From: Peter Zavon <pzavon**At_Symbol_Here**ROCHESTER.RR.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] UC - LADA Agreement
Date: August 2, 2012 10:45:18 PM EDT
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <44b9.63b8d1e5.3d4bd12b**At_Symbol_Here**>

Even in industry, the safety people generally do not have the authority to require, direct, shut down, etc.  Safety is typically a staff function, there to advise management.  It is the line function  - managers, supervisors, Directors, VPs, etc who have the authority to enforce.
The problem for academia is that academic departments beyond the PI are not organized as line operations.  For these purposes, that may have to change, with more explicit authority (and responsibility) cascading from President or Provost to Department Chair to PI and individual researcher.  That will not be easy, despite recent events.
But what do I know? I've been away from academia for nearly 30 years. 

Peter Zavon, CIH
Penfield, NY


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 8:49 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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