Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2011 08:25:39 -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: Beth Shepard <Beth.Shepard**At_Symbol_Here**SIAL.COM>
Subject: Fw: [DCHAS-L] 6 re: SAFETY
Beth Shepard/cmpl/mke/sial
04/19/2011 08:19 AM

DCHAS-L Discussion List 

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 Shepard / Technical Compliance Specialist 
Regulatory Compliance 
6000 N. Teutonia Ave. / Milwaukee, WI 53209 / USA 
P: (414) 438-3850, x5471 

"Wawzyniecki Jr, Stefan"  
Sent by: DCHAS-L Discussion List 
04/19/2011 07:49 AM
Please respond to
DCHAS-L Discussion List 


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
University of Connecticut
Past Chair DCHAS  ACS

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