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There are many ways to identify and evaluate safety hazards in a chemical laboratory. No matter what method or combination of methods you choose, they all help you achieve hazard identification, which will inform your risk assessment and control measures selection.
A What-if Analysis is structured brainstorming to identify potential failures and their associated risks. It involves the generation of a complete list of "what-if" questions; assessing answers to those questions along with probability of occurence and consequences; and developing recommendations based on that assessment.
Checklists are a structured process to assess hazards and quantify risk. This is the most commonly-used, recognizable method used by researchers and safety professionals. It involves developing concise procedures and checklist items, as well as supplying allowable responses.
Control banding assesses and manages chemical risks in the research laboratory by focusing on a limited number of specific control measures. The assignment of these control measures is based on a group--or “band”--of the hazards present and their associated potential exposures.
A JHA identifies the hazard(s) associated with a particular job or task. A task or job must first be defined by a description statement (i.e., what is being done and why). Identify the steps/tasks; then identify potential hazards per step/task using accident and near-miss history, literature search, and organizational safety/EHS entities. (Includes physical hazards, such as moving parts and potential slips.)
An SOP is a comprehensive, structured approach to identify failure points of both individual hazards and combinations of hazards. Identify hazards and create process steps; evaluate the hazards and steps individually; and repeat evaluation for combinations of hazards and steps. Develop SOPs based on process results.