Lab space logistics, a brain teaser

From:"Jasper, Thomas"

Dear Gayle,
My lab is approximately 18x48 feet and I'm sure my situation is a bit
different than yours, we have 4 full time techs all with their own desk/work
stations at one huge table(kind of like Camelot but rectangular).We also
have a lab assistant with her own desk, a PA and myself both in small
offices of our own. We have enough counter space to set up an additional
microtome if necessary(5 total).
We have an IHC/special stain area with a DAKO Autostainer, counters and
cupboards for set-ups and reagents etc. Two flammable cabinets an island for
a PC and scope, an acid cabinet and hood. Our grossing area is behind
plexiglass and faces the rest of the lab. There are 2 embedding centers, an
autostainer(H+E)an autoslipper, block storage cabinets, 3 PC's, an oven, 4
sinks and more cupboards for storage. Across the hall from us we have a
processing room. It has 2 VIP's, a hood and tissue dumping station, 3
recyclers and 2 paraffin pots.
We would not have a situation like this if not for 2 big factors; 1) OSHA
and JCAHO inspections which absolutely dictated that we renovate. 2) Video
taping done by us of labs we toured(within a 400 mile radius)to help us with
the renovation. We saw a lot of things we liked and did not like.
I understand you are in a veterinary environment and have a smaller service,
however your situation is ridiculous! It is also dangerous, a long term
health risk and probably illegal! Whoever your safety officer, compliance
officer and director of laboratory services are should be all over this like
a bum on a baloney sandwich! If they don't do something about your situation
OSHA can fine the hell out of you and shut you down!
If something is not done I would leave. There is no way you or anyone should
have to work under such conditions and there are a lot of places looking for
experienced histologists.

Thomas Jasper HT(ASCP) BAS
Histology Team Leader
SMDC Clinical Laboratory
Duluth, MN

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