Well said Monona,
In my experience with one well known California University, a good share of the negative response I got was from the department head. As a Ca//OSHA IH, I was infringing on his authority and he let me know about it. In this case, we had to threaten the regents with a court action before we got any progress. Their EHS group had no teeth, only advisory. It was a few years ago and I hope they are now better.
Someone who seemed to have a good relationship between their EHS and school administration took issue with your statement. They are fortunate to have a good working with the administration and be able to use their knowledge to get a good health and safety program that has some teeth. I hope that the majority of higher learning institutions have it so good also, but I doubt it.
This [DCHAS] blog is a great way to compare outlooks with others and is very educational. Keep it up folks!
Ken Smith [a CIH before retirement]
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of ACTSNYC**At_Symbol_Here**CS.COM
Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2012 5:49 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] UC - LADA Agreement
Brandon, you said in part:
"My point is, it is already extremely difficult for large universities and PIs to enforce basic safety rules in their labs such as lab coats, shoes, and goggles. Enforcing something like non-synthetic clothing underneath all that would be an absolute nightmare."
But that's the crux of the AG's agreement with the Board of Regents. The AG is telling them what they ALWAYS should have known: That the school, as the employer, is responsible for safety. They cannot put it off on the PI's, paid consultants or any other entity. If they do not empower their PIs safety people to ENFORCE the rules, the buck will stop with the employer.
The very fact that you write this is evidence that your school is not taking it's responsibility seriously. The school cannot get away with blaming you or anyone else when it is the school that hires and sets up the chains of command that is supposed to get safety done. And that process starts with a system of enforcing the rules.
Everyone should just stop complaining about the difficulty of getting faculty to follow the rules. You already know the rules and so do the faculty. They just damn don't want to comply and we all know that. This discussion is done. As we say in my neighborhood, fagettaboutit.
Instead, all of these discussions should be on a single subject: How to get administrators to protect themselves and the school by giving you all the authority to do your dang jobs.
My confusion as I read these discussions is trying to figure out how people, who are obviously as smart as you all, would accept a position in which you are expected to do a job without being given the power and authority to do that job? Why would you waste your lives like this?
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