The labs and classrooms at YSU have always been a safe place to learn, conduct research, and work. In an effort to prepare our students for life beyond YSU, the Youngstown State University STEM College is embracing a renewed commitment to improving the culture of safety for all academic research and teaching laboratories. Universities around the country, including YSU, are looking beyond the traditional research laboratory and committing to improving safety in research and teaching all over campus.
There are three values that are foundational to developing our culture of safety at YSU:
- Safety is everyone’s responsibility. YSU 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 learning environment is a right of all 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.
The Chemical Management Center (CMC) in Ward Beecher Hall conducts ongoing Chemical Hygiene Training and lab safety training. The CMC also assists with chemical ordering and hazardous waste removal, as well as the removal of other waste like bulbs and batteries. The goal of this office is for all students to know the hazards of what they are using and to work safely in the laboratory. Lab safety training is offered to all students in the STEM College at YSU.
YSU is also offering assistance and recommendations for high school science classrooms and training for high school science teachers.
The YSU STEM College is doing everything possible to keep our students, faculty and staff safe, both in teaching and research laboratories. If you work with chemicals be sure you take the chemical hygiene training, read the safety data sheet, ask questions, and take charge of your own safety. Doing things safely is not merely the right way, it’s the only way. That is the philosophy that is embraced at YSU.
For any questions pertaining to this article, and to schedule a training session or assessment, please contact Timothy Styranec, Health and Safety Specialist in the Chemical Management Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-941-3703.
- A Guide to Implementing a Safety Culture in Our Universities. Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. Council on Research Task Force on Laboratory Safety.