Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Academic chemical safety: over at STEM_Wonk's

STEM_Wonk has her post up on academic chemical safety. She's chosen to focus on the role of the PIs, which I can't say I disagree with much:
In both cases at UCLA and TTU, I strongly agree that there seems to be lack of responsibility placed on the PI to carefully train their students to be able to “accurately identify and address hazards in the laboratory…a skill that [does not] come naturally…and must be taught and encouraged through training and ongoing organizational support” (NRC, 2011, p.7). The CSB’s Investigation of the TTU incident does not mention any repercussions for the PIs having not properly mentored the students.  I believe that what is clearly missing from the CSB’s recommendations is for universities to establish consequences for a PI that does not enforce safety protocols, endangering students’ lives.
Go on over there and read what she has to say.  

1 comment:

  1. I thought the story in the last C&EN about Yale's new risk based oversight policy for machine shop work was impressive.

    I found it sad, however, that the editors of C&EN didn't spot the possibility that a similar approach should be applied to chemical laboratory safety.

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