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Oklahoma State University

Laboratory Hazard Analysis

Laboratory Hazard Analysis (LHA) is used to assess risk for a particular laboratory procedure or process. Examples of processes and procedures that uses LHA include (but not limited to) laboratory experiments, level of supervision required for executing an operation, and risk reduction for tours. The Laboratory Safety Program at OSU recommends that a LHA accompanies the development of any Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).

The OSU LHA process was designed to be user friendly and addresses a wide range of laboratory tasks. The OSU LHA process is compliant with OSHA recommendations, and provides the ability to quantify job related hazards. If a department is using a similar LHA process, they may continue to utilize their established protocols. A standardized LHA template form (Figure 1) is used by EHS, and can be found on the EHS website or in the Laboratory Safety Manual.

Using a LHA

To use a LHA, the author will start by listing the steps used during a procedure on the LHA form. These steps will be either the same or similar to SOP procedures. Next, the author will identify potential hazards associated with each step. These hazards will be “scored” by assigning a Priority Ranking, which will be discussed in more detail below. The author will then describe engineering, administrative, and/or PPE that will be used to mitigate the hazard. Finally, safety mitigations will be included in the last column.

The priority ranking scores the potential hazards as a function of severity and probability of occurring. The scoring criteria for severity and probability are given in Table 1. The severity score is numeric, and the probability score is alphabetic. The priority ranking is effectively the sum of the severity and probability score (e.g. 3B). Once the priority ranking is determined, Table 2 provides the risk for the corresponding step. EHS suggests that PI approval is required for low risk; Department Head approval for medium risk; and Dean’s approval for high risk. Unacceptable risk should never be taken.

 

 

 

Table 1. Severity and Probability Hazard Score

Severity Table

Score

Classification

Description

1

Catastrophic

May cause death

2

Critical

May cause severe injury or illness

3

Marginal

May cause minor injury or illness

4

Negligible

Will not cause injury or illness

Probability Table

Score

Classification

Description

A

Very Likely

Very likely to occur frequently

B

Probably

Probably will occur at some time

C

Occasionally

May occur infrequently

D

Remote

Unlikely, but possible

E

Improbable

Very unlikely, it is assumed to never occur

 

 

 

Table 2. Hazard Priority Ranking Matrix


Hazard Priority Matrix