I am sharing this article describing the responsibility rotation approach in a chemistry lab at UCLA: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.jchemed.5b00299
Imke Schroeder, PhD, RBP (ABSA)
Research Project Manager
UC Center for Laboratory Safety
Safety Training Consortium Administrative Officer
Adjunct Associate Professor of Microbiology
607 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1569
Phone: (310) 794-5369
I can weigh in on Steve's point a little. We have safety "Invest" meetings and a member of each department/division is required to attend the weekly meetings for the entire plant. In the lab we do this by weekly rotation, ensuring no one person ever feels stuck with it since they're only going to go maybe 1-2 times every 3 months. These meetings are plant wide and hosted by the plant's Health and Safety department and primarily are meant to go over any incidents or near-misses that happened since the last meeting. The Invest person also has to put on a safety related meeting, or as has been the normal since Covid-19, to put out a safety article for the department to read. As supervisors we're all also responsible for at least 4 safety related meetings/articles each per month though they don't have to be related to lab activities. The company puts a heavy focus on everyone being an active participant in safety and encourages (and rewards) reporting minor things that can be changed to be preventative of incidents. Since I started last year, it's definitely a different attitude towards safety than I've seen in other labs I've worked in, though I think it's because laboratory operations is not at all a main division. Perhaps it points to looking at how other professions have approached safety and adopting it on the lab side.
On Tue, Jul 13, 2021 at 4:11 AM Stephen Stepenuck <sstepenuck**At_Symbol_Here**ne.rr.com> wrote:
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 ?resisters■ or those who thought ?the safety
people will take care of it■ 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▄-interestingly at the same
company--that impressed me was that in each section was displayed a
picture of that sectiona■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 dona■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
>For more information about the DCHAS-L e-mail list, contact the
>Divisional membership chair at membership**At_Symbol_Here**dchas.org
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