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Respirator Rules

September 8, 2014 8:00 pm | by Vince McLeod | Comments

Before ever putting a respirator on, OSHA requires (and it makes good sense) to ensure users are physically capable of wearing a respirator. OSHA 29 CFR 1910.134 states: “Employees that use any respirators including respirators such as air supplied positive pressure face masks or hoods must have a medical evaluation before use.”

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In a question-and-answer session with Robin Gall, Ph.D., Senior Product Manager of STARLIMS Forensics product for Abbott Informatics, find out how the latest forensic technologies are helping forensic laboratories improve productivity, efficiency, and qua

New Technologies Help Forensic Labs Overcome Today’s Challenges

September 5, 2014 6:27 am | by Rebecca Waters | STARLIMS | Comments

In a question-and-answer session with Robin Gall, Ph.D., Senior Product Manager of STARLIMS Forensics product for Abbott Informatics, find out how the latest forensic technologies are helping forensic laboratories improve productivity, efficiency, and quality.  

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Crime Scene Photography Essentials

September 4, 2014 8:42 am | by Dick Warrington | Lynn Peavey Company | Comments

If you’re an officer in a small department without a crime scene unit, you may be responsible for documenting everything from thefts to homicides. For each scene, you need an accurate record. You don’t need to be an expert to take crime scene photographs or testify in court about these photographs, but you do need to know the proper way to photograph and document a scene.

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Burn Notice

September 4, 2014 7:10 am | by Vince McLeod, CIH | Comments

Flammable substances are those that can easily catch fire and burn in air. They may be solid, liquid, or gaseous, but this article will focus on liquids because according to Prudent Practices, the most common fire hazard in the typical laboratory is a flammable liquid or the vapor produced by one. And for a majority of laboratories, flammable liquids are the most commonly stored material and make up the largest volume of hazardous material.

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Effective Communication: The Manager’s Must

September 3, 2014 7:42 pm | Comments

Your effectiveness as a manager stands or falls on your ability to communicate. That’s true no matter what kind of organization you’re in, no matter what kind of department you run, no matter what kind of employees you have, no matter what kind of boss you have, no matter what kind of person you are. To manage is to communicate.

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Kern County Resolves the DNA Mixture Crisis

September 3, 2014 5:37 pm | by Mark W. Perlin and Kevin W.P. Miller | Cybergenetics | Comments

The forensic community is discussing genotype probability modeling as a way to interpret DNA mixtures. The Kern Regional Crime Laboratory (KRCL) was an early adopter of probabilistic genotyping for mixture interpretation. KRCL's adoption of these computer methods enables Kern County to use complex mixture evidence in routine casework, and easily report their match results.

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Biocontainment Is a Bigger Challenge in Medical Examiner Facilities

September 1, 2014 7:06 pm | Crime Lab Design | Comments

How well do biocontainment and biosafety guidelines written for research facilities apply to medical examiners? The mission of medical examiners and the procedures they use present significantly different challenges. There are major differences between medical examiner and research operations with respect to biocontainment and biosafety.

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Processing a Fire or Arson Scene

August 27, 2014 11:55 pm | Comments

The investigator should control access to a fire scene after fire suppression and see that evidence is collected, stored, and transported so that it will not be contaminated. Follow this walkthrough to properly process the scene and take precautions to prevent contamination.

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Actively Listen to Subordinates

August 27, 2014 7:55 pm | Comments

Draw out the thoughts and ideas of subordinates, as well as their feelings. Ask questions and rephrase key points that are made (e.g., "Do you mean that ... "). Don't respond until you clearly understand what's being said. Even if you disagree, allow the person to complete what he/she wants to say.

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Solid State Drives: Part 7

August 27, 2014 8:12 am | by John J. Barbara | Digital Forensics Consulting, LLC | Comments

SSDs have been in use since the 1950s. When compared to a conventional HDD, they are totally different in architecture and functionality. These differences offer many advantages such as no moving parts, having low random access times, and being shock and vibration resistant. However, their architecture and functionality creates some difficult issues to deal with pertaining to their forensic analysis. 

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Chemical fume hoods are designed to capture and exhaust contaminates resulting from working with chemicals. Their design attempts to create a capture zone in front of the hood, draw contaminates away from the worker and into the hood where they are exhaus

Check under the Hood

August 26, 2014 8:34 am | Comments

Chemical fume hoods are designed to capture and exhaust contaminates resulting from working with chemicals. Their design attempts to create a capture zone in front of the hood, draw contaminates away from the worker and into the hood where they are exhausted.

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Changes in science and technology mean more tools for crime scene investigation. To take advantage of these advances, you have to be knowledgeable about the latest developments and about the capabilities of experts; you also need the right equipment.

The Prepared CSO

August 21, 2014 4:25 pm | Comments

Changes in science and technology mean more tools for crime scene investigation. To take advantage of these advances, you have to be knowledgeable about the latest developments and about the capabilities of experts; you also need the right equipment.

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Considerations of Gait at Crime Scenes

August 20, 2014 8:22 am | by Bryan B. Kagan, DPM and Sally Crawford | Comments

Forensic gait analysis is the identification of gait features and patterns of subjects seen on Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) and from footprints forming a gait pattern left at the scene of a crime. Studies have shown that more than 30% of people wear shoes that are within a two shoe size differential, which can affect the gait phase and gait time parameters and impact on the class level distinction during forensic examination.  

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Like a workplace Neapolitan ice cream, employees typically come in three distinct “flavors”: your Critical People, the Squeaky Wheels and the Fat Middle. Most managers and supervisors either attempt to manage every employee from each of these groups in th

Employees' Three Flavors

August 19, 2014 8:51 am | Comments

Like a workplace Neapolitan ice cream, employees typically come in three distinct “flavors”: your Critical People, the Squeaky Wheels and the Fat Middle. Most managers and supervisors either attempt to manage every employee from each of these groups in the same manner. Or worse, they spend the majority of time with their Squeaky Wheels – rewarding bad performance or behavior. 

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There are four basic techniques that can be used to measure a scene; rectangular/ coordinate system, baseline/ station line, triangulation/ trilateration, and azimuth/ polar coordinates. Regardless of which measurement method you use, they are all based o

Crime Scene Measuring Basics

August 15, 2014 9:19 am | Comments

There are four basic techniques that can be used to measure a scene; rectangular/ coordinate system, baseline/ station line, triangulation/ trilateration, and azimuth/ polar coordinates. Regardless of which measurement method you use, they are all based on having known starting points.

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