=E2=80=8BWith all these lab incidents there has been a lot of discussion about what to do. One thing that is missing is a simple benchmarking scale to gauge your safety program.
Last July I was at a process safety workshop in Hong Kong and saw a presentation by Hugh Sullivan of ERM - a consulting firm. He presented a scale that works for all safety programs, including lab safety and process safety. I took the liberty of adding a 0 on the scale because, sadly, I have encountered this many times.
The benchmarking scale is:
0 - no safety program, maybe even disdain for safety.
1 - reacts to accidents only
2 - follows rules and regulations
3 - management systems exist such as hazard analysis, pre-startup reviews, etc.
4 - performance indicators - including leading and lagging
5 - adapting - safety is a core value
a. you need to work your way up thru the scale - you can't jump from 2 to 5
b. many folks think that following all rules and regulations is adequate. Sorry, but that only gets you to a 2.
Adjunct Professor, University of Utah
Professor Emeritus, Michigan Tech University