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Lab safety the focus of new recommendations


Washington, DC – University-wide efforts to renew and strengthen a culture of research safety are necessary to avoid tragic accidents, according to a guide released this week by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ (APLU) Task Force on Laboratory Safety. In the document and on a companion website, the task force provides university administrators with 20 recommendations to strengthen the culture of safety.

The task force was created by APLU in coordination with the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Association of American Universities and the Council on Government Relations. It was composed of senior research officers, environmental and health safety experts, and representatives from industry and national labs.  

The ACS, the U.S. Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board and the National Academies have all called for improvements to the safety culture within university laboratories and have provided recommendations to that end.

“Given the recent number of serious academic lab accidents, APLU’s report should serve as a critical clarion call to improve lab safety,” said Thomas Connelly Jr., Ph.D., ACS’ executive director and CEO. “Ensuring labs have a strong culture of safety is paramount to doing chemistry.”

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization with nearly 157,000 members that provides access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences.