Behind the Clipboard: Laboratory Inspectors
CDC’s laboratory inspectors keep tabs on the nation’s critical select agent and toxin laboratories. Laboratory inspections generally last about 3 days and require that inspectors travel to sites all over the country, usually going out about once a month. And the job is never dull.
Every lab is different. Some labs keep animals on the premises, while others have huge set-ups that mimic the factories that process our food supply. It’s the inspectors’ job to make sure that, no matter what’s happening in a given lab, everything is safe and secure. “You have to figure out how the regulations apply to every situation no matter how unique it is,” said one inspector.
“I think the impact of our work is important to talk about,” says another inspector. “The impact of this work is to allow important research to be done. Research that involves risk. And our job is to allow this work to continue with as little risk as possible.”