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Advice From the OSHA Expert

Making training fun

by Dan Scungio • January 07, 2019


Dan Scungio
Dan, the Lab Safety Man

Throughout this year I’ll be writing about various safety topics related to phlebotomy and the laboratory. The articles are not meant to present “read it and forget it” topics, but often that happens with safety. For a safety culture to survive and thrive in your workplace, safety training and awareness must be in the spotlight throughout the year. If this is not what happens in your place of employment, you can help make a difference.

If you are not a leader, you can still be a leader in your area for safety. Make safety posters to hang up, and change them monthly. Send out weekly safety e-mails. Take five minutes to discuss a safety topic at staff meetings. In my opinion, there are enough safety topics that you could discuss a different one every day. Do you need ideas? Consider highlighting certain safety topics during specific months:

  • January---Specimen transport
  • February---Hoods and environmental issues
  • March---Personal protective equipment
  • April---Ergonomics
  • May---Bloodborne pathogens
  • June---General safety
  • July---Compressed gases
  • August---Safe work practices
  • September---Chemical hygiene
  • October---Fire safety
  • November---Electrical safety
  • December---Waste management

If some of these topics do not apply to your area, substitute one. For example, if you do not have compressed gases, spend a month discussing needle safety. There are plenty of other phlebotomy-specific topics ranging from aggressive patients to OSHA violations. Remember, you need to repeat these topics from time to time for the purpose of continued awareness, but you need to do it differently each time to keep your staff interested and educated.

Play games, create quizzes, or conduct safety scavenger hunts. Toss a ball to people and have them answer safety questions for prizes. Remember to consider the ages and background of your staff. That can make a difference in how you present safety information. However you decide to promote and maintain safety, be sure to make it fun! 

You can contact Dan Scungio, “Dan the Lab Safety Man” at [email protected]


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