June 25, 2018
Since January, discussions among CSHEMA members have led to the creation of three new Communities of Practice: Animal Research Health & Safety, International Campuses, and Field Research Safety.
The Animal Research Health & Safety Community of Practice became open to all members in April and by mid-June the community had nearly 130 members. Led by Gabrielle Repik, a facility manager and assistant biosafety officer at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Stephenie Langston, a research regulatory analyst at the University of Florida, the community has generated 72 unique discussions and seen 23 documents and datasets uploaded into the community’s’ library.
The stated purpose and goals of the community of practice are to:
- Create conversations between safety and animal care staff.
- Create reference documents, guides, and templates for consistent animal protocol reviews.
- Review journal articles and discuss research scenarios.
Both the International Campuses and Field Research Safety communities of practice are expected to become open to the full CSHEMA membership by July 7 as the CSHEMA Annual Conference opens in Baltimore.
During its incubation process, the International Campuses community drew 11 members and is expecting to grow. It is currently led by Marcos Aguilar, lab safety specialist at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, and Kent Clawson, director of building services and health, safety, security, and environment at Texas A&M Qatar in Doha, Qatar. The community expects to look at topics that might be unique to non-U.S. operations, like best practice safety standards, U.S. Export Control, Clery Act/Title IX Compliance, customs importation, and emergency evacuation processes.
The Field Research Safety community has drawn expressed interest from more than 70 CSHEMA members. Their initial group of members developed the following statement of purpose:
- Educational and research activities conducted off-campus present unique risk management challenges for researchers, trip leaders, and their respective institutions. The Field Research Safety Community of Practice aims to provide a forum for health and safety professionals to share resources and best practices in hazard assessment, emergency planning, and research-specific training for both urban and remote field settings (excluding conference travel, study abroad programs, university-sponsored volunteer activities, and work at other institutions).