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Course & Subject Guides

Chemical Safety - Oakland Campus

This guide is designed primarily to support the chemical safety education effort of the Department of Chemistry on the Oakland campus, but it should be useful to anyone working with chemicals at the University of Pittsburgh.

What is a safety culture?

Safety is important! Good safety habits can prevent injuries and save lives, protect property, improve productivity, and prevent economic loss. But safety doesn't just happen. It requires an ongoing commitment throughout an organization to adopt certain attitudes and habits that make safety a priority. Everyone accepts responsibility for safety and works to acquire safety knowledge and skills, maintain safety awareness, take appropriate action, and learn from experience.

The idea of a safety culture is summarized in The Safety Ethic offered by Robert Hill and David Finster in Laboratory Safety for Chemistry Students (2nd ed.) and also promoted by the American Chemical Society.

The Safety Ethic

Value Safety, Work Safely

Prevent At-Risk Behavior

Promote Safety, and

Accept Responsibility for Safety

RAMP - The Four Principles of Safety

In Laboratory Safety for Chemistry Students (2nd ed.) Robert Hill and David Finster discuss four principles of safety that can focus your thinking about safety and guide your planning and work with chemicals.

Recognize hazards 
Assess risks                                
Minimize risks
Prepare for emergencies

Developing a Safety Culture