Re: laboratory safety issues

From:Lee & Peggy Wenk

This seems to be a common thread with histotechs and safety.

We start by trying to make our lab (or in my case, classroom)
safe and up to code(s). We educate ourselves on safety. We
gather information, often times that we have bought with our
own money. We share this information with the people 
in our lab. We buy the supplies and equipment for our labs.

Then someone says - Hey, since you are doing such as
good job, could you also do it for my lab, or for the
rest of the department? Next thing you know, you are
safety officer, usually for the department of anatomic
pathology, sometimes for all of pathology. Usually without 
an increase in pay, but with a lot of increase of work.

They figure - hey, histology has the most chemicals, so
they should have the safety officer.

Sometimes, you end up training others outside of
pathology, or become responsible for chemical safety
or chemical disposal for the entire institution. Again,
without increase in pay.

Many times, it is a supervisor that is taking on this
additional responsibility. They usually are earning
more than a bench tech, but safety officer is usually
above and beyond their original responsibilities.

Some people continue to do it, because safety
is something they like and feel passionate about.
Some drop it because of the additional time
required, and time is something they don't
have, not with being supervisor and part-time
bench tech and everything else that needs to
be done. Some places rotate the job between

I wish we did get more money. I hope there is
someone out there that says they do get more
money for this responsibility, and can help you.

Maybe, if you figure out how many hours it
would take, and then ask the powers-that-be
which job responsibilities they want you to
drop of your regular job to fit in the new hours
of safety officer, that might wake them up.

Good luck.

Peggy A. Wenk, HTL(ASCP)SLS
Program Director Schools of Histotechnology
Safety Officer, Anatomic Pathology
William Beaumont Hospital
Royal Oak, MI 48073
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Maria Mejia" 
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2002 2:49 PM
Subject: laboratory safety issues

> Hello Everyone!
> I need some advise and assistance regarding laboratory safety issues and
> including
> the role of the Safety Officer. I'm a neurohistologist that works 75%.
> For several
> months, I've been working on a detail chemical hygiene plan for our
> institute in
> addition to my histology work. I even started a library of various
> safety books and
> safety videotapes for everyone to use at the institute. In addition to
> my histology
> duties (which currently dip and peak depending on the research project &
> PI), I've
> also been assigned the safety duties for the institute, that includes
> providing safety
> training sessions for EVERYONE at the institute.
> I was told by administration that all this is all part of my job as a
> histologist. I say it's
> above and beyond and my salary should be adjusted to reflect this. Am I
> wrong?
> Please any assistance or suggestions you can provide will be greatly
> appreciated.
> Now, I've gone through all my safety literature and no one talks about
> salary for the
> Safety Officer they only list and it's a long list of duties.
> regards
> Maria Mejia
> Smith-Kettlewell Eye Res. Inst
> S.F.CA

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