Key Features of the Culture of Safety

  • Active adoption of a culture of safety as a core value at every level.
  • Clearly defined roles and responsibilities with each individual recognizing their specific role, as well as those of others, in the continuum of safety.
  • Clear indication that while safety is a shared responsibility of each individual working in a laboratory, ultimately principal investigators bear full responsibility for safety in their laboratories.
  • Comprehensive training and awareness program for all individuals who work in research laboratories or who provide support (e.g., facilities management, public safety) for research laboratories, with written confirmation by all individuals engaged in research that they have been adequately trained and that they will follow the safety requirements.
  • Appointment of a single point of contact, typically an Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) safety specialist, from the Division of Research Safety, referred to as the department safety advisor (DSA).
  • Appointment of a laboratory safety coordinator who is specifically responsible for implementing day-to-day safety requirements in the laboratory.
  • A comprehensive inspection and oversight program designed to: a) Routinely review all aspects of safety; and b) Provide trending information on the efficacy of the programs.
  • Implementation of a comprehensive Research Occupational Health Program to provide both pre-employment health clearances and post-exposure support.
  • Inclusion of a commitment to safety as a condition of employment for all those engaged in research and as a key factor in annual performance appraisals.