Online Program

How a PPE compliance program is changing safety culture: Practical steps to making real improvements

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 8:54 a.m. - 9:06 a.m.

James Gibson, PhD, MPH, Office of Environment, Health and Safety, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
This is an abstract for a 90-minute session under Laboratory Safety in the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Section Changing the culture of safety is one of the biggest challenges facing health and safety professionals. This is particularly challenging in academic research settings where academic freedom is paramount to the creative process. Rather than impede the creative process, developing a strong safety culture can enhance it by encouraging discovery without accidents, injuries and laboratory shutdowns. The establishment of a defined policy on personal protective apparel and equipment(PPE) program at UCLA along with an accompanying PPE compliance program has led to real and measurable changes in safety culture. These changes have been tracked since the program's implementation in 2010 and have resulted in significant improvements in PPE compliance. The objective of the session is to comprehensively describe the process that UCLA undertook to develop this program and provide empirical data to demonstrate positive changes in the safety culture. The presentation will also provide practical step-by-step guidance on how other research institutions can develop similar programs and performance metrics to measure success.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Describe the process in developing a PPE program. Provide empirical data to demonstrate positive change. Formulate step-by-step guidance to develop similar program and performance metrics.

Keyword(s): Occupational Safety, Safety in Labs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: For 5 years, I have been setting the foundation, creating and instilling a strong safety culture at UCLA in the capacity of the Director of the Office of Environment, Health and Safety, including the establishment of a PPE compliance program and surprise inspections.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.