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New Mexico State University


Lab Accidents in the News, webcast hosted by EH&S

  • Monday, April 2, 2012 11am Webcast, EH&S Training Facility, rm 110, Academic Research C, 1620 Standley Avenue (mapOptional registration.  


Lab Accidents in the News: Institutional and Individual Risks, Roles and Responsibilities. 

Within the past few years there have been several high profile incidents in college and university laboratories across the country, resulting in death, serious injury, and major property damage. These incidents captured the attention of the press, the public, regulatory agencies and, for the first time, the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB). In another first, a university and a principal investigator were charged with criminal offenses related to a fatal laboratory accident.

Universities are developing a reputation of being lax and inattentive when it comes to laboratory safety, with the press describing an “epidemic” of serious safety issues and allegations of incident rates much higher than general industry. As a result, many universities are exploring ways to improve their safety culture. Faculty members are now looking at their responsibilities as laboratory supervisors in a new light. The safety culture in academia is often one of tension between the research goals of the laboratory workers and the need for safe and compliant behavior. Faculty face numerous challenges in maintaining a positive safety culture, documenting procedures and training, supervising students, post-docs and staff, and meeting their responsibilities as teachers, advisors and researchers.

The increased awareness of laboratory incidents is leading regulatory agencies, insurers, and others to take a closer look at the issues around the safety culture in academic laboratories and associated risks.

This joint NACUBO and CSHEMA webcast will present a summary of recent lab-related incidents, including those at UCLA and Texas Tech University. We will provide an overview of the CSB findings and recommendations and what they mean to our institutions from the standpoint of safety, management and liability.

What you can expect to learn

Common themes among the high-profile academic laboratory incidents, including recommendations by the US Chemical Safety Board

Laboratory liability – regulatory, civil and criminal charges

Laboratory management and safety culture challenges faced by faculty and academic administrators, and ideas for improvements

Ideas for raising safety culture awareness of faculty and administrators on your campus  


This webcast should be of interest to:

Department chairs, lab faculty and researcher

Environmental health and safety, managers, and lab safety staff

Business officers

Risk managers

General counsel

Senior administrators

Research integrity and compliance staff


This webcast is provided by National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) in partnership with Campus Safety Health and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA) and in collaboration with American Council on Education (ACE), National Association of College & University Attorneys (NACUA), National Association of Scientific Materials Managers (NAOSMM) and University Risk Management and Insurance Association (URMIA)

Questions on the local presentation, please call EH&S 575-646-3327