days, or longer? Have rally points been identified and shelter-in-place protocols distributed in areas where tornadoes occur?
3.B.1.4 Seismic Activity
Laboratories in areas where seismic activity is common should take special precautions to secure and restrain equipment and chemicals within a laboratory. Consideration should be given to the damage that could be caused by falling equipment. An earthquake can render a building unusable for days or months or cause it to be condemned. Note that the earthquake may cause secondary hazards such as gas leaks, fires, chemical spills, electrical hazards, broken glass, reduced structural integrity of buildings, and flooding from broken water pipes.
Is all freestanding equipment that may shift or fall during an earthquake secured appropriately? Are plumbed connections to that equipment, including gas and water lines, flexible to allow for movement? Are items stored on open shelves appropriately organized (e.g., heavier items below, appropriate lips on the shelving, restraints where necessary)? If multiple containers fall and are damaged during a quake, is there potential for incompatible chemicals to come in contact? Are all compressed gas cylinders secured in accordance with the guidance in Chapter 5, section 5.E.6? Also consider the likelihood of other sensitive equipment, such as computers and analytical equipment, falling to the ground. If possible, secure those items to the desk or benchtop. How will continuity of operations be maintained in the event that the laboratory is inaccessible for a significant period of time?
3.B.1.5 Extensive Absences Due to Illness
Although pandemic planning is something that all institutions should complete, other circumstances, such as foodborne illnesses or communicable diseases could result in a large percentage of laboratory personnel unable to come to the laboratory for a short or extended period.
Some experts have estimated that in the event of pandemic influenza, an institution or laboratory may experience a 50% reduction in workforce for a period of 4 to 8 weeks. How might this affect laboratory operations? Are there experiments that cannot be suspended? Have laboratory personnel been cross-trained to be able to fill in for a person who is absent?
3.B.1.6 Hazardous Material Spill or Release
Incidental spills may happen at any time. Most are easily managed by laboratory personnel. Are there large stores of chemicals in the laboratory or building? What are the most hazardous materials and what are the consequences of a release of those materials? Does the laboratory have sufficient spill control materials to handle any spill?
Some spills may be too large or too hazardous for laboratory personnel to clean up safely. What plans are in place in the event assistance is needed?
Consider the likelihood of an environmental release to the ground, air, or sewer. What procedures are in place to report such an incident and remediate it?
Are there unusually hazardous gases or materials that should be continuously monitored to detect a spill or leak? If such monitoring is in place, does it sound an alarm or send a signal? Where does that signal go (e.g., to security personnel, local only)? Are staff fully trained in how to respond and who to contact?
3.B.1.7 High-Profile Visitors
Visiting dignitaries and other individuals with some level of flame or notoriety can attract negative attention from protesters, paparazzi, and others who want to make their opinion known. In some cases, acts of civil disobedience may occur that impede access to the building and interrupt operations. Consider the security risks and how your institution handles such matters.
3.B.1.8 Political or Controversial Researchers or Research
Certain types of research and outspoken researchers with controversial views may engender protests, hate mail, and other concerns. There is the possibility that protestors may engage in civil disobedience in response. The vulnerabilities may vary from nuisance issues to more serious matters. Consider the level of security in and around the lab, mail handling, and other factors. Ensure procedures are in place to deal with these situations effectively, such as screening of incoming mail with irradiation procedures if deemed necessary.
3.B.1.9 Intentional Acts of Violence or Theft
Planning for and preventing intentional acts (including theft, sabotage, or terrorism) are difficult, especially if they are conducted by individuals within the laboratory or organization. The scale of the event will determine the extent of the disruption for a laboratory. If the act only affects one experiment or material, disruption will likely be minimal. However, acts of violence or theft that target a laboratory or building could cause significant disruption of laboratory operations. High-