Safety Officer

From:Jeff Silverman

My title is Pathologist Assistant and I also wear the hats of Histology
Supervisor and  of Laboratory Safety Officer in our 450 bed very busy
community hospital. I always did, back when I worked in this hospital in the
70's and 80's when the title was pretty much a joke, and during the nineties
at the much smaller rural hospital near my home when it was more serious and
I served on Safety Committee. It sure is a hell of a lotta work now. We're
undergoing CAP inspection for the first time as are many of the hospitals in
our very large network system so the pressure is on. All the MSDS stuff,
assessing product recall alerts twice a month or more,  internal and
external disaster plans, physical plant hazard assessment tools, safety
committte, hazmat subcommitte, environmental rounds. I just rewrote the
entire safety chapter of the Laboratory Users manual and the Histology
Chemical Hygeine Plan and Exposure Control Plan. It certainly makes sense
that supervisory histo people serve in this capacity- we generate the most
amount of gunk and toxins and need this expertise to effectively manage
their sections. Just read the requirments for most supervisory jobs. It
would certainly be nice to get paid for that part too but I spend about one
fifth to one tenth of my time on safety. Its been greatly increased lately
due to CAP compliance, but I can't complain. When I negotiated the
position,I  agreed to take the Safety from the lab administrator in return
for being allowed to go part time in summer and not work Mondays or Fridays
June through August. Its worth it.
Jeff Silverman
Southside Hospital
Bay Shore NY

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