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Introducing a New Lab Safety Management Certificate Program

Learn the fundamentals of leading a lab safety program

Scott D. Hanton, PhD

Scott Hanton is the editorial director of Lab Manager. He spent 30 years as a research chemist, lab manager, and business leader at Air Products and Intertek. He earned...

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While every lab conducts different kinds of science, each one has some level of safety concern to ensure that lab staff can have confidence that they will leave work as healthy as they began their day. Managing the many aspects of lab safety can be a challenge. Despite the high quality safety content available, it can be difficult to get the needed information in one place. 

The new Lab Safety Management certificate program available in the Lab Manager Academy will provide the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to ease the burden of managing the safety of your lab(s). Continued learning will guide professional development, bring career benefits, and contribute to the success of the organization.

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The importance of lab safety management training

Generating a safe experience is crucial to the success of any lab. Staff cannot thrive and deliver on the scientific purpose of the lab if they are concerned for their physical, emotional, and psychological safety. While lab managers are accountable for the safety culture of the lab, they often delegate the responsibility of lab safety management to other members of staff. In larger organizations, those individuals may be safety professionals, but many labs can’t afford that degree of concentration on safety, so these responsibilities are executed by scientists with a passion for safe lab work.

Most working scientists have some understanding of how to execute their own actions safely, but few have the experience to broadly manage lab safety programs, and very few experience effective lab safety training from their academic studies. Learning how to manage lab safety is often done on the job. Unfortunately, learning a safety responsibility on the job is typically very stressful. It is a big responsibility to ensure the lab has appropriate safe practices, communicates effectively about safety, and develops a safety-first culture. To address these needs, this program offered by the Lab Manager Academy will include real-world examples that are relevant to a wide range of labs, and completing the lab safety management certificate program will enable a faster learning curve, greater confidence, and better decisions.

The staff who most benefit from lab safety management training

The new Lab Safety Management Certificate is specifically designed for:

  • Lab managers – those who are accountable for lab safety
  • Lab staff safety specialists – those who already have specific technical safety knowledge and are responsible for lab safety
  • Lab safety professionals – those who don’t yet have specific technical safety knowledge and are responsible for lab safety

This certificate program is designed to provide the fundamentals of managing a lab safety program and provide sufficient information to enable scientifically trained learners with the information needed for them to grow their lab safety management skills, knowledge, and expertise. It focuses on improving learners’ ability to make decisions, communicate, and build an improved culture of lab safety. It doesn’t include sufficient technical detail to create new lab safety professionals. 

The elements of lab safety management 

The fundamentals of lab safety management include risk mitigation, improving safety culture, and managing the lab’s environmental, health, and safety (EHS) systems. The content of the certificate program is divided into three streams, each containing four courses:

  • Technical Safety
  1. Biosafety and biosecurity
  2. Chemical hygiene
  3. Physical hazards, including mechanical, electrical, thermal, vibrations, and noise
  4. Radiological safety, including both ionizing and nonionizing radiation
  • Risk
  1. Risk assessing and characterizing
  2. Risk communication and decision-making, including perceiving risk and judgment under uncertainty
  3. Risk management and mitigation
  4. Life safety, including fire, exits, and maximum allowable quantities
  • Culture of Safety
  1. Safety culture, including safety leadership, example-setting, and team building
  2. Managing for safety and risk effectiveness, including psychological safety, learning organizations, safety management, standards, and systems
  3. Metrics and key performance indicators
  4. Materials and substances tracking, including life cycle assessment, purchasing, use, wastes, and recycling

The lab safety management learning experience

The full Lab Safety Management Certificate contains 12 courses, each of which contains informative slides, activities to reinforce learning, audio from the safety subject matter expert (SME), helpful handouts, interactive elements, and quizzes to demonstrate comprehension of the content. Each course is designed to take about 60 minutes and to be consumed at the convenience of the learner and at their ideal pace. It only requires a quiet space and an internet connection. The courses can be taken in any order with no prerequisites, so the most important learning can be done first.

The content is available to learners indefinitely, so they can come back for a refresher at any time and will have access to any updates to the course material.

In addition to the courses, learners have access to the Lab Manager Academy SMEs through monthly office hours, during which they can ask questions about course content and relevant topics.

The Lab Manager Academy online learning program is accredited by IACET, who establish the amount of content for each continuing education unit (CEU).

Meet the lab safety management expert

Jonathan Klane, M.S.Ed., CIH, CSP, CHMM, CIT, is a PhD candidate where he studies how stories affect our risk perceptions. He’s doing his dissertation on safety and risk, plus adult learning and persuasion. He hopes to finish his PhD in human and social dimensions of science and technology at Arizona State University in the next year. After 35 years in EHS working in academia, teaching, and consulting, he enjoys writing articles on risk, lab safety, and our softer power skills like storytelling, risk perceptions, persuasion, etc. As senior safety editor for Lab Manager, he gets to share these topics and many technical areas with readers. In his free time, he writes both creative nonfiction and many fictional stories and bikes every day. He looks forward to completing work on his dissertation and having a life once again.

Through his long career in safety, Jonathan has developed a significant network of other safety professionals. Several of them have reviewed the course content to ensure its accuracy.

Certificate availability

The Lab Manager Academy lab safety management certificate program will launch on Tuesday, September 12, 2023 in conjunction with the Lab Manager digital Safety Summit. The launch will consist of the four courses in the technical safety stream. The next two four-course streams will be available before the end of 2023.

Find more information and register for the Lab Manager Academy's new Lab Safety Management Certificate right here.