From: "Tsiakals, Nicholas John"
Date: August 4, 2009 3:13:49 PM EDT (CA) Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] Article from Chemical and Engineering - very complete information about UCLA fatality Might I add: Until we articulate laboratory safety's positive support role to the research function, safety will be considered an impediment or an afterthought (one of many idealistic shoulds) to the research function. I don't know a single researcher who is "in it for the safety" or "in it for the bureaucracy of it." They all, every one of them, are there to do research, and too often safety is viewed as another bureaucratic stop, a barricade to what they really want to do. I don't mean to imply that none of us have articulated the right focus in the past. But if we can't describe - to the researcher in front of us - how excelling in safety or regulatory compliance will make that individual a better researcher, we should consider what we are really asking. I find Tom Welton's statement in C&EN particularly inspiring along these lines: "If we don't train students in risk management and safety procedures, then we're not training them for employment in modern industry... If we want someone to turn up in a job and be productive, they can't do that if they're not safety aware." -Nick ___________________________________ Nicholas J. Tsiakals Division of Research Safety Chemical Safety Section University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (217) 244 - 0682 www.drs.illinois.edu == From: "Alnajjar, Mikhail S" Date: August 4, 2009 3:28:54 PM EDT (CA) Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] Article from Chemical and Engineering - very complete information about UCLA fatality Great deal of information and ideas are presented in this form. There are sooo many guidelines, policies, standards, protocols, and codes that already exist. All these regulations make our heads spin out of control. We have no more time to go to the lab and do the work. I believe that the information needed to perform experimental tasks safely are available and easily attained; if we have the desire to look for it. Our workers safety and Health professionals, for example, are good resources and available to provide guidance; if needed. I am finding out that they can be very helpful and effective in giving us (researchers) sound advices regarding safety and risk analysis. We just need to work together for the advancement of safety, productivity, and understanding of federal codes as well as local regulations. It is truly a team work but, at the times, it is very difficult task to accomplish (???). Whether we have more codes or not, the three basic principles (not in particular order) that need to be in place to work safely (academic as well as industries) are: 1. Line-management (or PI) involvement is a must. They must carry the baton and provide the training needed for their staff. Having PhD does not guarantee that the new graduate has the knowledge to handle pyrophoric or explosive chemicals. 2. Have a Chemical Hygiene Program (CHP) in place describing the Laboratory-level requirements, procedures, and guidelines. 3. Provide the atmosphere for culture change within the workplace. Easy to say but, difficult to accomplish. It requires $$$, the dedication of line-management, researchers, and S&H reps. It is OUR duty to care about safety through education, relevance, and good common sense practices. __________________________________________________ Mikhail
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