The Department of Chemistry held their 2020 Research Safety Workshop for first year graduate students and Laboratory Safety Officers (LSOs) on Wednesday, January 15.  The Workshop was organized by the Department Safety Committee and the Joint Safety Team (JST) in conjunction with EH&S. Presentations were made by Dr. Jing Zhao (Chair of the Department Safety Committee), Jessica A. Martin (Head of JST), Eric Krantz (Head of Teaching Laboratory Services), and Brent Lewchik (Chemical Safety Manager, EH&S).  In all, 44 students were in attendance. A survey revealed that the vast majority of attendees found the material covered to be useful.

We also found that 75 percent of attendees were interested in meeting with their fellow LSOs a few more times per year to discuss safety issues.  Since EH&S inspections of laboratories are beginning, we have decided to schedule a time in late February in which LSOs and any other interested students will be able to meet with one another to discuss any issues or questions that came up in the inspection so that we can benefit from learning from one another’s experiences.  Brent, and the inspectors, Ian Olesen and Ethan Lee, will be available to present the aggregated report for the Department of Chemistry and answer any questions.  If you are interested in attending, please keep your eyes open for that announcement.

Finally, we found that 86 percent of attendees were interested in additional, specific types of safety training.  The top two types of training attendees were interested in were: (1) training on writing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and (2) managing your lab’s chemical inventory.  The Department Safety Committee and the JST are working on ideas to bring trainings like this to the Department over the next year. If you are interested in being part of the planning, please contact Jessica A. Martin at jessica.a.martin@uconn.edu of the JST to get involved.