Safety is a very important part of our group. We believe that appropriate safety practices are not only necessary for the well being of the students and those around them, but developing a proper attitude toward safety is a critical component of their education as well. We constantly strive to create a positive safety culture such that students that graduate from our group recognize the importance of and have the right attitude towards safe practices. We promote an environment where students commonly audit each other and, regardless of rank, are not afraid to address any situation that they feel has the potential to lead to a safety issue.
Maintining a positive safety culture is a challenging task in an academic environment. We strive to do this by placing students in safety leadership positions. Our students participate in a larger safety group alongside students from the groups of Resasco, Lobban, and Wang to implement safe policies and promote the positive culture that we strive to maintain.
Safety Leadership Team
Each of our labs has a lab coordinator who is in charge of implementing safety policies within the lab. A group of students with both a positive safety attitude as well as leadership abilities among their peers make up the safety leadership team. These students routinely meet among themselves as well as with the faculty members to discuss strategies to improve safety practices within the group and facilitate safety education of the group members. They lead by example and they give presentations of pertinent safety items during our weekly group meetings. They help coordinate weekly lab inspections, yearly chemical storage inventory updates, and provide example standard operating procedures for students to follow. The current safety leadership team consists of Nilson de Paula (supervised by Daniel Resasco), Ana Jerdy and Caleb Bavlnka. Alumni from our group who have served on the safety leadership team during the pursuit of their degree include Tram Pham, Alejandra Gomez, Lawrence Barrett, Nick Briggs, Taiwo Omotoso, Abhishek Gumidyala, and Valeria Herrera.
The safety leadership team has compiled a series of helpful videos relevant to safe lab practices that can be found on their Youtube channel here.
Students have access to a server with several standard operating procedures for our various reactors. Each of our reaciton systems is required to have a detailed standard operating procedure with a labeled diagram and a three column step-by-step operating procedure. For each step, potential hazards or safety issues are identified, with engineering controls in place to prevent potential safety issues in the last column. Standard templates for a flow reactor and a batch reactor can be found here.
Flow reactor SOP template (docx)