Date: Sun, 5 Dec 2010 20:15:28 -0500
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "David C. Finster" <dfinster**At_Symbol_Here**WITTENBERG.EDU>
Subject: Re: DCHAS safety culture survey
In-Reply-To: <310334A8-1ACD-4815-A6FC-92FA5A0655AC**At_Symbol_Here**>
I just took the survey.  Quick, and didn't hurt a bit.

I think that collecting this kind of information can be very helpful to understand more about what we are doing, and not doing, with regard to safe practices and the environments that foster safe practices.  

One thing that, so far as I know, we know very little about is lab safety training in undergraduate chemistry programs.  If the quality and quantity of such education is wanting, as many safety professionals contend, then I think that we should first understand the nature and extent of the problem (from a systematic, not anecdotal, point of view) before proposing methods to "solve the problem".  

Simply as a matter of information, I'll inform DCHAS listserv readers that I have proposed to the ACS CPT that they conduct a systematic survey of lab safety instruction at undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States.  (They occasionally conduct surveys of this sort regarding educational practices.)  This is no small task, and even knowing how and what to ask with regard to (what I suspect is) a very wide range of practices would surely be a challenge.  The CPT might discuss this at a January 2011 meeting, depending upon the agenda for that meeting.  

Anyone wishing to see my request to the CPT can write to me privately and I'll share my memo.


David C. Finster
Professor of Chemistry
University Chemical Hygiene Officer
Department of Chemistry
Wittenberg University

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Ralph Stuart
Sent: Sunday, December 05, 2010 12:22 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: [DCHAS-L] DCHAS safety culture survey

As you may be aware, there is significant national interest evolving in the U.S. with regard to the "safety culture" of academic laboratories. One example of this is the recent National Academic of Sciences meeting on this subject described on the C&EN Safety Zone blog (see )

Unfortunately, the information associated with this question is primarily based on anecdotal review of specific incidents. To better understand DCHAS members' broader experience in participating in the safety culture of their organizations, we would appreciate your responses to a short survey (12 questions) found at

Please respond to this survey by December 22. A summary of the responses will be provided to the DCHAS-L e-mail list in January.

Thanks for your interest in Chemical Health and Safety.

- Ralph 

Ralph Stuart, CIH 
Environmental Safety Manager 
University of Vermont 
Environmental Safety Facility 
667 Spear St. Burlington, VT  05405 


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