Identify potential emergencies that could take place in and around the laboratory (and could affect the need for the laboratory services) and implement procedures, equipment and organizational arrangements to ensure an adequate reaction to emergencies


In order to be better prepared in situations of emergency the laboratory should perform a hazard analysis and implement the necessary arrangements and procedures for personnel on how to act in such situations. This helps in minimizing the severity of consequences of emergency situations.


To optimize emergency preparedness first all the hazards that could take place at the laboratory must be identified. This enables the development of procedures for personnel on how to act in such cases and it helps to identify which arrangements must be put in place in the laboratory facility. Some examples of hazards:

  • Fire
  • Flooding
  • Earth quakes
  • Biological or chemical emergencies

The second step is to formulate which procedures and arrangements are necessary to increase emergency preparedness for identified hazards. Think of the following actions:

  • First aid kits and people trained to provide first aid
  • Evacuation plan
  • Indication of evacuation routes
  • Installation of firefighting equipment
  • Plans to maintain the laboratory in operation following an emergency/disaster (such as an earth quake)
  • Response plans for biological/chemical incidents taking place within the laboratory, including a clear division of roles and responsibilities for all staff members during such an emergency
  • Response plans for evacuation of high-containment laboratories, including a clear division of roles and responsibilities for all staff members during such an emergency
  • Periodic evacuation and disaster drills

The third step is the actual formulation of the identified procedures and the implementation of the arrangements in the laboratory facilities.

How & who

Laboratory Manager and Biosafety Officer

  1. Make a list of emergencies that could take place in the laboratory. Consider emergencies related to the work of the laboratory but also external emergencies that require preparedness and full capacity of the laboratory.
  2. Determine per identified emergency what could be done to increase preparedness. Focus on both procedures and equipment that could be needed in such situations. Also think about organizational arrangements that may be needed in specific emergency situations, such as a specific division or roles and responsibilities.
  3. Make an action plan to write and implement the identified procedures, purchase the identified emergency equipment and implement the identified organizational emergency arrangements.
  4. Monitor timely and adequate implementation of the action plan.
  5. Evaluate the emergency arrangements on a regular basis with a biosafety audit to ensure that all the procedures and organizational emergency arrangements stay up to date and that the emergency equipment stays functional.

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This activity belongs to the QSE Nonconforming Event Management


ISO15190:2003: 7.2