>It seems like that means: do a risk assessment every time you do your experiment. Is that the message? Or, are you asking researchers to consider doing a risk assessment every time they change something in the experiment?
I don't believe that these important questions will have a blanket answer. My vision of the use of this video is not as a stand alone guide on to how to be safe in the lab; rather I hope that will start and support safety discussions, either in training sessions, classes or even casual hallway conversations on the topic between lab-mates as their work proceeds.
The initial inspiration for the video was simply to raise the specific issue of ongoing situational awareness on a daily basis. However, as we worked on the original script, simply saying "be alert to everything at all times" felt like it was asking superhuman powers of the lab worker. So we added the concept of risk assessment and RAMP to raise the point that it was important to think ahead of time about what signals were most important to be alert to. Similarly, the connection between good science and lab safety practices as a concept was added at a later stage. I agree that we should raise it earlier in the video as well as at the end.
One point that I would like to add to the video, but which I don't think will fit is that a risk assessment should be a team effort. My feeling is that if there are any hazards that are more complicated than the GHS information on a chemical's label, assessing the risks of the work should be done by a group of people rather than a single person. One could read that into the video when assistance comes to deal with the overheating beaker, but I don't think we want to further complicate the videos message at this point (plus we're nearing the end of the project's budget). My hope is that this video will be valuable enough that we can find funding sources to address other aspects of lab safety in a similar format, again to raise specific issues (lab vent, PPE, risk assessment practices) for discussion rather than to provide complete training on a specific topic.
My sincere thanks again to everyone for their feedback on the video. It gives the project team (which is international, we have a similar suite of comments from the UK) confidence in moving forward.
Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
American Chemical Society
Division of Chemical Health and Safety
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