Excellent comments, Ken. I worked on a similar effort with the thought that
publicly documenting that the company does not enforce its policies will not
help stockholder confidence nor any lawsuits. The mere mention of "law" in
such a conversation usually stopped the argument.
On 12/11/13 11:07 AM, "Ken Fivizzani" > Thanks to Erik for digging out the original link to my C&EN comment. Previous post | Top of Page | Next post
> At my company (Nalco), this issue evolved over many years. My personal
> preference was that I be present whenever photographers were taking pictures
> in the lab. But this was not practical, often because I did not know the
> photographer was coming. Photographers sometimes have their own ideas about
> how a photograph should look. Those experienced in taking photos in
> chemistry labs usually were not a problem. The "novices" would object to
> people wearing glasses because "the lighting causes a glare." I would ask
> them if they would ask the President of the United States or a corporate CEO
> to remove his/her glasses. It's their problem as a photographer, not mine.
> Erik mentions a major consideration. Writing a standard policy is difficult
> because there are so many variables in lab settings. What's in the
> background? Is there a coffee cup on the lab bench behind the subject? Are
> others in the lab not wearing appropriate PPE? Are there areas of extreme
> clutter in the background? Equipment or lab coats hanging from the gas
> handles on the hoods? Signs or cartoons that are objectionable? In
> industry, we had to consider whether anything in the photo would reveal
> proprietary information (perhaps a specialized piece of equipment or a
> labeled chemical that would reveal current research in a specific area). To
> paraphrase a statement of a Supreme Court justice, I can't tell you
> everything that would be a lab safety violation, but I know a violation when
> I see it.
> My biggest worry was always the company Annual Report. Eventually, with the
> strong support of our VP of R&D, I reached an arrangement with our
> Communications Department that I had to personally approve every photo of a
> lab that was going to be used in the annual report. This eventually
> extended to other company publications. Once I received a photo of our CEO
> "standing in the lab" without wearing glasses. The people who submitted the
> photo told me that he wasn't actually standing in the lab; his picture was
> superimposed to look like he was standing in the lab. My response was that
> if he looked like he was standing in the lab without appropriate PPE, the
> photo was unacceptable. My major talking point in every encounter about
> photographs was that the organization is spending time and money to prepare
> this publication to improve the image of the organization. Why include a
> red flag photo that broadcasts "this organization is not serious about
> safety (maybe not even very professional) if they let their employees,
> students, or visitors violate standard safety policy?"
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Erik A Talley
> Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 8:41 PM
> To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU
> Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] EH&S photo safety tips?
> Dear Kim,
> What seems like only yesterday (2004), Ken Fivizzani wrote an article in
> C&EN to raise the awareness of chemists about the issue of photography and
> proper PPE. Here is the article, "Look Over Those Lab Photos."
> Since then, I started watching publications for these types of issues. What
> has been most effective at my campus is to collect the photos, mostly of
> Cornell campus situations, and present them back to the groups producing
> them. Most of these have been one-to-one conversations, but earlier this
> year I met with our web communications, art & photography, and public
> affairs departments in a combined meeting to show them the photos and talk
> about the issues. For us, the issue is a combination of not knowing what is
> right/wrong and taking the pic based on what would look "cool" as opposed to
> what is expected in an actual situation. They now understand the issue and
> globally it is better. I can tell you it made a huge difference to see their
> own photos rather than just something found on the Internet.
> We are also on the lookout for departmental issues. Many departments have
> their own websites, TVs in public spaces with scrolling images, etc. that
> they are responsible for populating.
> I've asked the question on a policy/procedure of this group and others in
> the past and have never seen a procedure that I could model. I think one of
> the issues is that there are so many variables. I tried to stop the basics
> (lab coat, gloves, etc.) and requested they contact us whenever they have
> any questions. When you take a cool picture of a MRI being lowered through
> the roof of a building, who knew the people standing on the edge needed fall
> protection in addition to the hard hats they knew were needed in the pic? So
> many variables...
> This is a great topic and one that definitely has an impact on the overall
> safety culture of an institution.
> From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of
> Kim Gates
> Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 10:56 AM
> To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU
> Subject: [DCHAS-L] EH&S photo safety tips?
> Have any of you ever put together "photo safety tips"? Our communication
> office has taken some publicity type photos and they don't always show the
> best lab safety practices. I've been asked to put together a guideline for
> them to use during these photo sessions in labs and non-lab areas on campus.
> I know there's always feedback on other photos/video that make this list -
> mostly about PPE. I thought an easy to follow guide might help the
> Kim Gates
> Laboratory Safety Specialist
> Environmental Health & Safety
> Stony Brook University
> Stony Brook, NY 11794-6200
> FAX: 631-632-9683
> EH&S Web site: http://www.stonybrook.edu/ehs/lab/
> Thanks to Erik for digging out the original link to my C&EN comment. Previous post | Top of Page | Next post
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