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New Contributor III

Best Practices in Building Safety Culture in Research Lab Departments?

As DCHAS members likely know, one of the components of the ACS Safety Strategy is to "Empower Members and Members Communities". The more specific description of this goal is that "ACS should create strategic partnerships and communities across disciplines to empower chemistry practitioners through development of chemical safety skills."

One of the ways that DCHAS is supporting this strategy is by helping to organize the Developing Graduate Student Leadership Skills in Laboratory Safety Workshop being held at national meetings; we are also working on developing similar workshops at regional ACS meetings.

As we have proceeded with this work, we have recognized that there are many different approaches to this strategy, depending on the culture and resources of the institution involved. Our overall goal is develop a resource that can provide people new to this safety culture work with ideas and guidelines for what has worked well elsewhere. For this reason, we are interested in collecting examples of best practices and other success stories related to building safety cultures in research-intensive academic departments. This collection is necessary because the widely varying approaches to this work mean simple Internet searches are likely to miss good examples.

So if you have direct experience with these safety culture building efforts, whether they are student-, staff-, or faculty- led; if they are called safety committees, Joint Safety Teams, safety partnerships, etc.; or whether they operate primarily in a teaching or research setting; or if you know of a resource that you have found particularly valuable in this work, please let me know so that we can be sure that we don't miss important resources that others should be aware of.

Thanks for any help with this.

- Ralph

Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO

Membership Chair
American Chemical Society
Division of Chemical Health and Safety

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