From: "Casadonte, Dominick" <DOMINICK.CASADONTE**At_Symbol_Here**TTU.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety Board testimonials or case studies
Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2017 14:36:36 +0000
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: 9735C85E-9B00-426A-B00A-88955BB2E54C**At_Symbol_Here**ttu.edu
In-Reply-To <6514d249-11af-857d-a3bb-670405379e98**At_Symbol_Here**appstate.edu>


Hi Rob,

I want to echo some of the things that Sammye has said and more. This is, of course, my personal opinion and experience, and I am not speaking as a representative of Texas Tech.

We at Texas Tech have a special relationship with the CSB, having been involved in one of their investigations.

The outcome was a complete transformation of our safety culture.

Among other things, 1) we (Texas Tech) instituted an Institutional Laboratory Safety Committee 2) we re-invigorated our departmental safety committee, 3) we began a positive relationship with EH&S, which had been flagging for years, 4) I teach a course called "Chemical Safety and Responsible Conduct of Research" which all incoming chemistry and biocmemistry graduate students have to take as a direct result of their work with us, 5) every employee of our department has to take several mandatory safety training courses offered through EH&S. It is directly tied to our ability to work in the lab and employment, 6) all of our students who take any academic lab course in our department wear the appropriate PPE for the course, without exception, 7) myself and other faculty members have been involved in working on a number of safety publications, including the one that Sammye mentions, another one of safety on academic laboratories through CHAS, and the book Safe Science put out by the National Academies, 8) we have been involved on panels through the National Academies and the ACS on safety, 9) I have given talks on the Texas Tech story around the country, 10) we have worked with UCLA in the development of their institute, 11) we have a very active set of safety sites maintained through EH&S, including a "lessons learned" site and a way for anyone to report unsafe practices either by name or anonymously. There are many, many more things that we do at Texas Tech, but it would take a long time to list them all.  

You might say that this is all well and good, but that we at Texas Tech had a vested interest in cleaning up our act. While that is true, items (4) and (7)-(10) were not mandated at all by the CSB. As I said earlier, we have watched with care how the CSB conducted our investigation and subsequent industrial investigations. In each case, they are not so interested in assigning blame, but rather at getting at root causes, so as to provide insight into ways to prevent similar incidents and accidents from happening again. They are very professional in all of their work and actions. I understand that there is an interest among the current administration about deregulation, and perhaps the CSB is looked at as a regulating agency. They are not. They do not write laws. What they do, and do superbly, is help to identify why accidents happen and how to prevent them in the future. These preventative rubrics are worth, I am sure, more than the $11M it costs to fund the agency. One or two lawsuits might be worth more than their annual funding.

The issue with trying to report numbers of lives or injuries saved as a result of their work is that people tend not to report success stories in safety - only failures. I do know that as a result of what the CSB did at Texas Tech and the UCLA story, academic laboratory safety in America took notice. I have been personally told of many universities who use our stories and the results of the CSB investigation as teaching tools in their safety course, much as Sammye mentions below. We can't force people to be safe. But we can put in front of them real examples of what happens when safety protocols and ways of thinking, anticipating, and acting safety are not followed. This transformation truly started almost a decade ago as a direct result of the work of the CSB, the National Academies, and the ACS. The CSB does, indeed, save lives.

Thanks,

Dom Casadonte

 

From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU> on behalf of "'sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**appstate. edu'" <sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**APPSTATE.EDU>
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Date: Friday, March 24, 2017 at 8:13 PM
To: "DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU" <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety Board testimonials or case studies

 

Hi Rob -

It would seem to me that as far as academic laboratory safety, one of the best outcomes from a CSB investigation for would be the development of the guidance document, Identifying and Evaluating Hazards in Research Laboratories, and the document's companion website.  It would be great to know how much traffic the website gets or how many universities use the document in various capacities.  I now teach risk assessment to all of our majors using the document.

As others have stated, I to use CSB reports as teaching tools.  My go to video is "Reactive Hazards" which gives the history of the agency, discusses the Bhopal incident, and then three industrial incidents which resulted from loss of control from chemical reactivity.

I use several of the reports on my second exam in my Chemical Safety Course where I am teaching causation.  A portion of a case report is given and the students must identify active and latent cause, etc.  Of course the pre-service High School teachers watch the "After the Rainbow" video.

Sorry, no hard data - but the CSB reports provide invaluable educational resources,
Sammye

On 3/23/2017 1:21 PM, ILPI Support wrote:

I am interesting in hearing how anyone on the list has SPECIFICALLY implemented a new process/regime, averted a hazard, or otherwise benefitted from the work of the Chemical Safety Board (CSB). And If you have any metric which quantifies how this saved time, injuries, lives or money that's an added bonus.

 

As presumably everyone on the list has heard, the CSB is slated for elimination under the Trump administration's proposed budget framework. The CSB is a non-regulatory agency with a very modest budget ($11 million or so) with no enforcement power, and serves as an honest broker in investigating root causes of major or unusual accidents.  These investigations provide data that not prevents injuries, deaths, and property loss.  Which means that it saves industry money.  A lot of money when you factor in potential liability and insurance costs.

 

I believe that those behind the proposed cut do not grasp these aspects of the CSB and why it is worth keeping.  It will take  powerful results/outcomes to change their minds.  This means we also need an emphasis on industry outcomes, alas, because we are battling the "overregulation" mindset, but reports from academia are, of course, very welcome.

 

Please reply to the list. If you have something to share but don't want to attach your name to it, send it to me personally and I can anonymize it for sharing.

 

Thanks for your help

 

Rob Toreki

 

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We, the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do everything with nothing. Teresa Arnold paraphrased from Konstantin Josef Jirec´┐Żek (1854 - 1918)

 

Samuella B. Sigmann, MS, NRCC-CHO

Senior Lecturer/Safety Committee Chair/Director of Stockroom

A. R. Smith Department of Chemistry

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