Over the past ten years, there have been several high-profile accidents in academic laboratories around the world, resulting in significant injuries and fatalities. The aftermath of these incidents is often characterized by calls for reflection and re-examination of the academic discipline’s approach to safety research and policy. However, the study of academic lab safety is still underdeveloped and necessary data about changes in safety attitudes and behaviours has not been gathered. This Review article critically examines the state of academic chemical safety research from a multifactorial stance, including research on the occurrence of lab accidents, contributors to lab accidents, the state of safety training research and the cultural barriers to conducting safety research and implementing safer lab practices. The Review concludes by delineating research questions that must be addressed to minimize future serious academic laboratory incidents as well as stressing the need for committed leadership from our research institutions.
Ménard, A. Dana and Trant, John F.. (2020). A review and critique of academic lab safety research. Nature Chemistry, 12 (1), 17-25.