James A. Kaufman, PhD
Laboratory Safety Institute (LSI)
A Nonprofit Educational Organization for Safety in Science, Industry, and Education
Worcester Street, Natick, MA 01760-2252
(O) 508-647-1900 (F) 508-647-0062 (C) 508-574-6264 Skype: labsafe; 508-401-7406
Firstly, I applaud the move toward focusing on a safety culture. That is
critical and wise [--and was very long overdue].
One thing that impressed me then and now is that at one company I was in,
service on the safety committee was required and rotational, i.e. everyone
had to serve, thus even the =C5=82resisters=CB=9B or those who thought =C5=82the safety
people will take care of it=CB=9B had to focus on and deal with the current
safety or health issues for that department or section. My recollection
is that terms were relatively short, [maybe one quarter?] so that it was
not that long since any one person had last served, or would serve again.
Another aspect of safety organization=E2=80=B9-interestingly at the same
company--that impressed me was that in each section was displayed a
picture of that section=C4…s current rep to the larger unit safety committee,
so even the newest employee knew by sight and name the person to whom s/he
could bring a question, concern, or suggestion.
I have no data on how those policies worked, and they don=C4…t fit any of
your three approaches, but at least the rotational idea might help improve
some attitudes via required communication.
Keene State College, ret.
>I am helping to develop a fall CHAS workshop on building safety cultures
>in labs and one topic we would like to cover is ways of organizing groups
>to support proactive safety cultures in the academic lab setting.
>At broad level, the three approachs we are considering discussing are:
>- Traditional safety committees (at all of the various scales that they
>arise - department, college, institutional);
>- Laboratory Safety Teams (active groups of lab workers who focus on
>- Embedded safety professionals (departmental staff whose job assignments
>include a significant portion of safety responsibilities)
>I would be interested in people who have experience with one or another
>of these approaches to lab safety culture as to what are the top three
>pros and cons of each approach. This is still a rapidly evolving field
>with many different variations, so I would appreciate as diverse a set of
>replies as possible in thinking about what to highlight in the workshop.
>Thanks for sharing any thoughts on this.
>Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
>Environmental Safety Manager
>Keene State College
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