Beth Shepard/cmpl/mke/sial 04/19/2011 08:19 AM To DCHAS-L Discussion List
cc Subject Re: [DCHAS-L] 6 re: SAFETY Good morning-- While these are very good points regarding the differences, there are a couple of things that need to be mentioned. 4. Larger safety budgets; raise the price of the little blue pill by $1.00, and see your safety budget grow. Institutions, especially State, are seeing budgets cut, and staffing stagnate. Apparently, you have an overly optimistic view of industry. If the price of the products is raised, most of that increase does NOT go to increasing departmental budgets. While Safety has gotten a much higher profile in the past 10 years or so, the departmental staff has to justify any expenditure, which is very hard to do when you're talking about prevention (it's very hard to prove a negative). Safety has never been considered a profit-center, in most cases it is considered administrative. To maximize workspace, we (& many in industry) run 2 or 3 shifts, but they are also required to follow the rules. No one working with chemical works alone. No exceptions. Our Production, R&D, Packaging and Material handling groups all take their breaks and lunches at the same time for this reason. While that not practical in academia, a buddy system could be instituted. If a "buddy" can't be found, access to the lab is not allowed. If the consequences of non-compliance were more stringent, compliance would improve. Grades were always a good motivator when I was in school. Anecdotally, one of our new PhDs was working in his lab area years ago, when the evacuation alarm went off. Everyone else immediately shut down what had to be shut down & evacuated. He kept working. In this case, it had been a drill. But that drill almost got this employee fired. Not only hadn't he evacuated, but he was then working in a lab area alone. He was still following the culture he had been taught (or allowed to learn) at the university. Beth Beth Shepard / Technical Compliance Specialist Regulatory Compliance 6000 N. Teutonia Ave. / Milwaukee, WI 53209 / USA P: (414) 438-3850, x5471 sigma-aldrich.com "Wawzyniecki Jr, Stefan" Sent by: DCHAS-L Discussion List 04/19/2011 07:49 AM Please respond to DCHAS-L Discussion List To DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU cc Subject Re: [DCHAS-L] 6 re: SAFETY In response to Roger McClellanÕs comments: Understand that in order for a "culture" of safety to take hold, one must begin with an educated (in safety) faculty and staff. IÕll admit that my most safety conscious researchers are those that come from industry. Speaking from an academic viewpoint, it is understandable that those in industry ask the question, Why should the acceptable standard for safety at Yale, UCLA Texas Tech or any academic institution be any different than that found at corporations that have been leaders in emphasizing a safety culture for decades?" É but what corporations have are multiple advantages not found in academia. These include: 1. Ability to fire employees at will. 2. Experienced work staff, mentoring younger employees. 3. Long term employees, as opposed to those focused short term research and academics 4. Larger safety budgets; raise the price of the little blue pill by $1.00, and see your safety budget grow. Institutions, especially State, are seeing budgets cut, and staffing stagnate. 5. Better/larger laboratories; in academia, researchers compete for their 2.5 linear feet of bench space, and fume hoods are a premium. Working off-hours enables more bench space at the cost of breaking policy. 6. Security/ restrictions on after-hours access to labs. Industry hires guards. IÕm sure others in academia can add to the list. Regarding your example of a corprate exec pointing out emergency exits- How many flights have you been on where you observed many in the cabin ignoring the flight attendentÕs instructions on emergency egress? Are you suggesting that they are all from academia? I refer you to Robert HillÕs (ed) book entitled Handbook of Chemical Health & Safety; it is not limited to CHEMICAL safety; there are chapters on ergonomics, evacuation/shelter-in-place, process safety review, and control of hazardous energy. My son works for a private reseach institution where on any given day, the execs will shut down operations on a Friday afternoon, bring in snacks, and have everyone gather to watch a playoff game in the conference room. That builds a team with buy-in towards the company goals including a safety culture. That scenario is unlikely to play out in academia. As the song lyric goes, "The Difficult IÕll do now; the Impossible will take awhile." Stefan Wawzyniecki, CIH, CHMM NRCC-CHO University of Connecticut Past Chair DCHAS ACS This message and any files transmitted with it are the property of Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, are confidential, and are intended solely for the use of the person or entity to whom this e-mail is addressed. 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