Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2005 09:17:35 -0400
Reply-To: "Hadden, Susan [PRDUS]" <SHADDEN**At_Symbol_Here**PRDUS.JNJ.COM>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Hadden, Susan [PRDUS]" <SHADDEN**At_Symbol_Here**PRDUS.JNJ.COM>
Subject: Re: Getting to Lab Employees

As a former industry discovery scientist and now an industry safety person,
I may be able to shed some light.

Be credible:
As scientists, we tended not to believe the safety people because we knew
our jobs far better than they. So as a safety person, make sure you are well
versed in what you are discussing and know your facts, ie pronounce chemical
names correctly, know chemical classes and properties or pathogens (or
whatever your risk factors are), etc.

Performance evaluations:
Our lab folks feel very pressured by job demands, so even if they think
safety is a good idea, if it is not measured on their performance
evaluation, they will give it less priority. So, we have worked hard to
convince management to include it as a performance measure.

Make it easy:
Make it easy and simple to comply. If the incident investigation form is too
long or complicated, they simply won't report. So give them a one pager with
check boxes (which will suffice for most incidents anyway) and follow up on
the more complex ones as needed.

Explain why:
Help them understand why. If the risk truly exists for them, help them see
it and explain why the safety procedure/training/etc will help reduce it.
Explain the cost associated with an injury or incident that temporarily
stops work. Explain if the why is for a legal reason and not really very
applicable to their true risk. Although we try to make safety as risk based
as possible for our folks, there are some things we just can't get out of.
So explain that too and tell them we just have to accept this one.

But,even with those efforts, we still struggle with compliance and
acceptance. It is an ongoing process.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Kaufman [mailto:Labsafe**At_Symbol_Here**AOL.COM]
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2005 1:17 AM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Getting to Lab Employees

The Laboratory Safety Institute has enjoyed significant success in help
academic institutions address this particularly thorny issue.  In the
session on
Employee Involvement, we talk about the "101 ways to convince people that
is important and that you are serious about it."

One approach that we have found to be quite effective is the "Windsock."  It
tells you the direction and strength of the wind.  The windsock doesn't tell
you how to behave.  But if you take the time to look at it, you can learn
things that help you (if you are a pilot) that help you to fly more safely.
a lab safety windsock.  Don't tell people how to behave.  Help them to
understand the direction and strength of the wind.

Give clear examples of people who are dead or crippled doing what your "lab
folks" do.  Let them decide who they want to grow up like.

It should not be your job to "get them to comply."  Let that be their
"supervisor's" job.

Good Luck ... Jim

PS.  "Never try to teach a pig to sing.  It wastes your time and annoys the

In a message dated 7/20/2005 12:02:53 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
LISTSERV**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU writes:

> Date:   Tue, 19 Jul 2005 14:48:30 EDT
> From:   Bernie Gable 
> Subject: Getting to Lab Employees
> Hello - Many of us know that sometimes getting Lab folks to follow safety
> rules can be a challenge. I've heard "I'm a scientist - I know what not to
> do"
> and "Those rules don't apply to me". Other than disciplinary procedures,
> does
> anyone have any suggestions for talking to lab personnel in their own
> language
> to get them to comply? All advice welcome! - Bernie

James A. Kaufman, Ph.D.

The Laboratory Safety Institute
A Nonprofit International Organization for
Safety in Science and Science Education

192 Worcester Road, Natick, MA 01760-2252
508-647-1900  Fax: 508-647-0062
Cell: 508-574-6264   Res: 781-237-1335

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