Tag Archives: Safety Culture

Analysis of injury data to improve safety and training

The Editor’s Spotlight for the January / February 2017 issue of the Journal of Chemical Health and Safety is shining on:

Analysis of injury data to improve safety and training by Heather Simmons, Betsy Matos and Stephen Simpson of Iowa State University.

The article describes how they used injury data to evaluate trends in laboratory-related injuries there between 2001 and 2014. As a result, they are moving away from classroom-only training and are incorporating multiple learning methods into our training program. In addition, we are utilizing near misses, narratives, and anecdotes to enhance learning.

Their new approach focuses on moving from a compliance-centered culture to one in which we use data to drive the decision-making process and our communications with researchers.

Other technical articles in this issue include:

Low level noise analysis in laboratory fume hood
Kang Chen, Jinlong Yang, Hongbo Zhang, Wenjun Zhang

Evaluation of the ECETOC TRA model for workplace inhalation exposure to ethylbenzene in Japan
Satoko Ishii, Ritsuko Katagiri, Kimiyoshi Kitamura, Masaaki Shimojima, Takeharu Wada

Investigation of a light fixture fire
James D. Jurney, Michael E. Cournoyer, Stanley Trujillo, Stephen B. Schreiber

Exploding misconceptions: Developing a culture of safety through learner driven activities
Shayna Burchett, Annalise Pfaff, Jack Hayes, Klaus Woelk

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

Pacifichem 2015 Lab Safety Symposium

Symposium on Safety in the Academic Research Laboratory 

Chemical research laboratories often house hazardous materials, which with proper training and use can be used safely and without incident. Unfortunately, most academic labs do not have the requisite culture or knowledge to eliminate/minimize hazards that exist. As evidence, we only need to point to recent devastating incidents that have occurred in academic settings. It is important for faculty, staff and students alike to have a positive attitude towards safety, be aware of all possible hazards and how to meliorate them, and adopt a safety ethos. Recent events have led to several studies identifying mechanisms to build a “culture of safety” in academic research laboratories. This symposium will explore global efforts that are currently underway to enhance awareness and improve the safety environment for all students in academic settings. Presentations such as those discussing the US National Research Council Study Report on “Establishing and Promoting a Culture of Safety in Academic Laboratory Research” and the ExxonMobil Partners in Academic Lab Safety (PALS) will be highlighted, along with sister efforts around the Pacific Rim.

SCTY 18: Safe science: Promoting a culture of safety in academic research (link to report discussed in this presentation)
Holden Thorp

SCTY 19: Safety first culture in Australian laboratories
Angelica Vecchio-Sadus

SCTY 20: Comprehensive and effective program for environmental safety education in universities
Yoshiko Tsuji

SCTY 21: Laboratory safety in ChBE at Georgia Tech and the PALS collaboration with ExxonMobil

SCTY 22: International differences in laboratory safety preparation for chemistry graduate students
Russell Phifer

SCTY 23: Evolution of safety culture in University of California academic research laboratories
John Palmer, Lawrence Wong

SCTY 24: Laboratory Scale Risk Assessment
Neal Langerman

SCTY 25: Study of students’ engagement in various styles of safety videos
Haim Weizman

SCTY 46: From accident analysis to accident prevention at UCLA
Craig Merlin

SCTY 47: A student’s perspective on safety in the academic lab
Nils Persson

SCTY 48: Assessment and management of chemical risks in academic laboratories: (1) Important factors for risk assessment in chemical laboratories
Hitoshi Yamamoto

SCTY 49: Advancing safety culture in academic research laboratories: A case study (link to the study discussed in this presentation)
2:00pm-2:20pm Tue, Dec 15 Lawrence Gibbs

SCTY 50: Assessment and management of chemical risks in academic laboratories (2) Influence of laboratory layout on airflow in university laboratory
Yukiko Nezu

SCTY 51: Assessment and management of chemical risks in academic laboratories (3) Oshima et al – Observing behavior of experimenter and chemical
Yoshito Oshima

SCTY 52: Ensuring a safe and successful research laboratory for deaf and hard-of-hearing undergraduate students
Todd Pagano

SCTY 53:  Supporting a prudent safety culture through job hazard analysis and information literacy skills
Ralph Stuart

SCTY 54: Critical role of public access to chemical data and information in supporting safety culture in academic research laboratories
Leah McEwen

SCTY 55: Leveraging academic safety culture as a value-added tool for maximizing the undergraduate research experience and Introducing general chemistry students to academic safety culture through participatory case study development Gregory Ferrence

Identifying and Evaluating Hazards in Research Laboratories

PDF versions of DCHAS technical presentations from the Fall, 2013 ACS National Meeting

DCHAS papers at NERM 2013

The Division of Chemical Health and Safety presented a well attended technical symposium at NERM 2013, organized by Peter Reinhardt of Yale University Environmental Health and Safety. Papers presented include:

More papers to come!