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Dow Lab Safety Academy Promotes Safety Mindset in Future Chemical Workforce

Digital learning environment provides academic researchers with resources for laboratory safety.

by Dow Chemical Company
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Digital learning environment provides academic researchers with resources for laboratory safety

MIDLAND, Mich. - May 20, 2013

Yesterday, at the Council for Chemical Research 2013 Annual Meeting in Arlington, Virginia, among leaders from industry, academia and the National Labs, The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) unveiled the beta version of the Dow Lab Safety Academy, a digital learning environment that shares Dow’s best-in-class industrial safety culture and practices in a quick and accessible format. Explore the Dow Lab Safety Academy at The Dow Lab Safety Academy includes dozens of videos featuring lab safety guidelines for a variety of real-life scenarios, grouped under four comprehensive lab safety categories. The website also provides a collection of useful resources such as a chemical reactivity worksheet and an incident alert template, which help promote best practices for safety.

In an effort to continually improve the content and usability of the website, Dow will be seeking feedback from partner universities and other users.

"At Dow, our focus on safety is inherent in everything we do and every decision we make,” said Dr. William F. Banholzer, executive vice president and chief technology officer at Dow. “We routinely share safety best practices with our competitors since we all understand improving safety is in everyone’s best interest. The same is true for university research. Our hope is that by broadly sharing what Dow does internally we can help improve university safety as well as our customers, national labs or anyone conducting materials research.”

Dow's best practices focus on incident prevention and on spurring a high level of engagement in safety awareness. In 2012, thanks to a combination of smart work processes and procedures, and a focus on safe behaviors, 266 out of Dow’s 350 sites went completely injury-free.

“With its excellent safety record and well-known best safety practices, Dow is a reliable source for laboratory safety information,” said William Tolman, Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry at University of Minnesota. “The Dow Lab Safety Academy presents material that is highly relevant to academic researchers, with modules that focus on the types of safety issues we all encounter. It is an excellent resource for students and those working in the chemical industry.”

As part of its laboratory safety initiative launched in early 2012, Dow has partnered with premier research universities to improve safety awareness and practices in the departments of chemistry, chemical engineering, engineering and materials. Through pilot programs with U.C. Santa Barbara (UCSB), University of Minnesota and Pennsylvania State University, Dow is working closely with graduate students and faculty to identify areas of improvement and help nurture a sustainable culture of laboratory safety.