Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Changing a Culture: Improving Chemical laboratory safety at Texas Tech University Dominick Casadonte Texas Tech University Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry March 26, 2012
Texas Tech University Lessons Learned Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry DisclaimerThe opinions expressed in this presentation are those of thepresenter and not necessarily those of Texas TechUniversity nor any agency affiliated with Texas TechUniversity. While every attempt has been made to verifythe accuracy of the statements made in this presentation,the presenter is solely responsible for its content.
Texas Tech University Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Who Are We? Texas Tech University:• Founded: 1923• Carnegie Foundation Classification: doctoral research-extensive university• Degrees: 150 undergraduate, 100 master’s and 50 doctoral• 11 Colleges + Law School and Graduate School• Population: 31,637 students (fall 2010)• Accredited: by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges (SACS)
Texas Tech University Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Who Are We? Texas Tech Chemistry:• Buildings: Two (1928 (Renovated 1988); 1968-1971)• Faculty: 24• Graduate Students: 105• Postdoctoral Research Associates: 34• Technical Staff: 9• Clerical Staff: 10• Chemistry Undergraduate Majors: 250 • Total Funding (2009): $4,225,265• Biochemistry Undergraduate Majors: 256 - Federal Grants: $ 1,939,044 - Non-Federal Grants: $ 1,532,962 - Co-PI: $ 753,259 • Federal R&D Expenditures (2010): - Top 100
Texas Tech University State of RCR Prior to January 7, 2010 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Texas Tech University:1) Quality Enhancement Plan (2005, SACS): Ethics - “Do the Right Thing” Campaign: www.depts.ttu.edu/provost/qep - University-Wide Committee2) Ethics in the Curriculum: - PHIL 5125: Introduction to Research Ethics (Fall, 2010) - University-Wide Committee3) RCR: - Hired Dr. Alice Young as AVPR for RCR (June, 2009) - www.depts.ttu.edu/VPR/integrity/nsf-ethics-plan.php4) Murdough Center for Engineering Professionalism/ National Institute for Engineering Ethics - www.depts.ttu.edu/coe/centers/murdough.php
Texas Tech University State of RCR Prior to January 7, 2010 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Texas Tech Chemistry:• Passivity Due to EH&S/PI Conflicts: - Labs: EH&S Laboratory Surveys Viewed as Inhibitory - EH&S: Labs Preventing Them From Doing Their Job• Lack of Communication Between EH&S/Chair about Issues• Ineffective Chemical Safety Committee• EH&S Under VP for Finance: No Relationship to Research
Texas Tech University January 7, 2010 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry• January 7, 2010: Explosion in Energetic Materials Lab Injures Student• Call from National Chemical Safety Board - January 8, 2010• Accident Picked Up in National Media:- C&EN, Jan. 25, page 7 - C&EN, Feb. 1, pages 25-26- C&EN, July 23 (Online) - C&EN, Aug. 23, pages 34-37• Feb. 11: Lab Reopened• Feb 26: DHS Visit (Northeastern)• March 19-23: Visit by Chemical Safety Board• April 9: Internal Investigation Results Released• May 25: DHS (ALERT) Visit• October 19, 2011: NCSB Webinar• October 20, 2011: CSB Release of "Experimenting with Danger" http://www.depts.ttu.edu/vpr/integrity/csb-response/index.php
Texas Tech University Response to January 7, 2010 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry CSB Report:• Ensure that research-specific hazards are evaluated and then controlledby developing specific written protocols and training. • Expand existing laboratory safety plans to address the physicalhazards of chemicals.• Ensure that safety personnel report directly to a university official whohas the authority to oversee research laboratories and implement safetyimprovements.• Document and communicate all laboratory near-misses and incidentsto educate individuals and track safety at the university.
Texas Tech University Response to January 7, 2010 Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryTexas Tech University’s ResponseBefore CSB Report:• Working Group Established to Review Lab Safety Policies and Training• Institutional Laboratory Safety Committee (ILSC) Established• Peer Review Panel Commissioned to Review Safety Culture (April 4-5, 2011)• Research Programs Requiring Significant Monitoring Identified• Search for Ph.D. – Level Chemical Safety Officer (Hire in Spring 2012)• Safety Information to be Required in Tenure and Promotion Packages• Safety Information to be Required in Theses and Dissertations• New Emergency Action Plan (EAP) Instituted Campus-Wide
Texas Tech University Response to January 7, 2010 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry TTU: Self-Imposed Recommendations1) Adapt elements of physical risk into our chemical hygieneplan.2) Require Texas Tech University (TTU) to become anexemplary institution around the culture of safety.3) Require the University to report annually to the U.S.Chemical Safety Board about progress made towardimproving the culture of laboratory safety; the parameterswill need definition.4) Establish a TTU Faculty Chemical Safety Committee tohelp firmly establish the culture of laboratory safety.5) Acquire an online chemical inventory system.6) Require the Provost and Vice President for Research tomake laboratory safety an element of annual evaluations(e.g., college, department, faculty).7) Others to be determined.
