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Attention Lab Directors: do you have written policies andprocedures?

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  • Attention Lab Directors: do you have written policies andprocedures?

    Dear colleagues,

    Our department is in the process of developing a new locomotion biomechanics
    lab that will be used primarily for research and some basic community
    services (locomotion kinematic and kinetic analysis, VO2 max and submax
    testing). The equipment used in the lab includes force plates, treadmills,
    video kinematics, and EMG.

    One of the concerns regarding the lab is the written policy and procedures
    that should be in place. Some members of the faculty feel it is critical to
    have written policies and procedures to keep subjects safe and protect the
    lab from issues of liability. Other feel that if you define policies for,
    let’s say, a cardiac emergency or falling on a treadmill that you are in
    turn admitting to having knowledge of the risk and are making yourself more
    exposed to getting sued for negligence. Even others say that the IRB
    informed consent process should take care of these liability issues.

    I know I am not the first to have to have this “policy and procedures” issue
    and I think it brings up an important ethical consideration of running a
    research lab that uses human subjects. So, if any Biomech-L users can give
    me advice or have any sort of written examples of policy and procedures they
    would be willing to share I would greatly appreciate what you have to offer.

    Thank you for your time.


    Justus Ortega, Ph.D.
    Biomechanics Lab
    Department of Kinesiology
    Humboldt State University
    Arcata, CA 95521
    Telephone: (707) 826-4274
    Fax: (707) 826- 5451