Connecting Chemistry with Society

Safety in the Academic Research Laboratory (#460)

Chemical research laboratories often house hazardous materials, which with proper training and use can be used safely and without incident. Unfortunately, most academic labs do not have the requisite culture or knowledge to eliminate/minimize hazards that exist. As evidence, we only need to point to recent devastating incidents that have occurred in academic settings. It is important for faculty, staff and students alike to have a positive attitude towards safety, be aware of all possible hazards and how to meliorate them, and adopt a safety ethos. Recent events have led to several studies identifying mechanisms to build a “culture of safety” in academic research laboratories. This symposium will explore global efforts that are currently underway to enhance awareness and improve the safety environment for all students in academic settings. Presentations such as those discussing the US National Research Council Study Report on “Establishing and Promoting a Culture of Safety in Academic Laboratory Research” and the ExxonMobil “Partners in Academic Lab Safety (PALS)” will be highlighted, along with sister efforts around the Pacific Rim.
Last update: Dec 28, 2015