During my career I had the pleasure of serving as the President and CEO of two non-profit research organizations with multi-disciplinary staffing, about 40 doctoral level staff in disciplines ranging for the physical sciences and engineering to the biomedical sciences with about 100 technicians and several dozen graduate students and post-docs. One lab was a Government Owned , Contractor Operated lab with oversight from the Department of Energy, the other lab had oversight from the State of NC. In one lab the focus was on studying
the toxicity of airborne radioactive materials including fission product radionuclides and transuranic radionuclides such as Plutonium. In the other lab we studied the mechanisms of toxicity of chemicals known to have hazardous properties.
Two key operating principles that under-gired our operations were:
(1) Our Health , Safety and Environment unit was adequately funded and staffed with well-trained professionals. The HSE Unit Manager reported directly to me as the President
and CEO of the organization.
(2) Our Inspection Programs were HSE personnel (Professionals and Technicians) AND, most importantly, used a rotating team of Professionals and Technicians from across the organization to review facilities and operations for safety compliance. These teams had the full authority to "red tag" any laboratory or operation that was not operating in full compliance with all HSE guidance. In essence, shut down labs or operations until untoward conditions were corrected. This peer review approach was highly effective and routinely lauded when our facilities and operations were site-visited by external inspectors or auditors.
I cannot over-emphasize the importance of an adequate staff of highly qualified HSE professionals and technicians whose leader reports to the top person in the organization and engaging ALL professional and technical staff in creating a safety conscious culture that permeates the entire organization.
I remain dismayed that, despite some serious accidents including lives lost in recent years, some organizations still have not got the message and have inadequately staffed HSE organizations and place HSE responsibilities at
arms length from senior leadership positions in the organization. If you have concerns about the level of understanding of these matter by leaders in your organization ask them to distinguish between (a) hazard, (b) potential for exposure or harm and (c) risk. If they fail this simple quiz you know you have more work to do.
Roger O. McClellan
Roger O. McClellan, DVM, MMS, DSc(Honorary)
Diplomate - ABVT and ABT, Fellow - HPS, AAAR, SRA, AAAR and AAAS
Member - Institute of medicine
Advisor - Toxicology and Risk Analysis
On Friday, June 27, 2014 7:47 AM, Mike Fisher <mfisher**At_Symbol_Here**CECON.COM> wrote:
According to discussions I have had with their Lab Manager of all labs on campus, the University of Delaware conducts quarterly audits of each lab using the following rotating groups throughout the year for each audit:
- campus EH&S
- lab manager with a grad student
- lab manager with faculty
Experts at Finding Technical Experts=E2=84=A2
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Wawzyniecki Jr, Stefan
Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 10:35 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Laboratory Inspections
A few questions asked by our Administration:
1. What is the frequency of EH&S -led laboratory inspections for those of you in large academic research institutions?
2. # of EHS staff whose primary role is inspections?
3. Are Individual PI's or Departments required to inspect their labs? How often?
-Stefan Wawzyniecki, CIH, CHMM