Go over and read Jyllian Kemsley's post on the ACS Council on chemical safety. Her concluding thoughts:
I came away from the Council discussion with three main thoughts: First, no one stood up either to defend academic laboratory safety culture or to say ACS shouldn’t get involved (rather, one councilor noted that “There is no college laboratory that I want to work in because they’re so unsafe”), and the flow of suggestions had to be cut off when time ran out. Clearly, the prevailing opinion is that there’s a role here for ACS. [snip]
Third, I also thought that there was too much emphasis on training students and not enough on the role of faculty and administration (a comment left on a post last week said the same thing). Trying to marshal student chapters isn’t going to get very far if the students’ teachers/advisers/mentors aren’t on board. (Re-)training faculty is, of course, a much harder problem than creating safety videos, but if the goal is to change culture, that will happen faster if you include the people with the power. [Emphasis CJ's.]As I'm never tired of saying (and I believe it quotes Harry Elston), safety is a top-down function. Changing the hearts and minds of the faculty to (re)emphasize safety culture is the best way of preventing more tragedies.