"Poor training, poor technique, lack of supervision and improper method," said Neal Langerman, former head of the American Chemical Society's Division of Chemical Health and Safety, about the lab fire that killed UCLA research assistant Sheri Sangji.

Whatever the reasons, shortcomings or outright failures that led to this tragedy will be analyzed for months to come. But the grim reminder is that diligent attention to lab safety strategies and training are clearly a matter of life and death. Take this opportunity to review your own lab's safety and training programs in order to protect the most valuable lab asset – your people.

Let me know what changes you make.