Talk: Enhancing Laboratory Safety and the Principles of Safe Research

Aug. 22, 2019

Every laboratory researcher must continuously address a key question: What makes the laboratory safe and how can safety outcomes be improved?  

Prof. Craig Merlic of UCLA will be visiting campus to address the research community about the importance of good safety culture and his experiences leading the newly formed UC Center for Laboratory Safety. 

Merlic's talk will take place Thursday, Sept. 5 at 3 p.m. in McDonnell Hall A01.
See event in University calendar »

The talk will be preceded by a Safety Fair in the Brush Gallery of McDonnell Hall, complete with health and safety related games and information as well as safety supply vendors demonstrating their products and services. The fair begins at 1 p.m.

Safety as a Common Goal

Laboratory safety is a clear and common goal whether one is a researcher, supervisor, principal investigator or EHS professional, but the approaches of these constituent groups vary. 

This presentation will examine actions that improve safety in a laboratory and how they can be encouraged. Safety culture will be addressed in terms of actions by students and faculty that influence safety outcomes such safety engagement as well as accidents. 

Recent cases of laboratory accidents in universities will be discussed in the context of ten principles of safe research that can serve as a guide for planning safer experiments.  

About Professor Merlic

Craig Merlic is a professor in the UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and executive director of the UC Center for Laboratory Safety.

Professor Merlic directs a research group in the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry focusing on applications of transition metal organometallic chemistry to organic synthesis. Current research is exploring copper, iridium, and palladium catalyzed coupling and functionalization processes. He has received several teaching awards and has also created several award-winning online educational projects addressing course content management and spectroscopy for organic chemistry.

Professor Merlic actively promotes chemical safety at UCLA, the University of California system, and academic institution nationwide. He serves as chair of the Department Safety Committee, chair of the campus-wide Chemical and Physical Safety Committee, and member of the UCLA Safety Oversight Committee.

At the University of California system-wide level, he is the Executive Director of the UC Center for Laboratory Safety that has ongoing projects to improve laboratory safety policies, procedures, and training based on scientific studies.

Through the Center he also manages the Safety Training Consortium that provides safety training courses to several dozen universities across the nation.