I put a link to this C&EN article in the headlines list and on the DCHAS twitter feed (**At_Symbol_Here**acsdchas), but I thought I would specifically point it out to the e-mail list as well. It's a very interesting article and has several helpful safety culture observations and actions for higher ed research labs.
Dow Chemical Teams Up With Universities On Laboratory Safety
Partnership brings practices from industry to academia
Industrial researchers run their labs with much more attention to safety than do academic researchers, or so holds conventional wisdom. Dow Chemical is now tackling that disparity head-on in a pilot safety collaboration with chemistry, chemical engineering, and materials science departments at the University of Minnesota (UMN), Pennsylvania State University, and the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).
Part of Dow's mission is to support research at universities, both to develop new technologies and to ensure a strong workforce pipeline, William F. Banholzer, Dow's chief technology officer, said in an April 30 statement announcing the program with UMN. To that end, the pilot safety program "leverages our strength in laboratory safety, which is a continuing challenge for universities everywhere," Banholzer said. A Dow analysis of 2010 Occupational Safety & Health Administration injury and illness data shows that colleges, professional schools, and universities had 2.2 injuries per 100 workers that year. Dow had only 0.33 injuries. (The numbers are not specific to research laboratories.)
Ralph Stuart CIH
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Department of Environmental Health and Safety
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