Safety Culture Education Discussion

At the September CSHEMA regional meeting, three DCHAS members (Gail Hall of Boston College, Zehra Schneider-Graham of the University of Massachusetts Boston, and Ralph Stuart of Keene State College) participated in a panel discussion about how Environmental Health and Safety Departments can best support laboratory safety culture through their safety training efforts. The presentations discussed the challenge of developing training programs that reflected the institutional culture while also addressing regulatory requirements.

Three key lessons from the Lab-XL project with the EPA were highlighted:

  • Each academic institution is unique
  • Connecting to the academic mission is necessary to motivate organizational change
  • Flexibility goes a long way in laboratory settings

In addition to describing approaches to this issue in the undergraduate and graduate laboratory settings, the panel presented the results of a DCHAS/CSHEMA survey of safety education efforts. PDF versions of the presentations and the survey results are provided here:

Developing Safety Culture Education at a PUI Campus, Ralph Stuart

Naming the Dead Cat in the Middle of the Table, Gail Hall

Survey on Lab Safety Culture Education on Campus, Zehra Schneider-Graham

Safety Culture Education Survey Results Data (in PDF) (if you are interested in these data in Excel format for further exploration, contact Ralph Stuart at ralph.stuart@keene.edu).

Also note this related article from the Journal of Chemical Education on Using the Universal Design for Learning Approach in Science Laboratories To Minimize Student Stress

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