The Laboratory Magazine

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Risk management in the laboratory

Risk management | Laboratory | ISO 17025 | ISO 9001 | Laboratory design | Laboratory chair

Satisfying new accreditation requirements

Previously, smaller businesses were not required to implement a risk management system, but that is set to change. Now the requirement for a risk-aware approach applies to all quality control/test laboratories that are ISO 17025 accredited, which must therefore also satisfy the requirements of ISO 9001.

New rules – what must a risk management system do?

The risk management system in the laboratory must ensure that companies can identify and respond to risks that may threaten their existence in good time. Risks can be turned into opportunities to ensure the future success of the company. The latest version of the ISO standard explicitly requires the evaluation and assessment of these areas, as well as system integration. Previously the only requirement was for "precautionary measures". Now laboratories are also required to "plan and implement measures for managing risks and opportunities".

Risk management in the laboratory – the path to an effective system

For a risk management system to be successful, employees at all company levels must be risk-aware. Once risks have been identified, they undergo an assessment. Then a control mechanism and future safeguarding measures are defined. One way of integrating a risk management system into the corporate strategy is to carry out a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats).

Active risk management involves ongoing monitoring and control – it is a continuous improvement process.

For smaller laboratories, establishing a complex, comprehensive risk management system is excessive, not stipulated and often not even necessary. It can, however, be helpful to understand the individual stages of the process for establishing a risk management system. This makes it easier to determine what can be implemented in the laboratory and which parts of the process can be reasonably excluded.

Turning risks into opportunities – with the right laboratory equipment

Whether it's a small or a large business, the simplest place to start is with the laboratory equipment, as this enables various risk sources to be eliminated in advance. For example, the equipment should be easy to clean and consist of fireproof, ESD-compliant materials and absolutely no harmful substances.

Would you like to find out more about laboratory equipment that forms the ideal basis for an effective risk management system? You can discover laboratory chairs from Bimos here.



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