University Strengthens Laboratory Safety

Posted: August 19, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Fran Rensbarger

Last week, Lisa Curry took responsibility for environmental, health, and safety matters in all research and instructional laboratories of George Mason in her position as the director of laboratory safety. The newly created position, which reports to the vice provost for research and was created to improve lab safety across all three campuses, separates all lab safety and security from general campus safety issues, which will still be under the purview of the university safety officer.

“Ensuring safe and environmentally responsible conduct of instruction and research in the university laboratories must be an integral part of the academic enterprise of the university, not only to ensure that what we do here is appropriate but also to ensure that our students learn how to apply best practices in their professional lives when they are no longer with us,” says Chris Hill, vice provost for research. “At the same time, we are organizing the work of the new laboratory safety director in a way that will provide for close day-to-day coordination with those responsible for environmental and safety management across all university functions.”

Curry will be responsible for oversight of radiation safety, biosafety, animal care facilities, and general chemical and biological materials safety on all three campuses. She will also be required to monitor the university’s lab safety program, and will be training faculty, staff, and students.

Curry’s goals include establishing uniform safety standards and ensuring that all laboratory operations are conducted in a safe manner and comply with applicable federal, state and local regulations; providing adequate safety training for researchers, faculty, students, and staff; and further developing safety policies, procedures, and guidelines for Mason laboratories.

Curry earned her Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the University of Michigan, and served as a project scientist whose responsibilities included developing and implementing safety procedures at the Dow Chemical Company, formerly Union Carbide, in South Charleston, W.V.

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