Training, Access, & Safety
Ensuring a safe lab environment is the combined responsibility of laboratory personnel, ESH personnel, and the management of the organization. The primary responsibility however, rests with the individual performing the work. Advanced training in laboratory safety is fundamental for students engaged in research, and hands-on training is encouraged whenever possible. Unlike laboratory coursework, where training comes from repeating established procedures, research involves performing new methods that may carry unknown hazards.
Tips for Encouraging a Culture of Safety
- Include a topic related to laboratory safety in group meeting agendas
- Periodically review the results of laboratory inspections with the entire group
- Encourage students and laboratory employees to contact their ESH Coordinator and PI if they have questions about work practices
- Require that all accidents and incidents even those that seem minor, are reported so that the cause can be identified
- In discussions of new experiments with students , don’t forget to discuss the safety aspects and concerns. Ensure that your group members work with their ESH Coordinator to develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) and have them approved before starting work.
- Recognize and reward students and staff for attention to safety in the laboratory
- Make sure safety rules are consistently followed by all levels in the laboratory – from PI to student.
SLAC works in partnership with faculty and staff to promote and ensure a safe laboratory environment that will support the science and research mission. Faculty, postdoctoral, and experienced students should encourage good safety practice and set a good example for their peers.