Atlanta is home to one of the most important components in the country’s disease protection system – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to its website, the CDC works to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Regardless of the origin of the disease, or what type of disease it is, whether it can be cured or not, whether it is the result of human error or a deliberate attack, the CDC fights disease. It encourages communities and citizens to do the same and supports those who do. CDC increases the health security of the United States, saves lives, and protects people from health threats. To accomplish this, the CDC performs critical science research and provides health information that protects us from health threats of all types and extents. When these health threats do present themselves, the CDC responds accordingly. CDC laboratories work with some of the deadliest germs in the world and work to identify health threats as well as conducting important public health research. The CDC continually develops and reviews laboratory guidelines and procedures to protect workers in both public and private lab settings.
The Dangers Of Keeping The Public Safe – When Mistakes Occur In The Lab
Working in these laboratories is, obviously, inherently dangerous. In their quest to keep individuals safe, CDC employees routinely put themselves in harm’s way to keep us safer. They undoubtedly have high-level safety procedures to safeguard employees who are at risk every day in the normal course of their jobs. Most of the time their work is incident-free, but in one case a few years ago, there were potentially serious back-to-back laboratory accidents that led to the closure of the flu and anthrax laboratories at the CDC in Atlanta. In one incident, dozens of CDC employees were possibly exposed to live anthrax bacteria after samples that were potentially infectious were delivered to laboratory facilities that were not equipped to handle these types of samples. According to the report, in this case, the employees were not wearing the necessary protective gear and were working with a bacteria that was supposed to have been killed. It was determined that the bacteria may not have been killed as it was originally thought to be. In a second incident, a CDC lab accidentally contaminated a benign flu sample with an extremely dangerous bird flu strain that had killed 386 people since 2003. Fortunately, a United States Agriculture Department laboratory discovered that the strain was more dangerous than expected and alerted the CDC to the problem. In addition to these two incidents, in a separate instance it was discovered that two of six vials of smallpox that had been stored in a National Institutes of Health (NIH) laboratory since the 1950s contained live virus that was capable of infecting people.
Having a Safety Plan Is Important, But Following it Is Even More Important
As a result of these incidents, the labs were closed until safety procedures could be improved and put into place. One spokesperson commenting on the situation astutely noted that even when you have all possible safety procedures in place, you cannot remove the human error component. Additionally, a CDC spokesperson observed that while anthrax terrifies laymen, those who work with it every day can get a little careless. He wisely suggested that the safety procedures and policies need to be improved at some CDC laboratories. Many industries, such as those involved in disease research and prevention, require their employees to perform their working in hazardous conditions with potentially life-threatening components. It is important for employers in these fields to provide a safe workplace, but it is also important for their employees to follow safety procedures that are in place.
Who Can I Turn To If I Have Been Injured in the Workplace?
The legal professionals at the Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, are the ones to turn to for help if you have been injured at work. We work exclusively with workers’ compensation matters and have the knowledge and experience to help guide you through the often complicated legal process. We want to provide you with the information you need to get the best possible results and will work tirelessly to help you achieve this. Contact us online or by calling us directly to get started today.