Texas Tech University Response to January 7, 2010 Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryTexas Tech Chemistry Response• Department Safety Committee Reorganizedand Charged to Change Department SafetyCulture: - Biweekly Meetings - Committee Contains Representation from All Stakeholders - Each Research Group has a “Safety Captain” - New Model Results from Reflections on Visit from Rick Danheiser (MIT)• Mandatory Chemical (and other) Safety Training: Required Verification in Personnel File - 100% Compliance
Texas Tech University Response to January 7, 2010 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Texas Tech Chemistry Response• All Relevant PPE Required in Research Labs• Regulatory Authority of VPR/EH&S - Increased Safety Surveys by EH&S - Labs can be Rekeyed or Shut Down if Seriously Non-Compliant• “Peer Safety Surveys” - One per semester. - Complement EH&S safety surveys• Incident Report Forms Developed For Both Research and Teaching Labs• EH&S, ILSC, and Chemistry Safety Committee Revamping CHP• Common University Chemical Inventory System In Use: (EH&S Assistant)
Texas Tech University Response to January 7, 2010 Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryTexas Tech Chemistry Response• TA Training: In conjunction withDepartment of Theater and Dance, Six-WeekCourse Designed to Teach Useful TeachingBehavior and Role Playing in Chemical SafetyScenarios in the Laboratory• Synthesis Labs Working to DevelopProtocols and Procedures, Code of Conductand General Laboratory Rules. Reviewed andSigned by Students in most labs.• University –Wide Safety Summit Every Fallfor Continuing Safety Education
Texas Tech University Response to January 7, 2010 Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryTexas Tech Chemistry Response• Common Departmental Scheme for LabelingAll New Chemicals (Prudent Practices)• Safety Graduate Cumulative Exam EachNovember• Safety Activities Now Required in FacultyAnnual Reports• Safety Section Now Required in Theses andDissertations
Texas Tech University Lessons Learned Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry TTU : Lessons Learned• The Problem of Chemical Safety isNot Unique to Texas Tech!• Accidents at Public Universities are Public Events – Safe Behavior Doesn’t Make Headlines: Lack of Safety Does!• EVERYONE Must Be Involved In The Transformational Process!• Analysis of Safety Management Systems at Universities is Vital - “Swiss Cheese” Model Is A Good One To Discuss at All Levels• PIs, EH&S, and Administrators Need to Be in the Same Room and On the SamePage - Consensus Standards Are Needed - Hazard Assessment is Essential! - Near Miss/Lessons Learned Databases Needs to Be Established - Guidance Documents Should Be Established By ACS, CSHEMA
Texas Tech University Lessons Learned Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry TTU : Lessons Learned• Cultural Sustainability Is the Key • Culture is Intrinsic Within A Group: It Can Be Learned and Internalized!• What Are Some Characteristics of A Culture of Safety? • “Do the Right Thing” Even When No One is Watching • Take Responsibility for the Safety of Each Other, Including Training • PIs and Leadership Must Model The Safety Culture They Want to Achieve • People Should Be Talking About Safety In Terms of Risks, Hazards, and Responsibilities• Goal: Make Sure That People Leave Work As Healthy As When They ArrivedWithout Injury or Loss of Time
Texas Tech University Lessons Learned Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry TTU : Lessons Learned• PIs Trained as Researchers/Are Entrepreneurial • Not as Managers and Not Necessarily in a Safety Culture • EH&S Needs to Help Them Think About Risk Assessment and How to Do It.• PIs Need to Consider Several Aspect of Safety Simultaneously: • Big Picture: The Entire Lab • Individual Investigators and the Types of Experiments They Do and Their Training • Day-to-Day Safety Operations • Individual Experiments and Their Respective Risks and Hazards • Lack of $ For Researcher to Hire Managers, Buy Safety Equipment, etc• Tension Between Allowing Faculty The Freedom For Discovery Research(Which, By Its Nature, Often Involves Risk) and Risk/Safety Management - Prominent Faculty are Mobile - Fear of Loss of Synthetic Chemistry Innovation at Universities.
Texas Tech University Lessons Learned Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry TTU : Lessons Learned• There is Regular Turnover in Labs: Cannot Rely on Folklore or Peer Student Training Only • The PI is the One Constant!• Safety Should be Part of the “Scholarship of Discovery” and Responsible Conduct of Research. • It Should be Part of the Daily Research Culture• Risk Assessment Should Occur Before Work Begins, and Debriefing ShouldOccur Afterward• The PI MUST Be Involved, Even If Good Habits Engrained in Co-Workers!!!• Students Rely on PIs/Faculty to Provide Them With Safety Training: • This is a major unspoken trust issue! • This is a major professionalism issue!
Texas Tech University Lessons Learned Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry TTU : Lessons Learned• Train Students, Teach Culture Early! - Get Freshman and Sophomores in the Habit of Wearing Appropriate PPE• We Need Better Safety Videos!• We Need Nationally Standardized Protocols (SOPs) - Not To Check Out of Safety Analysis By Their Use, But For Guidance• A Ph.D. in Chemical Hygiene and Safety Needs to Be Developed - If Done Properly, Will Go A Long Way Toward Faculty Buy-In• Establish Something Analogous to a “White Coat” Ceremony for GraduateStudents/Beginning Research Students: Teach the the Seriousness of the Profession andEquip Them With the Tools to be Safe and Successful)• Funding Agencies Need to be More Involved in Insuring That Research Be Done Safely• Line Item for Chemical Safety in Grants: • Provide Direct Cost Funding to Improve Safety Infrastructure • Reward PI’s Who Put Forward Innovative Safety Plans • Do This, Rather Than Add Yet Another Section to Complete in Grant Applications
Texas Tech University Lessons Learned Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Conclusions• Safety Is Everyone’s Responsibility• EVERYONE Must Be Involved In The Transformational Process• The PI Needs to Model the Safety Culture They Would Like to See • There Need to Be More Peer-Peer Safety Discussions Across Domains • More “Carrots”: Safety Must Be Viewed As Positive, Not Punitive• Don’t Wait for an Accident to Happen at Your Institution:• - Imagine Your Institution’s Ideal Safety Culture,• and Actively Move in That Direction• Try to Find the Balance Between the Scholarship of Discovery And the Culture of Safety: It Does Exist!