Culture of Safety & Responsibility

President’s Letter of Commitment | Culture of Safety

What is Boston University’s Culture of Safety and Responsibility?

The Boston University safety model is a core value that is integrated into the fabric of the institution. This culture of safety and responsibility is guided by the following principles:

Leadership and Oversight

  • Leadership recognition and support of a culture of safety at every level within the institution.
  • Demonstrated commitment and reinforcement on a regular basis through the consideration of safety issues at meetings, in the defining of jobs, and in the evaluation of faculty, staff, and programs across the institution.

Organizational Practices

  • Organizational commitment at every level to recognizing that research and other activities present a potential risk, and to ensuring that these operations are conducted safely and in a responsible manner.
  • Incorporating safety as an integral aspect of the institution’s operations (e.g., experimental design, facility construction, equipment specifications).
  • Creating an environment of collaboration among all stakeholders (i.e., researchers, department safety advisors (DSAs), students, staff, facilities management staff, public safety staff) to identify safety issues and to find solutions.
  • Organizational learning is not only expected, but is also embraced.

Institutional Structure

  • Creating an environment in which each individual understands their role in the research enterprise and conducts their activities in a responsible manner.
  • Creating an environment where individuals are empowered to recognize and to report errors or near misses without fear of reprimand or punishment.
  • Continuous review and examination of the infrastructure that provides support for safety practices and procedures.

Shared Core Values and Beliefs

  • Empowering all members of the research community to accept their critical role in protecting their own safety as well as that of others.
  • Emphasizing personal responsibility to safety and the ethical conduct of research.

Management Systems

  • Investigating incidents or near misses, identifying “lessons learned,” and modifying programs, as appropriate, to incorporate any enhancements identified during the investigation.
  • Committing resources to address safety concerns.

Culture of Safety