|The university, funder and regulation slices are too big. (Credit: USCSB)|
The CSB identified the grant funding body’s role in safety as a missed opportunity toI have always thought this would be a disaster to implement. They're basically saying, "If you're negligent, we might pull your funding." First of all, I don't know any funding agency that would be willing to do so; I mean, how often does NIH (the likeliest agency to have support Sheri Sangji) pull funding? Heck, you can lie on their dime, and they'll only ban you for 5 years. Second, what's the chance that an incident that was due to negligence or cavalierness would be reported? "Uh, here, fill out this form that will yank our funding. Ohbytheway, did I mention that I'm on your committee and I'm counting on this funding for part of my salary?" Yeah, that'll happen.
influence positive safety management and behavior. Prudent Practices supports this finding
in its latest edition: “When negligent or cavalier treatment of laboratory safety regulations
jeopardizes everybody’s ability to obtain funding, a powerful incentive is created to improve
laboratory safety” (NRC, 2011, p. 6). Stated more bluntly: “Whoever is in control of the
purse is in control of the institution” (McCroskey, 1990, p. 472). The grant funding agency
has the power to end a research contract/agreement and, thus, can play an impactful role in
raising safety awareness and preparedness by the researcher and university.
At academic research institutions, PIs may view laboratory inspections by an outside entity
as infringing upon their academic freedom. This was the case at Texas Tech, where EH&S
laboratory safety checks were not viewed as a means to understand how a PIs’ laboratory
practiced safety in their absence. Instead, some PIs saw the notification of safety violations
to the Chair as “building a case” against them, felt that the safety inspections inhibited their
research, and considered recommended safety changes outside their control because they
could not “babysit” their students.