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UCLA report details lab safety improvements

A UCLA report [1] released last week seems to be the final chapter on an extensive and well-publicized lab safety incident dating back to the beginning of the year.

Chancellor Gene Block commissioned a campus-wide laboratory safety committee after a staff research associate died in January [2] from injuries suffered in a lab fire on December 29, 2008. The committee was asked to assess safety programs and make recommendations to avoid further safety related incidents.

In addition to documenting some of the existing efforts and resources already employed by the university, the report identifies five key areas for improvement:

“I want to be best in class at this,” Block told the Los Angeles Times [3] after reviewing the 87-page report. “In a sense, this was a wake-up call. . . . We could do better, and we will do better.”

Don’t wait for your lab to have a wake-up call to evaluate and implement employee safety measures. The above suggestions from the UCLA report are applicable for any laboratory, and a safety review is always worthwhile if it means preventing a potentially devastating accident.