SU2014 Newsletter

Inside this issue :

June is National Safety Month Chris Pettinato, Executive Director

Each June, the National Safety Council ( celebrates National Safety Month as a time to bring attention to key safety issues. Columbia University will be celebrating this year with the launch of a multi-faceted Research Safety Campaign.

Academic Research Safety has generated significant attention over the past several years, particularly following the release of the Chemical Safety Board’s video entitled Experimenting with Danger and their associated report on a laboratory accident at Texas Tech University.  Nationally, the college and university EH&S community has been working diligently to improve the perception of safety in research laboratories, but more importantly, to enhance safe work practices of research laboratory personnel by broadening their safety knowledge base, establishing expectations regarding safe work practices, modeling safe behavior, providing support for safe behaviors and practices and providing a transparent mechanism for feedback and reinforcement of safety in the laboratory. 

While EH&S has been working with partners in the research community, both within and beyond Columbia, we are poised to elevate the visibility of these efforts with the launch of a June 2014 Research Safety Campaign and reinforce a motto of SAFETY ALWAYS in research operations at Columbia.  The campaign will place a significant focus on engaging the University research community in safety.  This will be accomplished through various tabling events in research buildings throughout the University, joined by laboratory supply vendor partners, focused assessments on various research safety program elements, such as availability, selection and use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and presence/consumption of food and beverages in the laboratory, an independent laboratory assessment (see “Calling All Volunteers” in this edition of SafetyMatters) and an interactive dialogue about what safety means to Columbia University and its expansive community of researchers, staff and students.

Although National Safety Month is limited to June, Columbia’s campaign will continue well beyond as we continue to foster collaborations with the research community.  EH&S looks forward to engaging with you throughout this campaign.  Information about the 2014 Safety Campaign will be available @  EH&S will also be communicating Safety Campaign activities via Twitter @ColumbiaEHS, our website, and by email.   


Follow EH&S on Twittertwitter

In our continuing effort to ensure the Columbia University Community has the most up to date information on all matters related to health and safety both within and outside of the organization, EH&S launched our official Department twitter account. Following us is easy: you can follow our account (@ColumbiaEHS) from Twitter or through the easy access link on our home page at


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