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PELs Are Based Partly on Scientific Evidence and Partly on Politics

December 2, 2013 6:50 pm | Comments

The OSHA permissible exposure limits (PELs) are typically the least restrictive exposure values and serve as a minimum performance standard in the United States. It should be noted that when PELs are established, it is a political process mixed with scientific evidence.

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Book Excerpt: Bosnia’s Million Bones

November 25, 2013 4:01 pm | by Christian Jennings | Comments

The ICMP was now committed to the task of sifting through the pieces of the world's largest forensic puzzle. Thousands of bodies had been exhumed from mass graves in Bosnia and families and relatives of the missing had formed themselves into associations to collect blood samples.

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Train Your Field Officers

November 19, 2013 7:00 pm | Comments

Remember that working a crime scene should be a team effort for you and your department. One of the best things you can do is train the field officers and the first responders about your capabilities. These officers are your eyes in the field; it’s their job to call you when they see something that you can process. 

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5 Ways to Speed Through Bureaucracy at Work

November 19, 2013 7:00 pm | Comments

We all have been through it at work. Some process or change you are driving requires a sign-off from what seems like every manager in your company. Even when your work is done, you have to chase people down (most often managers), process their feedback, and get them to click a button or sign on the line.

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Eye Safety

November 18, 2013 7:00 pm | Comments

In our experience with forensic disciplines, we have identified a number of tasks where eye protection should be mandatory. These range from routine housekeeping duties, to working with solvents and chemicals in analytical labs, hazardous light sources, and firing ranges.

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There Is No Good Way to Manage People

November 13, 2013 3:09 pm | by Tron Jordheim | Comments

If you boil down all the great people management advice as much as you can, there are really only two things to do. One is to make sure your staff is getting ongoing training, feedback, correction, and motivation for all their work related behaviors. The other thing you can do is to leave your people alone and let them work. The trick is to know when to do which with each person.

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Essential Items for Crime Scene Personnel

November 12, 2013 7:00 pm | Comments

Responding crime scene officer(s) must be prepared to process a scene at a moments notice. Officers should keep essential items readily available in police vehicles or readily available toolkits. Below is a list of must have items as well some handy optional tools and gear.

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Acid and Flammable Storage Cabinets Should Meet OSHA, NFPA, and UFC Requirements

November 11, 2013 3:35 am | Comments

Acid and flammable storage cabinets should meet OSHA, NFPA, and UFC requirements. However, it has been my experience that when these cabinets are fire tested, they aren’t ventilated; the cabinet doors are closed and the cap is on the flame arrestor vent. Each manufacturer is slightly different and inquiries must be made about the fire tests preformed to determine if it had been tested with a vent connection or not.

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Identifying DNA Evidence

November 8, 2013 6:21 am | Comments

Since only a few cells can be sufficient to obtain useful DNA information to help your case, this list identifies some common items of evidence that you may need to collect, the possible location of the DNA on the evidence, and the biological source containing the cells.

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Environmental Toxicology: Forensic Approach in the Detection of NSAIDs

November 7, 2013 9:35 am | by Alix Greeves, Sarah W Hall, Lata Gautam, Michael D Cole | Comments

Research at the Forensic Science and Chemistry Research Group at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK, is focusing on this concept of alternative NSAID detection with emphasis on non-invasive samples. In forensic science disciplines there is a real consideration of the state or condition of samples pre-analysis regarding the overall detection of trace compounds.

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10 Steps to Long Term Conflict Management

November 6, 2013 7:00 pm | Comments

You are infuriated! The situation is out of control and you just don’t have time to deal with it right now. So what do you do? Here are ten steps that can help you resolve workplace conflict. A long term resolution allows all parties to reach a concensus in a rational manner.

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Don't Become Complacent About Safety

November 4, 2013 7:00 pm | Comments

It’s human nature to become complacent and relaxed in a familiar and comfortable setting. Take a walk through your lab, looking with unprejudiced honesty at all you see. Reevaluate the safety equipment and procedures in your lab and make sure you are not becoming complacent about safety.

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Executing a Warrant for Digital Evidence

October 29, 2013 8:00 pm | Comments

Pertaining to the seizure of digital devices, there is some misunderstanding concerning what “executing the warrant within ten days” actually means. Often, investigators will detail what types of computer files they are going to be looking for so as not to run afoul of the Fourth Amendment.

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Stress and Decision Making: Avoid Expensive Mistakes

October 29, 2013 8:00 pm | Comments

Some people respond well in stressful situations and some people lose focus and can make costly mistakes. But why does stress cause many people to have impaired decision making? The survival mechanisms that make up the stress response are very primitive in origin. 

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Maintain an Ergonomic Workstation

October 28, 2013 8:00 pm | Comments

Poor ergonomic conditions and practices cause more losses in terms of employee suffering, lost time, and productivity than most other types of injury in the workplace. We have begun to explore the ergonomic risk factors associated with the use of computers. The take-home message in this issue is “neutral” and “balanced.” 

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