Friday, June 7, 2013
Strong Safety Culture Part 2The 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?
- Safety efforts are highly fragmented, resulting in safety being a low priority
- The infrastructure necessary for implementing safety is fragmented, lacking in overall supervision and clear lines of responsibility and accountability
- Inadequate safety education and training, and a lack of instructional materials
- Lack of coherence in presentation of safety considerations as a student advances through the undergraduate program
- Safety is regarded as a set of rules and regulations rather than an ethical obligation and an essential part of the curriculum
- Insufficient resources and allocation of time at either the departmental or university level to establich a strong safety management system
- Lack of regular, systematic and comprehensive training of faculty, staff, appointed Safety Officers, and students at higher levels of higher education
- Lack of systematic review and discussion of all incidents to learn how future accidents can be avoided
- Lack of collaborative interactions with EH&S team.
By: Mark Banister, firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-527-5616