Improving Academic Lab Safety
The importance of safety education and incident reporting.
After recent incidents at UCLA and Texas Tech University, academic institutions are looking to improve lab safety. Officials are focusing on the issues of safety education, near-miss reporting and safety culture.
“If people understand the ‘why’ behind things, they’re more likely to do what they need to do.” Robert H. Hill, American Chemical Society
A report from the National Research Council states that major groups and leaders at universities need to be involved in lab safety and creating a safety culture.
The American Chemical Society is working on safety education guidelines, looking into a centralized reporting system for incidents, and finalizing guidance on identifying hazards.
ACS also wants academic institutions undergraduate chemistry departments to have a committee that promotes safety culture.
Academic labs are improving their safety, as young researchers are more aware, young faculty place higher priority on safety, and lab designs are becoming more secure. Continuous underlining of the importance of safety is vital to seeing positive change to the safety culture.