Safe Science – Culture of Safety
A Letter from Chancellor Folt
As an environmental biologist and aquatic scientist, my research and teaching has focused on environmental safety as I studied dietary mercury and arsenic toxicity in human and natural ecosystems. I am a first-hand witness to the environmental devastation and toll on human health created by unsafe handling of dangerous substances.
This same environmental damage – particularly to the health of our people – can occur if we overlook the preeminent role safety plays in our daily work as scientists. Developing and maintaining a Culture of Safety is a critical component of scholarly excellence and responsible research as well as an important element of our research and teaching mission.
At Carolina, we have excellent resources that can assist you with the training and education of your research teams. The Department of Environment Health and Safety (EHS) is your safety resource ready to assist during every phase of your work. EHS experts are most effective when brought in as a partner during your planning phase so all members of a team well understand hazards, protective measures and controls.
Thank you for your engagement as we continue to enhance our Culture of Safety at Carolina.
Carol L. Folt
- OSHA Laboratory Safety Guidance
- Safe Science: Promoting a Culture of Safety in Academic Chemical Research (2014)
- APLU: A Guide to Implementing a Safety Culture in Our Universities
- Creating Safety Cultures in Academic Institutions
- Guidelines for Chemical Laboratory Safety in Academic Institutions
- Chemical safety education for the 21st century — Fostering safety information competency in chemists
- DCHAS Laboratory Risk Assessment (Video)
Safety is everyone’s responsibility. UNC-Chapel Hill is committed to providing a campus environment that supports the health and safety practices of its community (faculty, students, staff, and visitors) and empowers the community to be responsible for the safety of others. A safe campus environment is a right of employment for all categories of employees. A safe campus learning environment is a right of all those involved in education and research.
Good science is safe science. Safety is a critical component of scholarly excellence and responsible conduct of research.
Safety training and safety education are essential elements of research and education. They instill a culture of safety in the next generation of researchers and future faculty, and they are important for our students’ career development and employability.
An improved culture of safety is necessary to truly reduce risk throughout the academic enterprise.