Recommendations: Institution-Wide Dynamics and Resources
Recommendation 8. The institution develops a risk assessment process for laboratory safety that is integral to all activities conducted in the laboratory or the field.
Tools for Recommendation 8
Implementation strategies to reduce risk
- Actively engage campus risk management and boards of trustees/regents to support campus safety initiatives to mitigate and manage risk due to research and academic safety issues.
- Ensure that research and academic safety is incorporated into all unit risk analyses and are reflected in the university’s heat map of risk.
- Upon identification of the risks associated with research and academic safety, risk management plans should call for regular review and changes in policies and procedures to reflect the associated risk.
References on risk management
- Reason, J. T., & Reason, J. T. (1997). Managing the risks of organizational accidents (Vol. 6). Aldershot: Ashgate.
This book presents a set of common principles of the causes of major accidents in a wide variety of high-technology systems. It describes tools and techniques for managing these risks.
Resources for liability
- Chemical Educators Legal Liability insurance plan
Available at ACS.
ACS developed the Chemical Educators Legal Liability insurance plan for the liability risks of chemical educators. The plan, underwritten by Lloyd’s of London, covers areas excluded by standard educators’ liability plans such as Contingent Bodily Injury and Pollution Liability, as well as Employment Practices and Sexual Harassment.
Comparison of Recommendation 8 with other key resources
- From Safe Science: Promoting a Culture of Safety in Academic Chemical Research (NRC, 2014):
- Recommendation 4. University presidents and chancellors should establish policy and deploy resources to maximize a strong, positive safety culture. Each institution should have a comprehensive risk management plan for laboratory safety that addresses prevention mechanisms with input from faculty, students, environmental health and safety staff, and administrative stake holders and ensure that other university leader, including provosts, vice presidents for research, deans, chief administrative officers, and department chairs, do so as well.
- From Texas Tech Laboratory Explosion Case Study (CSB, 2010):
- Academic institutions should ensure that practices and procedures are in place to verify that research-specific hazards are evaluated and mitigated.
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