Strong Safety Culture Part 3-Environmental Health & Safety - Carnegie Mellon University

Monday, July 1, 2013

Strong Safety Culture Part 3

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 implement one.  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.  Quoting the document:

“The department chair, senior-tenured faculty, research directors, laboratory supervisors, and principal investigators should set the tone for the safety culture in their departments.  They are responsible and accountable for the safety of the faculty, staff, students, and postdoctoral scholars, and for ensuring the following:

•    Students are educated in the principles of safety throughout the curriculum;
•    Students continuously learn about safety during structured laboratory sessions;
•    Students are taught the necessary skills to work independently in laboratories;
•    Students, who work in research laboratories, are educated and trained in the safety skills they need to conduct research operations safely;
•    Faculty, staff, and postdoctoral scholars, who teach or oversee research in laboratories, are educated and trained in safety skills; and
•    Early-career faculty members are also mentored in safety and in learning how to develop a safety culture within a research group”

Also, please remember this statement from the document:
  “While the faculty relies upon EHS for support in the management of their safety program, the safety of employees and students is ultimately the responsibility of the faculty and laboratory staff members.”

By: Mark Banister,, 412-268-1493