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Personnel reliability

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

    Consequences of a negative screening result

    A new employee must provide a Certificate of Conduct to the employer, before deployment can commence. This screening sheds light on relevant criminal offences in the past. Since this procedure takes several weeks, the employee has already started at his new position. After six months, screening results in a rejected application. Since the consequences of such an outcome of the screening were not documented in the employment contract, the employee cannot be dismissed.

    Personeel_scenario_1-ENG_CMS_0

    If a Certificate of Conduct (VOG) is required for a position, a negative screening result can have consequences in job application and performance. By including the effects of a negative screening result in the employment contract, it is possible to terminated the job application, or contract. In this example, it concerns a VOG, but it can also apply to other types of screening, or verification of background information.

    Other relevant biosecurity pillar of good practice: awareness

    • There may have been access to sensitive information and high-risk pathogens.
    • Vital safety and security aspects may have become compromised.

    Is this scenario applicable to your organisation?

    Is this scenario applicable to your organisation?
  2. 2

    Overtime

    A PhD student makes long days and often comes back during weekends to work on experiments with high-risk pathogens. To complete his work, the PhD student has permission from the head of the department, but neither direct colleagues nor the supervisor are aware of this.

    Personeel_scenario_2_CMS

    Is it necessary for an employee to work alone at times that no other colleagues are present? Consider the safety and security consequences in case an emergency occurs. Can emergency services be warned and do they know what to do in this situation?

    Other relevant biosecurity pillar of good practice: awareness

    • If compliance with the safety regulations and accompanying registration still offers no clarity about the work (to be) performed, this can lead to a feeling of insecurity.
    • Working without supervision offers the opportunity for misuse of knowledge, materials and facilities.

    Is this scenario applicable to your organisation?

    Is this scenario applicable to your organisation?
  3. 3

    Financial concerns

    An employee with financial difficulties withdraws himself from the team and rarely shows up during coffee/lunch breaks. Since the employee has access to sensitive information, this leads to concerns among colleagues.

    Personeel_scenario_3_CMS

    Personal situations of employees can change, and may result in changes in behaviour. Examples are a change in financial situation or an addiction, and can lead to, for instance, blackmail. Therefore, it is important to remain alert to changes in behaviour of employees and to keep informed of major events in the personal lives of colleagues.

    Other relevant biosecurity pillar of good practice: awareness

    • Employees susceptible to blackmail could pass on sensitive information to third parties.
    • Working with high-risk pathogens requires concentration from the employees involved. Concerns in the employee's private life can lead to reduced vigilance and unsafe situations.

    Is this scenario applicable to your organisation?

    Is this scenario applicable to your organisation?
  4. 4

    Confidential material on social media

    An intern places a photo, with confidential data of an animal study, on an open social media profile. This image also shows other employees working in the secure facilities as well.

    Personeel_scenario_4_CMS

    All employees must be familiar with rules on data security and handling confidential information. It is also important that external and/or temporary employees are made aware of their expected behaviour when dealing with sensitive data. Good supervision can prevent confidential data from being distributed.

    Other relevant biosecurity pillars of good practice: accountability for materials, information security

    • Vital safety and security aspects may have become compromised.
    • Uncertainty regarding data security can lead to the (possibly unintentional) distribution of sensitive information.
    • Colleagues may object to unsolicited distribution of their personal images via social media, which can lead to disruption in working relationships.

    Is this scenario applicable to your organisation?

    Is this scenario applicable to your organisation?
  5. 5

    External staff

    An external technician is called in to perform maintenance of equipment. This equipment is installed in a high-risk laboratory. The technician is well known within the organisation, and has frequently performed maintenance on equipment. The technician is granted access to the vital area and is left unsupervised.

    Personeel_scenario_5_CMS

    Procedures should specify how and under what circumstances external staff, such as maintenance technicians, cleaning staff and ICT professionals, may enter vital areas.

    Other relevant biosecurity pillars of good practice: awareness, accountability for materials, physical security

    • When facilities, materials and/or information are accessible to third parties without supervision, there is an increased risk of potential misuse and/or unsafe situations.

    Is this scenario applicable to your organisation?

    Is this scenario applicable to your organisation?