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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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.