Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2008 13:06:59 -0500
Reply-To: List Moderator <ecgrants**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
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From: List Moderator <ecgrants**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Subject: 4 RE: [DCHAS-L] FW: Measuring chemical safety program

From: "Hadden, Susan [PRDUS]" 
Date: December 11, 2008 9:01:39 AM EST (CA)
Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] FW: Measuring chemical safety program  

I feel that lab inspections do provide a measure of the safety  
culture. How the occupants maintain their lab is a good indicator of  
their safe behavior.

Think about the labs you inspect. Are the folks in the neat, well run  
labs more inclined to be safety concious and follow the rules or the  
ones in the sloppy, poorly maintained labs?

Look at your lab inspection questions. They tend to ask about things  
that require a person to perform or maintain (is the hood closed, is  
there evidence of spills, are waste cans appropriately labeled).  
Performance is behavior.

Those who tend to be sloppy and disorganized with their work space are  
usually sloppy and disorganized in their work habits.

 From years of experience, I know that a well maintained lab usually  
has a better safety culture than labs that are not.


From: ILPI 
Date: December 11, 2008 9:23:35 AM EST (CA)
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] FW: Measuring chemical safety program  

A program is effective if it promotes a culture of safety.   As Kim  
describes below, if safety is an integral part of everything that you  
do in the laboratory, then you have an effective program.

That kind of success requires effective leadership.   In an academic  
setting the front line of that means a faculty member who promotes the  
safety ethic.  As we are all too painfully aware, we know there are  
some professors who do not Get It when it comes to safety culture.    
That's where the second front of leadership from the department chair,  
safety committee, and/or EHS department comes in.   A big part of  
making that second part work is to establish that EHS leaders are  
working *with* faculty to help them be more effective rather than  
being a bureaucratic gadfly.

Of course, a good measure of how your program is to make *informal*  
visits to some random laboratories and see what's going on.  Are cords  
dangling, are hoods cluttered, is safety equipment blocked, that sort  
of thing.   And if you see there is room for improvement, you can do  
things like give folks self-inspection checklists/templates, or sign  
them up for email or iCal reminders to do a self-inspection etc.  
etc.    Non-adversarial, proactive prodding can go a long way.

Rob Toreki

Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] FW: Measuring chemical safety program  
Date: December 11, 2008 9:36:36 AM EST (CA)

Using a Behavior Observation system works the best.  Create a critical  
behavior check list, train observers on correct behavior and  
appropriate feedback to correct unsafe behaviors, setup observation  
schedule, conduct observations and tabulate data. May need to do re- 
training or revisit your current safety policies if you find that your  
safe behavior percentage is lower than 95%.

From: Carolyn Sampson 
Date: December 11, 2008 9:41:02 AM EST (CA)
Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] FW: Measuring chemical safety program  

About culture change -- I think you have really achieved safety when a  
chemist chooses to miss a critical deadline (which might harm their  
career) or decides not to do something (which might advance their  
career) because they do not believe it can be done safely.  When  
safety trumps career or funding -- wow!

Carolyn Sampson
General Mills

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