From: David C. Finster <dfinster**At_Symbol_Here**>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Empowered Students and Postdocs Drive Lab Safety
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2014 13:59:53 +0000
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: 7AB8F8BFE46C5446902F26C10EBF4AEA54C1A4B8**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <6A04A827-B3C8-4A9A-A85B-45A04AFED277**At_Symbol_Here**>

FABULOUS!! This is exact what "safety culture" is all about.

How can we help spread this model at R1 institutions across the country? Seems like there needs to be a "safety champion" in an organization to get this started. (It helps when it's the department chair!).


David C. Finster
Professor, Department of Chemistry
University Chemical Hygiene Officer
Wittenberg University

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety
Sent: Friday, March 14, 2014 9:47 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Empowered Students and Postdocs Drive Lab Safety

A lab safety article from Science Magazine

Empowered Students and Postdocs Drive Lab Safety

Some organizations start their gatherings with a prayer or a song or the Pledge of Allegiance. At the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities' (UMTC's) Department of Chemistry-and also the university's chemical engineering and materials science (CEMS) department-no lab meeting or departmental seminar gets underway without a "safety moment," a presentation about a lab safety topic that lasts a minute or two. It can be funny or serious. It can consist of just talk or include slides, props, or a demonstration-whatever the presentation's host chooses. What it can't be is too long, or missing.

This exotic custom, which often startles visitors from other universities, is perhaps the most visible sign of an ongoing transformation in departmental culture that, in less than 2 years, has made safety a central concern of daily life in these labs. Even more remarkably, this change, though strongly supported by the departments' top leadership, largely results from planning, organizing and management by scores of graduate students and postdocs working together as a volunteer group called the Joint Safety Team (JST).

The JST aims for nothing less than to "inculcate safety as a core value and an integral part of academic life," says chemistry Chair William Tolman in a webinar describing the program. BioRAFT, a company that makes software for managing university laboratories, was the webinar's sponsor.

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