Integration is a Key to
 University Lab Safety
     Program Success
   CHAS Award Symposium
             American Chemical...
From worst to first
1995 -     Chronic RCRA violations
           District Court Consent Decree

• Binding independent aud...
*
At the time, EH&S programs seemed to be doing
  their best to put themselves external to the
  university mission of tea...
Attract quality staff
Seek people who have personal and
 professional ambitions that align with the
 university mission, i...
Integrate within the dept.
The bench is shallow, so staff members
  have to depend on colleagues for mutual
  support.
Tea...
Integrate within the academic
and research process
Develop credibility and rapport with faculty
   by creating opportuniti...
Integrate within the university
management structure
Create and exercise specialty safety advisory
  committees – ask thes...
Lab safety accomplishments
Chemical Hygiene Plan    Support of laboratory
Lab safety training        operations (especiall...
Regulatory compliance?




     Oh yea, that too.




                         9
The ACS-CHAS Lab Safety
Program award is flattering
First of all it’s flattering to share any national
  award with the li...
Thanks
• Thanks to the Chemical Health and Safety
  section and their leadership for sponsoring this
  award.
• Thanks to ...
Thank you all from the
2005 ACS-CHAS Award Winners




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UNevada Reno Award Address

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UNevada Reno Award Address

  1. 1. Integration is a Key to University Lab Safety Program Success CHAS Award Symposium American Chemical Society Washington, D.C., August 28, 2005 Steven G. Oberg, Ph.D. University of Nevada, Reno 1
  2. 2. From worst to first 1995 - Chronic RCRA violations District Court Consent Decree • Binding independent audit • Administrative reorganization • Affirm department philosophy – vow not to become the best possible EH&S program* • Initiate enterprise model 2005 - Full compliance (chem, rad, bio, occupational) Acknowledgement of peers 2
  3. 3. * At the time, EH&S programs seemed to be doing their best to put themselves external to the university mission of teaching, research and outreach. External means tolerated by faculty and central administration like so many other necessary (bureaucratic) evils. Too much compliance makes you invisible. We can do better. 3
  4. 4. Attract quality staff Seek people who have personal and professional ambitions that align with the university mission, i.e. skills and motivations that match up with teaching and research faculty. These self-starters will initiate projects or collaborate with colleagues who are in the business of creating new knowledge. 4
  5. 5. Integrate within the dept. The bench is shallow, so staff members have to depend on colleagues for mutual support. Teams have to self-assemble again and again to maintain a critical mass for each new project. Nobody succeeds unless everybody succeeds. Program infrastructure is developed and shared for group benefit. 5
  6. 6. Integrate within the academic and research process Develop credibility and rapport with faculty by creating opportunities to teach for- credit courses, participate in grant proposals, and publish. EH&S and faculty collaborations solve problems in ways that have broad acceptance and staying power. If permissible, serve on graduate student advisory committees. 6
  7. 7. Integrate within the university management structure Create and exercise specialty safety advisory committees – ask these faculty to help define policies and procedures. Participate in campus committees to address EH&S aspects that others would miss. Convert data-rich EH&S activities into information that can be used by central administration for planning and decision making. 7
  8. 8. Lab safety accomplishments Chemical Hygiene Plan Support of laboratory Lab safety training operations (especially in Lab assessments chemistry, chemical engineering, and Integrate IH support bioscience departments). Haz waste tech support Risk assessments, Lab Safety Committee ventilation/air quality, Chemical inventory product recommendations, Biosafety Manual emergency plans, department safety MOUA mechanisms committee participation, Select Agent Program chemical storage, etc. 8
  9. 9. Regulatory compliance? Oh yea, that too. 9
  10. 10. The ACS-CHAS Lab Safety Program award is flattering First of all it’s flattering to share any national award with the likes of MIT. It is especially flattering to be acknowledged by the venerable American Chemical Society. To consider members of this profession (many of whom are university faculty) as our peers validates the direction of our program and provides inspiration to our staff. 10
  11. 11. Thanks • Thanks to the Chemical Health and Safety section and their leadership for sponsoring this award. • Thanks to colleagues who nominated our program and to the site reviewer who verified the nomination information. • I especially thank Ben Owens and the Lab Safety group, and the other EH&S staff members who equally deserve this this bit of recognition. Now meet the people on whose behalf I accept today’s award… 11
  12. 12. Thank you all from the 2005 ACS-CHAS Award Winners 12

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