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Dow partners With UC Santa Barbara to improve safety in university labs

chemicalsThe Dow Chemical Company and UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) are are working on a pilot program to improve laboratory safety awareness and practices in the College of Engineering and in the Departments of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Materials.

"Dow recognizes that laboratory safety is a continuing challenge for universities everywhere, and we have the expertise to be part of the solution," said Dr. William F. Banholzer, Ph.D., executive vice president and chief technology officer at Dow.

The company has similar safety partnerships under way with the University of Minnesota and Penn State University. Dow’s best practices focus on incident prevention and on spurring a high level of engagement in safety awareness among faculty and students.

University laboratory safety has improved steadily over the last two decades, thanks largely to the enactment of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Laboratory Safety Act in 1990. However, a significant difference in safety awareness and responsibility is still observed when personnel transition from academic to industrial laboratory settings.

Through this laboratory safety partnership, UCSB says it will  form an interdepartmental team, with graduate students and faculty from each participating department. Working with Dow, the team will establish a baseline on safety culture and behavior, and then develop a program to address critical needs. In addition, Dow will host members of the UCSB team at its sites to share its best practices and collaborate on ways to adapt those practices to a university setting.

For more information on Dow's partnerships with universities, visit www.dow.com/innovation/partnership.

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