From: Ray Cook <raycook**At_Symbol_Here**APEXHSE.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Source of the OSHA statement
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2016 08:30:07 -0500
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: 41D72E76-ED70-4A6F-A5ED-2B08A42C33A7**At_Symbol_Here**

Just another note regarding incidence rates. OSHA recordable rates are based on the severity of incidents, not the frequency. You could have 200 additional unreported incidents with no injury and your IR would not change.  If you had 5 additional incidents with injury, it could affect it greatly depending on the population represented. OSHA rates therefore are determined by the consequences of an incident, which you usually have little or no control over. There are better measures for monitoring incidents that do not focus on consequences, but rather on preventing a reoccurrence.


Ray Cook, CIH, CSP
**At_Symbol_Here**apexhse (Twitter)
I Cor 1:18
Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 10, 2016, at 12:59 PM, Joshua Edward Turse <joshturse**At_Symbol_Here**CORNELL.EDU> wrote:


This has been an interesting thread to watch, and like many, I have been curious about the data. I reached out to one of the authors of the CEN piece, and received a reply (thank you to Dr. Banholzer). I also asked if he minded sharing his reply, and received the ok. From Dr. Banholzer:


I have not looked at this for a while.  Dow's OSAH recordable rate is 0.2 with a goal of 0.12 in 2015.  I am more sure where they are but the last time I looked it was around 0.19.   So if the Universities are 2.1 that is 11X difference.   I don' know what is involved in the industry average number reported in the note below.   I do recall Corning and DuPont were not as good as Dow but still way better than the university numbers.  


 William Banholzer

University of Wisconsin- Madison
Research Professor Chem & Bio Eng
Honorary Fellow Chemistry
Sr Scientist Wisc. Energy Institute
Fellow Wisc. Institute of Discovery
4635 Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706
Web Page 




Joshua E. Turse, PhD

Senior Biosafety Specialist

o. 607.255.9401 | c. 509.845.5995




Joshua E. Turse, PhD

Senior Biosafety Specialist

o. 607.255.9401 | c. 509.845.5995


From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Schroeder, Imke
Sent: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 12:07 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Source of the OSHA statement


Craig Merlic (UCLA) asked Jim Kaufman about it and Jim stated that there was no basis for the number but that it was his estimation many years ago.




From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of Robin M. Izzo
Sent: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 9:00 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Source of the OSHA statement


I have heard the same story as what Ben Owens shared.


It's nearly impossible to compare rates for the reasons already mentioned and because:

=B7         BLS data does not include students unless they are being compensated for the work they were doing.  Some universities include graduate students receiving a stipend, some do not.

=B7         Most universities are exempt from reporting, but are asked to do so voluntarily.

=B7         There is no mechanism for collecting laboratory incident data on a national level.

=B7         It's not easy to pull out lab-related incident data from BLS statistics.  For example, if our rate was 2.3 per 100 in 2015, maybe one of the incidents was lab-related, while the vast majority were maintenance, housekeeping and culinary-related.


Several universities have compared their own statistics to the national data and those of some industrial companies known for their robust safety programs and have not found a significant difference in rates, meaning close to (or even lower than) the Dow or Dupont stats, not an order of magnitude greater. 


Nonetheless, the safety culture in academia is immensely important, not just to reduce injuries and illnesses, but to start the good habits early.  The mechanism for managing safety in academia is very different than for industry =E2=80" the lines of management, the access to a student's time, so much more.  I know that most of my colleagues take this responsibility very, very seriously.  ACS, National Academies, APLU and others have helped universities look beyond their EHS programs to faculty, administrators, university leadership and everyone involved in the community of safety.  It really does take a village.







Robin M. Izzo


Environmental Health and Safety
Princeton University

609-258-6259 (office)

Visit the EHS website at



From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Benjamin G Owens
Sent: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 10:00 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Source of the OSHA statement




As others have indicated I believe that Jim Kaufman may be the source of the statement in one form or another. 


In the Fourth Edition (1995) of the CRC Handbook of Laboratory Safety (page 218), edited by Keith Furr, the statement, "-it has been estimated that the accident rate is 10 to 50 times higher (my note: in reference to academic labs) than that in industrial laboratories."  In 2003 I asked Jim Kaufman if he knew the origin of this statistic and he indicated that Keith Furr was probably referring to a statement that he (Kaufman) had made.  Jim stated that he had looked at various sources of information over the years but that the accident rate in academic labs continued to be about 10 - 100 times greater than that of industrial labs.  He stated that the statement is an estimate and that it is not based on a single data set.


Ben Owens

University of Nevada, Reno


From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of Melissa Charlton-Smith
Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2016 5:08 PM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Source of the OSHA statement


Hi everybody, 


ok I have been trying to find the original source for the following statement:


"...Occupational Safety & Health Administration statistics demonstrate that researchers are 11 times more likely to get hurt in an academic lab than in an industrial lab."


I have seen this statement referenced many times in articles.   In fact in one of the articles I read it was said to be quote from an interview.  Sometimes it is referenced, and then when I track down the reference, it just refers to another article that uses the exact same wording, without a reference.  No matter who said it first...where is the research?  Where are the statistics?  Where is the report?  What journal do I find it in?


Thanks everybody, just trying to track down the paper, or the OSHA stats or what have you.  I want to USE that information in a report I am working on, but I want a real reference to go by.


Mel Charlton-Smith



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