Learning Opportunity in Identifying Safety Barriers at the SD National Meeting

Traditionally, safety controls (barriers) have been identified as physical in nature—like a fume hood, glove box, or personal protective equipment—intended to separate and protect people and the environment from specific hazards. However, the success of physical barriers in a laboratory setting depends upon specific behaviors by the laboratory workers; these, in turn, are influenced by organizational policies and oversight and an organization’s explicit commitment to them. Consequently, to assure their effectiveness, the safety barrier concept has to be extended beyond physical safeguards to consider a variety of organizational and operational barriers. By expanding the scope of safety barriers to include system factors, it becomes clear that safety requires continual monitoring and response at many levels of an organization.

As part of its technical program at the San Diego national meeting, DCHAS will be offering an innovative, interactive technical session to help people across the laboratory community, including students, faculty, lab staff, research administration and Environmental Health and Safety staff gain experience in understanding the interplay of the protective barriers in the laboratory setting.

On Tuesday afternoon, March 15, Mary Beth Mulcahy, investigator at the Chemical Safety Board, will chair and Chris Boylan of Det Norske Veritas will lead a workshop entitled “Introduction to bowtie methodology for a laboratory setting”. Using real world examples from both the teaching and research laboratories, this workshop will help participants acquire skills in identifying how safety barriers in the laboratory interact and when those interactions can lead to safety failures.


More information about this workshop can be found in this PDF document: Introduction to the Bowtie Methodology in the Laboratory Setting

In order to help us plan for the most productive audience session, please contact Mary Beth at MaryBeth.Mulcahy@csb.gov if you’re planning on attending.

One thought on “Learning Opportunity in Identifying Safety Barriers at the SD National Meeting”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *