My thanks to the 23 people who responded to my questions about chemical safety training for people working in labs.
- Everyone reports requiring training for lab workers, with varying mechanisms and levels of success in implementing this requirement. Not surprisingly, small school chemistry department are able to take a more hands-on approach to assuring that this requirement is meant.
- 14 people report having that training vary with the person's role.
- In terms of instructional media, 10 people reporting in person training only is offered, 4 online only and 9 have a mix of in person and online. 3 people report working towards adding an online component to their in person only training.
The reason I asked the questions is that we are thinking about how to "flip the classroom" in our lab safety training in order to make the classroom experience more engaging for the primary audience who attends, undergraduate students new to research labs and incoming graduate students in science departments. This would involve strategically meshing biosafety content (beyond BBP training) with chemical safety information through an integrated electronic and classroom delivery. We plan on using the RAMP paradigm borrowed from Hill and Finster (recently mentioned on the list) to draw attention to the similarities and differences between chemical and biosafety issues. The responses I've received indicate that other people are thinking along similar lines when considering how to adapt their training to the 21st century, which is encouraging.
The core questions we're thinking about as we talk this through are:
- What content is best moved on line and which needs to be delivered in a more direct (i.e. face to face) manner?
- How much time can we ask for, and support, for each type of interaction?
- How do we measure the success of the new approach?
Thoughts on these or related topics would be welcome.
Thanks again to everyone who's responses so far and I'm still open to hearing from other people.
Ralph Stuart CIH
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Department of Environmental Health and Safety
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