October 28, 2011
A new faculty-led Institutional Laboratory Safety Committee has been formed by Taylor Eighmy, vice president for research at Texas Tech University.
The committee will focus on improving the safety culture in research facilities such as laboratories, art studios and field research sites.
“The formation of this committee is part of the university’s ongoing efforts to improve our safety climate,” said Eighmy. The committee will look at both human health protection and hazardous risk reduction in these facilities. We are patterning this committee on other faculty-led ‘regulatory’ committees like the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee for animal protection and the Radiation Safety Committee for regulated radioisotopes use. These committees are exemplary, highly functional and have enabled the required cultural adoption to occur. We also are asking the faculty-led Institutional Biosafety Committee to expand its focus on safety culture. We look forward to the work of the Institutional Laboratory Safety Committee.”
The 16-person committee, in part, will establish policies and procedures based on current best practice by a number of national professional groups. It also is charged with providing administrative advice regarding laboratory safety and reviewing and implementing the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) case study recommendations following its investigation of a Jan. 7, 2010 accident in a Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry laboratory. The committee also is charged with implementing additional recommendations that President Guy Bailey imposed following the accident. The committee’s full charge is found on Texas Tech’s response to the CSB Investigation Web page at www.CSBresponse.ttu.edu.
“The formation of this committee is a step in the right direction toward improving our safety culture,” said Dimitri Pappas, committee chair and associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “When you think about the diverse research going on at Texas Tech, you also have to think about how to conduct that research effectively and safely.”
Committee members are: