I would like to add some thoughts on safety training in any situation – academic, industrial, non-chemical.
First, a good safety program is not run from the Safety Department (by any name). A good safety program is run by the line management – the principal art restorer, the PI, the laboratory supervisor, or whoever is responsible for the group to deliver a quality product or service on time and within budget. It is almost impossible to separate quality, productivity, and safety. Drop one and the other two suffer. If you want some very interesting concepts to ponder while working with line supervisors, look at the training concepts in the US Department of Labor Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The “Safety Department” should support the line management in its development, presentation, and enforcement of safety in any work place, but the primary responsibility must be with workplace management. May employees not come to work or spent travel money with no oversight? Every organization has rules to control valuable assets. The safety and health of workers are assets; make the management system work.
Second, a good safety program does not stand alone. It starts with the physical assets (engineering controls) that the organization has and, hopefully, uses. The design of a building or the placement of equipment in a laboratory or work shop should make safety easier to obtain. Work practices or administrative controls (and there is a difference) – who does what with a specific material where – should be a function of the work place supervisor or senior workers. They should be part of the work plan or experimental design. Finally, personal protective equipment (PPE) should be used only when engineering controls and administrative procedures cannot provide acceptable worker safety. Manipulating some glass ware while wearing poorly designed and fitted PPE creates more safety problems than they solve.
Third, a good safety programs involves putting your hands in your pockets and wandering around (in a more or less organized manner) and looking at how things actually work. American society, the chemical industry and research functions included, have spent millions of dollars on HazComm and similar programs. There are computer programs and tracking systems galore to identify hazardous materials in the work place. And yet there are decades-old bottles of isopropyl ether in refrigerators, known carcinogens in beakers with aluminum foil caps, and lead azide and picric acid bottles on the back shelf for 25 years. Where are the inventory control systems? Probably tucked away in the Safety or Environmental Office, keeping track of – well, probably not very much material, very efficiently. The PI, lab supervisor or line manager must account for the materials in the area for which they have responsibility.
Thanks for taking the time to think about these things.
Reactives Management Corporation
DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**list.uvm.edu] On Behalf Of
Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010 10:03 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Safety Training
good system, Kim. Especially for the science. However, that
won't work for the arts.
For years, ACTS has recommended universities develop a required 2 credit safety course for art and theater graduate students since so many regulations apply: hazcom (or lab standard), PPE (gloves, eye wear, steel toed shoes, hard hats, fall protection gear for theater), BBP for non medical personnel, respiratory protection, lead, cadmium, welding, flammable storage, machine guarding, wood working machines, first aid/eye washes, ladders, scaffolds, stair/rail regs (if they build sets or work on stage), asbestos if they are in film or TV, and so much more. No way they can get a good safety picture in a single session.
When someone joins our union with a degree in technical theater, we know we have a clueless member. Worse, they have learned it wrong and done it wrong. We have to start from below zero. It is time the universities step up and educate people properly for their profession or quit teaching in these fields.
In a message dated 8/26/2010 7:51:46 AM Eastern Daylight Time, kauletta**At_Symbol_Here**NOTES.CC.SUNYSB.EDU writes:
has a quiz that must be passed before the "student" gets
credit (our live classes do not have quizzes). If any of you are
pursuing this idea, I'd be happy to answer your questions.
Lab Safety Specialist
Stony Brook University
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