Mold and Misunderstandings. What Does it all Mean?

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Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland WA), Richland, WA (PNNL)

Published As:  Public


Topics:  Biological Safety, Occupational Safety and Health, Laboratory

In the Fall of 2018, mold was discovered on some light fixtures and storage boxes located inside a lab's cold room at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Until the mold could be remediated from the cold room, the Building Manager placed a sign on the door of the cold room that read "Notice-Restricted Access-Contact Building Manager Prior to Access" and placed yellow caution tape over the cold room door handle. Several months later, a Facility Specialist entered the lab and observed researchers inside the restricted access cold room. The Facility Specialist asked the researchers to leave the cold room due to the previously discovered mold issue and pointed to the restricted access sign posted on the door. The researchers promptly expressed their concern to management and the lab's Cognizant Space Manager (CSM) about less than adequate communication regarding the cold room mold issue and restricted access notice. Read how this issue was handled from here, and how it could have been avoided to begin with.

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