Date: Tue, 4 Aug 2009 16:07:16 -0400
Reply-To: List Moderator <ecgrants**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: List Moderator <ecgrants**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Subject: 2 more RE: [DCHAS-L] Article from Chemical and Engineering

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  

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."

Nicholas J. Tsiakals
Division of Research Safety
Chemical Safety Section
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
(217) 244 - 0682

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.


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