From: "Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety" <secretary**At_Symbol_Here**DCHAS.ORG>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] C&EN Safety Zone blog: When is something an accident?
Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2016 18:10:11 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: BD7E74C8-BBD2-436E-823B-21A351EE1885**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <99080534A99D89479A51A4EB6489672E060CCE59**At_Symbol_Here**>

> >I am aware that using the word "accident" can be/has been used as a shield against being drenched in culpability. I think this is a training issue - getting people to look upon an accident as a learning opportunity rather than an invitation to a hanging. It would help if there were more managers who look upon it this way, too.

This may be a fine point, but I would call this a cultural issue rather than a training issue. The distinction in my mind is that using accidents as learning opportunities is much more likely to happen when peers (not simply supervisors) model this behavior by sharing Lessons Learned from both accidents with consequences as well as close calls. The vision of this culture is well described by the National Research Council in "Safe Science" and the APLU in their recent Safety Culture publication. I think that the EHS community has a role in supporting this culture, but it will need to be led by the laboratory leadership.

Helpful examples of this can be found in work being done at a variety of campuses (see for examples), but two institutions modeling this work are Texas Tech and the University of Minnesota Chemistry Department. One way EHS can support this work is by publicizing it, so if there are other examples that should be added to the DCHAS web page, please let me know.

- Ralph

Ralph Stuart
Division of Chemical Health and Safety
American Chemical Society

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