Over the last few weeks, many research organizations have asked staff to work from home to prevent the spread of infection.
This has been a stressful transition for many people. Working from home is not only mentally taxing, it also presents a number of new challenges to actually completing your work (especially if you are in a position like EHS, where much of your work may be tied to physically interacting with research and physical spaces).
On a more positive note, these changes have highlighted opportunities for organizations to adapt the way they work and offer more flexible arrangements over the long haul.
Whether you need to work from home temporarily during an emergency, while recovering from an illness, or as part of a permanent assignment, it’s important to ensure that you and your team have the tools in place to do your jobs fully without sacrificing quality or productivity.
Today, we’ll share a few of the ways BioRAFT can support EHS and leadership in sustainably working remotely.
Stay connected to the data
In BioRAFT, you can access all of your safety and compliance information remotely. You can view and analyze real-time information about your researchers, labs, and equipment securely from your laptop or tablet, so you never have to run back to the office to retrieve a binder or reference a chart.
Communicate with your team
You can also use BioRAFT to stay in contact with research, facilities, and maintenance personnel (and students, if you’re a college or university). Logically, when everyone is working from home, remote communication tools like email are used more frequently.
Without BioRAFT, when you use regular email, important messages can easily get lost in an overflowing inbox. Additionally, maintaining proper lists of individuals based on their roles and lab association becomes more important and more difficult.
With BioRAFT’s Smart Mailer tool, targeted email communications based on live-updated filters can be sent both to a standard inbox and a central high-visibility location on each user’s home page. Thanks to Smart Mailer, you can spend your energy working to help people stay safe instead of trying to keep up with the administrative burden of email management.
Answer questions quickly with ObServ
ObServ is a new feature in BioRAFT that is nearing deployment. For personnel still on-site, it is critical that they become an extension of the safety team. Making sure they can quickly communicate observations and things that “just don’t look right” is an integral aspect of top-notch risk mitigation and fast response times.
With the ObServ feature, anyone can serve the community by sharing safety observations with EHS and even snapping a quick picture. When risks are present, time is of the essence and it is everyone’s responsibility to raise a flag if they “see something, to say something.” Allow your boots on the ground personnel to shine the light on key areas of risk, even when you are not there.
Coordinate hazardous waste pickups
While we haven’t quite got the Hazardous Waste Removing AI Robot Module up and running, we’re glad to say that all other parts of the process can be completed remotely.
Requests for hazardous waste pickups can be submitted, reviewed, and received remotely within BioRAFT. After the request is in, the individual responsible for pickup will receive the detailed request, complete the pickup, and either mark it as done or notify you of any issues.
Keep tabs on hazards
Who is handling hazardous chemicals? Which researchers are in contact with animals? BioRAFT’s Lab Safety Profiler gives you a bird’s eye view of each researcher and each laboratory’s activities and hazards. With BioRAFT, you can also drill down to find individuals or groups based on important hazards (like working with coronavirus-infected cell lines).
For remote EHS staff, this can be a huge help in driving communication, providing training, and assigning appropriate PPE. Many of our customers have even used this feature to identify labs that might be able to donate COVID-19 related supplies and PPE, or determine which labs have glycerol stocks that can be used to create hand sanitizer.
Coordinate an emergency response
BioRAFT’s Lab Safety Profiler can also be useful in the event of an emergency like a fire or chemical spill. Even if you’re not on site, you can quickly communicate with first responders about what’s happening on site and in specific areas.
In a first response, minutes matter. Often, first responders will not enter a building or space until they are confident they know what hazards are present. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to support a first response, the last thing you want to be doing is scrambling or waiting for data to be gathered.
Deliver training online
BioRAFT allows you to offer both end-to-end online training and in-person trainings. Even for online training, BioRAFT can...
- Identify individuals who need training
- Assign targeted training based on hazards
- Send automated reminders
- Allow users to take training remotely
- Embed quizzes into training courses for knowledge retention
- Provide certificates of training completion
- Automatically remind users when renewal training is required
That means EHS can keep learning going while labs are closed, and researchers can complete their training requirements whenever and wherever they want. In times like this, many researchers want to get their training completed so they can get it off their plate and focus on research when they return to the lab.
Leverage self inspections
Self inspections are fast, effective, and don’t require EHS personnel to go on site. Using BioRAFT, one or more lab representatives can conduct the inspection on their smartphone or tablet. This allows EHS to empower researchers to think about the risks and potential hazards around them. Then, EHS can communicate around corrective actions and close out inspections digitally. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Self inspections in BioRAFT can be assigned based on hazards. This means that you can locate groups and spaces you may not have been previously aware of that need inspecting. You have the ability to set checklists and corrective actions for each finding, and you can view a log of inspections to easily review findings.
Your next steps
Whether you’re working from home or in the office, BioRAFT helps you stay sane and keep your researchers safe. Our team is happy to answer any questions you might have about using BioRAFT for remote work, or help you troubleshoot any problems you or your team may be experiencing with working remotely.
To learn more, contact us here.