weekend work are the norm
Buddy system is often claimed to be used, but rarely
“Remote Buddy Alert Tool” developed from a garage door
opener by Dr. John Palmer while at UCSD
“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” alert systems were
developed the first commercially available
system for a an institution with multi-story buildings
Incidents at UCR
Five incidents
occurred in one year
while people were
working alone in a
single building
Lone Worker Program overview
Length: 5 min
GPS Comparison
Satellite & Cell Phone GPS
Lone Worker GPS
Loner SMD Device
Alert Types
Manually pull the
latch down
Push the (white)
fall sensor)
Acknowledging an Alert
At UCR, Alerts
by UCPD.
There is an
option to use a
third party
Video Tutorial
Acknowledging an Alert
Informing the PIs
The program was
introduced through
a series of fact
sheets, guides,
emails, meetings,
and word-ofmouth.
PI Alert preferences
A simple web-based form was
created to enable PIs to
customize their contact
settings. This was entered into
the system by EH&S.
Beacon position
Beacons were positioned near
laboratory exits to maximize
visibility, and provide consistency
for maintenance.
Beacon installation
Step 1
Step 2
Beacons were installed using self-adhesive Velcro®
so that they could be easily relocated later.
Beacon placement
Beacons were placed
centrally between rooms,
and in restrooms.
Training the Laboratory
Training the Police
Lessons Learned
Use industrial Velcro to attach beacons to the
Getting a cell phone signal inside buildings
(especially basements) is challenging
Elevators & stairwells are dead spots
Loner SMD uses AT&T service in US
Cell phone booster might be necessary in poor cell
reception areas
Log in/off alert can result in several
Other applications
Housing and Dining (HDRS) department is interested in
mitigating the risks for delivery drivers and
convenience store clerks working evening shifts
HDRS recognized the possible friction caused with some
unions AND asked that EH&S discuss the program with Labor
Labor Relations subsequently notified both unions that
represent Graduate Students and Post-Docs; neither have
Lesson Learned:
Inform unions before implementation
The big question: What’s the cost?
Loner SMD Device (not the intrinsically safe version)
$399 per unit
Beacon Device
$129 per unit
Managed deployment service
$30 per unit
Annual service per Loner Device
$300 per unit
Premium call center annual service per Loner Device
(UCR not using)
$150 per unit for 24/7 coverage
Usage Activity
On average the devices are used 74 times per hour during a 2 month period
(April 2014 – May 2014). The highest use occurs in the afternoon, peaking at
1:00 pm (total of 175). The lowest use occurs in the early morning at 4:00 pm
(total of 2).
Alert Types
Notwithstanding system checks, the most frequent
alert types are audible (24), followed by silent (10),
and fall detections (4). Other types include: system
GPS checks, tests, and false alarms.
For more information
Blackridge Solutions
Lance Kellough (778) 686-5799
[email protected]
Safety & IH (951) 827-5528
[email protected]
Teamwork wins!
Lt. Jason Day
Judy Lane (Dispatch)
Mary Amimoto, Nicole
Clark, and Jack Thompson
CNAS Machine Shop
Jeff Leffler
Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology

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