Risk is defined as a situation involving exposure to danger. Risk assessments help to define the risk parameters associated with an experiment, a hazardous chemical, or a process and help prioritize these hazards and how to mitigate them to ensure the health and safety of everyone.
Laboratory experiments have various levels of risk that are based on many variables including but not limited to the types and quantities of materials used, the processes, level of experience of lab staff, the length of time required for the experiment, the availability of safety equipment and emergency response plans and equipment, and the overall laboratory environment. Each Principal Investor (PI) should perform a risk assessment when a hazard is identified or before a new process/activity or before changes are introduced.
Severity of Consequences, Standard Linear Scaling
To perform a risk assessment, one must determine the likelihood of harm and its severity (see table below)
For More Information
Visit the VCU Chemical Hygiene Plan’s section titled “Risk Assessment”
Or contact the Lab Safety Team who is available to assist with laboratory risk assessments: