Resources for improving safety culture, training, and awareness in the academic laboratory

Quinton J. Bruch, Steven K. Butler, Ian A. Tonks, Alexander J.M. Miller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Much of the synthesis and characterization of coordination complexes described in this volume was carried out in academic laboratories. With safety in the academic laboratory a current topic of national conversation, we felt it was appropriate to include a chapter that captures some emerging perspectives and recent developments in safe practices in academic laboratories. In this chapter, we aim to share our personal perspectives on laboratory safety. These perspectives are informed by our own experiences, as faculty Principal Investigators (PIs) and graduate student laboratory safety officers (LSOs) at the University of MinnesotadTwin Cities (UMN) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). There is no single correct approach to safety in chemistry and as such we will refrain from specific prescriptions. Instead, we aim to share experiences and resources we have found useful while offering general advice on how to approach safety. We are writing primarily to those involved in academic chemistry research: high school, undergraduate, and graduate students performing research; postdoctoral scholars and scientific staff; faculty or principal investigators; and personnel from campus health and safety offices (here referred to broadly as EHS for environment, health, and safety). We believe that the safest research environment will emerge from collaborative and supportive interactions among all constituents, wherein open communication fosters trust and innovation.1 Researchers of all levels can feel empowered to think creatively and critically about safety, to enact change at the group or institutional level, and to speak freely about concerns with their peers, faculty, and EHS....

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComprehensive Coordination Chemistry III
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780081026885
ISBN (Print)9780081026892
StatePublished - Jul 21 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Safety culture Is the collective approach to safety of a group, community, or institution. Strong, positive safety cultures make safe laboratory practices a constant priority at all organizational levels, with safety becoming an underlying principle instead of a response to external rules and regulations


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