From: Robin M. Izzo <rmizzo**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Thoughts?
Date: Mon, 5 Aug 2019 14:43:50 +0000
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: BN7PR04MB42595DFAAB04804F31456E31CFDA0**At_Symbol_Here**

Another 2 cents...

What the original poster described is a "wicked problem" in academia. Fortunately, it does not come up much, but I've dealt with my share over the past more than 30 years.

That means that you have to take the "Green Eggs and Ham" approach. You need to spend time with the PI and group to understand the barriers to healthier safety culture. There won't be just one. There is no one or two or three things that will solve it. It requires building trust, showing warmth and competence, and identifying and breaking down each barrier.

It certainly help a LOT to have an established escalation process that includes heads of departments, your chief research officer (in my case the Dean for Research), and the administrator in charge of faculty (in my case the Dean of the Faculty). If it seems like you're making it up as you go along, it can create distrust.

Shutting down a research lab is extreme and does not improve relationships, but sometimes that has to be part of the solution, preferably a last resort.

Good luck, and feel free to give me a call if you want to talk more.


Robin M. Izzo
Executive Director
Environmental Health and Safety
Princeton University
609-258-6259 (office)
609-865-7156 (mobile)
Please visit the EHS website at and the Emergency Management website a

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