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Accountability for materials

For the scenarios, situations have been chosen that are realistic, but could also occur in another context within your organisation. The following questions are designed to give an impression of whether the described scenario is relevant in your organisation.

Questions for your organisation:

  • Is the situation recognisable?
  • Is the situation realistic (or realistic in another context?
  • What are the vulnerabilities in this situation?
  • What are the possible consequences of this situation?
  • What control measures can be taken to prevent the scenario?
  1. 1

    Missing material

    Due to the replacement of a freezer in a high-risk laboratory, the content of the freezer is checked. Two ampoules from a batch of Coxiella burnetii (causative agent of Q fever), appear to be missing.

    Materiaal_scenario_1_CMS

    Registration and periodic monitoring of the inventory of high-risk material increases the likelihood that absence of material can be detected. The responsibility for managing this process should therefore be clearly assigned. In addition, it is advisable to establish procedures in case high-risk material is found to be missing and to determine how this information, if necessary, is communicated externally.

    Other relevant biosecurity pillars of good practice: awareness, physical security, information security

    • Without up-to-date registration, it is difficult to immediately have a clear picture of the high-risk material that is present and where it is stored.

    Is this scenario applicable to your organisation?

    Is this scenario applicable to your organisation?
  2. 2

    Storage of material

    An employee takes receipt of a number of ampoules of high-risk material on behalf of a colleague who is on holiday. The material is labelled as high-risk material, but it is stored in an unsecured freezer until the colleague returns.

    Materiaal_scenario_2_CMS

    In this scenario, high-risk material is easily identified and is not being stored at the correct location. In addition to accountability of material, transport (including internal transport) is an issue to focus on.

    Other relevant biosecurity pillars of good practice: awareness, physical security, transport security

    • The overview of high-risk material is not up-to-date.
    • With the probability of misuse and theft in mind, it is easier for unauthorised persons to identify high-risk material if a coding system for labelling is lacking.
    • High-risk materials can be misplaced or stolen.

    Is this scenario applicable to your organisation?

    Is this scenario applicable to your organisation?
  3. 3

    Storage of waste

    Due to a large experiment in a BSL3 laboratory where the autoclave is available outside of the BSL3 facility, multiple containers of waste are sent to the destruction facility within the organisation. The waste containers can be identified as originating from a BSL-3 laboratory and cannot all be processed simultaneously. Several of the waste containers are therefore stored temporarily at the destruction facility. However, this location is less secure than a high-risk laboratory.

    Materiaal_scenario_3_CMS

    Waste from high-risk laboratories is also classified as high-risk material. Rules and agreements about dealing with and processing of this waste are therefore important.

    Other relevant biosecurity pillars of good practice: awareness, physical security, transport security

    • Temporary storage of waste from high-risk laboratories at locations that is not fully secure.
    • If pathogens present in the waste cannot be destroyed, they can be hazardous in the waste processing chain. This risk can be eliminated if an (on-premises) autoclave is present in a high-risk laboratory.

    Is this scenario applicable to your organisation?

    Is this scenario applicable to your organisation?
  4. 4

    Embezzled material

    A person is arrested and a number of ampoules of high-risk materials are confiscated. An investigation has shown that the material originated from a specific high-risk laboratory. However, according to the registration at the laboratory, nothing appears to be missing. The investigation quickly focuses on an employee who is responsible for managing high-risk material.

    Materiaal_scenario_4_CMS

    Registration and active management of the inventory of high-risk material can prevent misplacement and theft of material from going unnoticed. By assigning responsibility to multiple individuals, control of this material can be safeguarded.

    Other relevant biosecurity pillars of good practice: awareness, physical security, transport security

    • High-risk materials can be misplaced or even stolen.
    • The overview of high-risk materials is not up-to-date.

    Is this scenario applicable to your organisation?

    Is this scenario applicable to your organisation?