From a few weeks ago in C&EN: "Food for Thought on Chemical Safety," by University of Idaho chemistry professor Jean'ne M. Shreeve. Shreeve's research program involves fluorine chemistry and energetic materials, and I interviewed her several years ago for a story about how to make explosives safely in a research lab environment.

From the recent piece:

Engaging in best safety practices must be an ongoing process, integrated into the daily activities of laboratory personnel. Unhappily, chemistry faculty members today are not often aware of what constitutes good safety practices. It is a skill that is being lost as many knowledgeable chemists leave research labs for other opportunities or retire. And new faculty members under today's pressures vary widely in their degree of commitment to maintaining their safety skills and helping improve departmental safety.

It has been said that the greatest hazard in an industrial laboratory is a fresh chemistry Ph.D. graduate. But our up-and-coming chemists are not our only concern. It is similarly argued that the greatest hazard in a university laboratory is a tenured faculty member who has never been involved in a serious accident. Some of the recent high-profile accidents attest to both of those maxims.

Go read the whole thing, and share your organization's best practices to ensure safety!