Sharps and Latent Shards, Learning from Past Events

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Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM (LANL)


Topics:  Glovebox & Containment Systems

As more activities are being released for normal operations, it is important to review past sharps related events. Sharp tools have the potential to contribute to personnel contamination incidents resulting from glovebox glove breaches/punctures. The heightened awareness is necessary to reinforce safety behaviors and practices while performing glovebox work. Proper hazard identification and controls are crucial to the safety of the worker. The sharps hazards include the use of hand tools and portable power tools. Incidental, or latent, sharps may include items that were not intended for cutting but nevertheless have the potential to cause a wound or glove breach with potential contamination and/or nuclear material uptake. This article includes several examples of significant glove breaches that have occurred at LANL's PF-4 facility.

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