Biological risk management Consulting

Creating high reliability Organization management expertise


Managing biological risks

There are three principal elements to building an effective culture of safety in hospitals, emergency medical services and laboratories:

  • Technical knowledge, including germ theory and Standard Operating Procedures to prevent contamination or pathogen release;
  • Engineering solutions, e.g. to prevent aerosol generation, to contain releases and to protect personnel and the environment from releases and limit unauthorized access to dangerous pathogens; and,
  • Management systems, to build the culture of security and safety on a foundation of organizational structure, communication, incentives, and disincentives to ensure instinctive, habitual performance of desired behaviors and patterns of thinking.

Much effort has been spent globally on raising awareness of infection control and biological risk management issues, increasing knowledge and improving engineering solutions in hospitals and laboratories.  However, much less effort has been spent on the management structures, and all too often it is assumed that the task of biological risk management can be delegated to an infection control officer, a biosafety officer or an institutional biosafety committee.

Experience from multiple other industries, such as nuclear power or industrial chemicals, shows that a culture of security and safety only takes hold where security and safety are demanded and practiced at all levels of management, from the top down.  Indeed, what is required is a High Reliability Organization and a Culture of Safety Excellence.

Consequently, it is CHROME's philosophy that planning and implementing biological risk management must address each of these three areas - knowledge, engineering solutions, and management of implementation.