The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office recently received the green light to proceed with the design of a new facility, a regional forensic science complex incorporating the activities of the County Veterinary Laboratory as a co-located agency with common service, education, and research needs.
Of the many sources of anxiety in a workplace, moving a work operation ranks very high on most peoples’ lists. This is particularly true of a crime lab, where stress can run high even without the complications of a move, and where the demands for service must be met in a timely fashion.
There is one aspect of the design and execution of a project that we as “safety guys” find often stirs up more business for us than one might expect. This is the protection of building occupants and people in public areas adjacent to the construction activities.
Most cities and towns have experienced periods of time where buildings in their communities, for whatever reason, have become abandoned, later to be either remodeled for a different use or demolished to make room for something new.
In the forensic industry, if a new standard could reduce doubt in the courtroom and enhance scientific analysis, every director would want to implement it into their laboratory. ISO 17025 accreditation does just that.
We received a question recently about proper eye protection that got us thinking. Many of us have probably seen the horror stories of nails stuck in eyes of employees and other such gruesome accidents. Did you know that about 2000 eye injuries occur on the job every day?
In this column, I will discuss the documentation of wounds, weapons, drugs, and medications as well as identifying the deceased and the notification of the family; documenting trace evidence; processing the scene; and wrapping up the scene.
Good facility planning and the proper solutions for HVAC systems credit today's successful forensic facilities. Together they support modern forensic laboratories by providing comfort for lab occupants and an environment that supports scientific investigation.
Today, more than ever, the quality of evidence in criminal cases is scrutinized in the courtroom. Both defense and prosecuting attorneys look to the manner in which evidence is collected and handled to bolster their cases.
One problem with all hoods, but definitely more so with chemical hoods than others in our experience, is that as a cabinet space in a lab they tend to accumulate stuff and are frequently used for storage.