Recommendations: Institution-Wide Dynamics and Resources
Recommendation 4. The campus lead and leadership team develop effective safety policies, procedures, and management systems, and identify the resources necessary for implementation. They establish recognition and reward systems and integrate these into tenure and promotion, hiring, and annual performance reviews.
Tools for Recommendation 4
Implementation strategies for recognizing and rewarding effective safety practices
- Make safety, conducting hazard analysis, completion of safety training, etc. a part of all faculty annual reviews.
- Require the inclusion of the candidate’s safety record in a supervisor’s performance appraisal commentary and letters supporting tenure or promotion.
- Consider centralized funding for safety improvements. The Report of the Task Force for Advancing the Culture of Laboratory at Stanford University recommended centralized funding support for comprehensive, campus-wide safety related mandates, especially for personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety equipment.
Reports, handbooks, and guides on hazards to aid in developing effective campus safety policies
- ACS Committee on Chemical Safety (2013). Identifying and Evaluating Hazards in Research Laboratories: Guidelines Developed by the Hazards Identification and Evaluation Task Force. American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C.
Available at ACS.
The report provides the key elements of hazard identification and evaluation, which include defining the scope of work, recognizing the potential hazards involved in every step of an experiment and evaluating the chances that a hazard will happen. It also discusses the selection and use of proper safety equipment and procedures.
- Bretherick, L. (2013). Bretherick's handbook of reactive chemical hazards. Butterworth-Heinemann.
Available at Amazon.
This two-volume compendium focuses on reactivity risks of chemicals, alone and in combination.
- Furr, A. K. (2000). CRC handbook of laboratory safety. CRC Press.
Available at Amazon.
The CRC Handbook of Laboratory Safety, Fifth Edition provides information on planning and building a facility, developing an organization infrastructure, planning for emergencies and contingencies, choosing the correct equipment, developing operational plans, and meeting regulatory requirements.
- National Research Council (2011). Prudent practices in the laboratory: Handling and management of chemical hazards: Updated Version.
Available at National Academies Press.
The book offers prudent practices designed to promote safety and includes practical information on assessing hazards, managing chemicals, disposing of wastes, and more. It is the leading source of chemical safety guidelines for people working with laboratory chemicals: research chemists, technicians, safety officers, educators, and students.
- National Fire Protection Association (2015). NFPA 45: Standard on Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals.
Available at NFPA website.
NFPA 45 is one of the documents that is referenced in the OSHA Lab Standard.
- Northwestern University Research (2013). Essential Information on Laboratory Safety.
Available at Northwestern University.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Laboratory Safety Guidance. OSHA 3404-11R. United States.
Available at OSHA.
OSHA Lab Safety Guidance details the OSHA standards and provides guidance on chemical, biological, physical, and safety hazards.
- Safety in Academic Chemistry in Laboratories: Volume 2 (Teacher's Edition).
Available at ACS.
This volume summarizes many of the aspects of laboratory safety from a teaching and administrative viewpoint, including consideration of the regulations developed under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. However, accident prevention, not regulation, is the essential component of all laboratory operations. This manual provides a basis from which both institutional and individual safety policies and procedures can be developed.
- Salerno, R. M., & Gaudioso, J. (Eds.). (2015). Laboratory Biorisk Management: Biosafety and Biosecurity. CRC Press.
Available at Amazon.
It introduces the new field of laboratory biorisk management, evolving from the traditional field of biosafety and biosecurity. It explains how biorisk management can reduce the risks of working with biological agents in laboratories and explains how to implement it. The book discusses how to implement the new Laboratory Biorisk Management Standards.
Websites with additional resources to aid in developing effective campus safety policies
- The Lab Chemical Safety Summaries from PubChem has 3000+ chemical hazard and safety summaries available.
Available at Pubchem.
- Aldrich Technical Bulletins provides chemical data sheets.
Available at Aldrich.
- The Department of Health and Human Services “Enviro-Health Links – Laboratory Safety” webpage links to many useful references for chemical, biological, and nanomaterials safety.
Available at NIH.gov.
- Dow Lab Safety Academy provides many resources for enhancing safety practices.
Available at safety.dow.com.
- Northwestern University's Office for Research.
Available at Northwestern.
The university provides many resources for improving lab safety and provides an annual report on safety.
Comparison of Recommendation 4 with other key resources
- From Safe Science: Promoting a Culture of Safety in Academic Chemical Research (NRC, 2014):
- Recommendation 2. The provost or chief academic officer, in collaboration with faculty governance, should incorporate fostering a strong, positive safety culture as an element in the criteria for promotion, tenure, and salary decisions for faculty.
- Recommendation 3. All institutions face a challenge of limited resources. Within this constraint, institutional head(s) of research and department chairs should consider the resources they have available for safety when considering or designing programs, and identify types of research that can be done safely with available and projected resources and infrastructure.
- From Creating Safety Cultures in Academic Institutions (ACS, 2012):
- Recommendation 3. Establish a strong, effective safety management system and safety program for the institutions, including laboratory safety.
- Recommendation 17. Identify the ongoing need to support a strong safety culture and work with administrators and department chairs to establish a baseline budget to support safety activities on an annual basis.
- From Creating a Safety Culture (OSHA, 1989):
- Develop policies for recognition, rewards, incentives, and ceremonies. Again, reward employees for doing the right things and encourage participation in the upstream activities. Continually reevaluate these policies to ensure their effectiveness and to ensure that they do not become entitlement programs.
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