Keynote Panel: Learning from Others' Accidents to Prevent Your Own

Wednesday, July 20, 8:00 a.m. 

Grand Portage Ballroom 3  

Panel Participants: 

Dominick Cassadonte, Texas Tech University, Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry 

James Gibson, UCLA, Director of the Office of Environment, Health & Safety 

Mary Beth Mulcahy, U.S. Chemical Safety Board, Investigator 

Randy Nix, Texas Tech University, Director of Environmental Health and Safety 

Major accident prevention relies, in part, on learning from previous accidents, whether they occur at your own academic institution or other institutions around the country. Traditionally, lessons learned from accidents occurring in academic laboratories have been kept in-house. The publicity received by the 2010 laboratory explosion at Texas Tech University (TTU) as well as the 2008 laboratory fire resulting in the death of a staff research associate at UCLA provide unique opportunities to examine your own institution's safety policies and culture in relation to what existed at TTU and UCLA prior to the accidents. Representatives from TTU and UCLA will also discuss subsequent changes in safety culture as well as the successes and challenges in changing that culture from the perspective of EHS and chemistry department heads. The role of the Chemical Safety Board (CSB), its investigations of these accidents, and preliminary findings concerning its investigation of the TTU accident and academic laboratory safety in general will be presented as well.  

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