Specimen Transport Safety

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Medical Courier Safety. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

Learn more about Medical Courier Safety (online CE course)
Specimen Transport Safety

As a medical courier, it is important to always remember that what is being transported is potentially dangerous. Biohazards and chemical hazards, as the names imply, can be a real danger to your physical health. Because of the dangers, and because these specimens belong to fellow human beings who need accurate lab results (it's a good idea to treat all specimens as if they belonged to a close relative or to you!), specimens should be handled with care and respect.
Always keep in mind that biohazards can cause disease, and that chemical hazards can also be harmful to your health. Keep them packaged in the vehicle, place coolers in a secure place where tipping is prevented and where sudden stops won't cause sudden shifting of contents.
Your employer is responsible for providing you with a safe workplace – as safe as possible, as well as appropriate and necessary safety training.
Your employer is responsible for providing you with all necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and other equipment that allows you to perform your job safely .
You are responsible for learning and following all safety rules – and always using the appropriate personal protective equipment and other safety devices.
You are responsible for reporting any accident or injury to a supervisor immediately. This allows the supervisor to assess the severity of any injury and to give first aid and then get the employee to the closest emergency department or other medical care giver. The goal is to get the best treatment for all employees.
There is also the issue of reimbursement for the treatment of injuries. Insurance companies have rules concerning the timely reporting of employee injuries. There will usually be a protocol for calling and/or faxing the report to the employee injury coordinator for human resources.
Another very important reason for reporting accidents and injuries is that we may learn how to prevent them from happening to you or another employee.