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18 March 2013

978 0 30913 864 2
National Academies Press
GBP 66.00

Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Management of Chemical Hazards

National Research Council

Health and safety management, regardless of type of industry, is of the utmost importance to everyone’s wellbeing. The current title Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Management of Chemical Hazards addresses the safe and correct procedures required in the laboratory environment. This updated edition has been put together by the National Research Council of the National Academies, and so is based primarily on US laws and regulations of American laboratories. Needless to say, the regulation and guidelines set out for management of chemical hazards follows US laws, but this is not to say that readers from other countries will find the information useless. This book provides guidelines for any laboratory, but local regulations would need to be consulted before enforcing practices from this book.

The book is written in a clear and concise way, with chapters such as environmental health and safety management system, emergency planning, and management of chemicals and waste, as well as working with laboratory equipment and laboratory security. Each chapter has an introduction, and is broken down into specific sections with a heading, and concise information on the given topic. For extensive guidelines, the paragraph is split into bullet points to highlight the key features of the text. Where relevant, there are also sample forms such as accident report forms or hazardous waste manifest, to be used and modified for any laboratory.

To accompany the book, there is a supplementary disk which contains sample lists such as an inspection checklist, incident report form, laboratory hazard assessment and chemical safety summary in Microsoft Word format, to allow for modification to be made for use in all laboratories. There are also PDF documents which contain easy-to-read guides such as chemical compatibility storage guides and also further particulars for security and vulnerability to protect laboratories, and also EPA standards applicable to generators. These documents can be further added to laboratory health and safety folders if required. The CD-ROM contains a PDF version of the book which can be uploaded to a shared network to allow other users to read and comply with health and safety regulations.

Overall, I would say this is most useful to those based in the USA, due to the relevance to US laws governing the handling and management of chemicals in a US laboratory. However, it is easy to read and concise, with examples for the reader to use and apply to their own laboratory.

Rebecca Roberts (The Babraham Institute)

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