Date: Wed, 5 Aug 2009 08:38:34 -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: 3 Re: [DCHAS-L] OSHA Lab Standard Effectiveness

From: chemsafety**At_Symbol_Here**VERIZON.NET
Re: [DCHAS-L] OSHA Lab Standard Effectiveness

To everybody,

Maybe, as somebody has already pointed out, the problem is with the  

We need to insist that NSF and other major granting agencies require  
that proposals include a discussion of foreseen safety issues and the  
precautionary measures that will be taken as a consequence.

The ACS has a powerful voice and we therefore need first to persuade  
the Board of Directors of the ACS that this is an important issue  
which MUST be addressed.  Maybe the CHAS Councilors need to get on the  
horn at Council meetings?

Jay Young

From: davidbunzow**At_Symbol_Here**COMCAST.NET
Re: [DCHAS-L] OSHA Lab Standard Effectiveness

In most of the posts I've read thus far, there seems to be a sense of  
the adversarial them vs. us in safety. I find this strange when we are  
talking about the potential adverse impacts on people, programs and  
institutions. One of the better tools that has not brought it into the  
discussions thus far - and that could potentially be a positive  
benefit to all - is OSHA's General Duty Clause and how each of the  
three "factions" would apply it to laboratory safety.  I'm aware OSHA   
only applies to employers and their employees, but I guess I missed  
the memo where it was determined that concern for welfare and the  
right to a workplace free of risky hazards doesn't apply morally to us  

Having spent considerable time in industry, academia and now  
government labs, I can find/confirm that these organizations are all  
over the safety spectrum when it comes to their safety culture.  And I  
must say that I wholeheartedly agree with Neal's intent.  But I  
suspect that fundamental change in safety culture is sorely needed in  
the majority of academic labs and their inhabitants - and this is just  
not supported by many academic administrations who see safety as just  
an add-on rather than an integrated part of learning and research  
involving human beings.

I would be interested to hear what others think about this aspect of  
safety culture and accountability.


From: Paul Sonnenfeld, CPEA 
Re: [DCHAS-L] OSHA Lab Standard Effectiveness

Two quick observations; 1) if you want an incentive for safe lab  
practices, I suggest posting pictures of the researchers' and  
technicians' families or significant others (preferably poster-size)  
on the walls of the lab.  These not too subtle reminders may help  
folks to practice safety AND prepare the risk assessment prior to  
initiating the investigation.  By so doing the researchers and  
technicians may be alive at the end of the day and therefore have an  
opportunity to hug the folks in the pictures. 2) Having a CHP is  
absolutely worthless if lab personnel are not trained in the aspects  
and limitations of the CHP.  At the minimum, an annual critical review  
of the CHP is necessary to ensure that the document still has value.

Paul Sonnenfeld, CPEA

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.