Strong Safety Culture Part 2-Environmental Health & Safety - Carnegie Mellon University

Friday, June 7, 2013

Strong Safety Culture Part 2

The American Chemical Society recently published a report of their Safety Culture Task force, outlining the importance of establishing a good safety culture in laboratories as well as how to do this.  The report was prompted by the number of high-profile university-related lab accidents which have occurred in the US over the past few years.  A poor safety culture was implicated in a number of these accidents.
These items are typical barriers to the establishment of a strong safety culture.  How may of them apply to your lab and to our university?

  1.   Safety efforts are highly fragmented, resulting in safety being a low priority
  2.   The infrastructure necessary for implementing safety is fragmented, lacking in overall supervision and clear lines of responsibility and accountability
  3.   Inadequate safety education and training, and a lack of instructional materials
  4.   Lack of coherence in presentation of safety considerations as a student advances through the undergraduate program
  5.   Safety is regarded as a set of rules and regulations rather than an ethical obligation and an essential part of the curriculum
  6.   Insufficient resources and allocation of time at either the departmental or university level to establich a strong safety management system
  7.   Lack of regular, systematic and comprehensive training of faculty, staff, appointed Safety Officers, and students at higher levels of higher education
  8.   Lack of systematic review and discussion of all incidents to learn how future accidents can be avoided
  9.   Lack of collaborative interactions with EH&S team.

By: Mark Banister,, 412-527-5616