UCSC researchers receive safety equipment at campus-wide distribution

lab coat logo - be smart about safety
alison galloway with personal protective equipment
At the completion of the lab-coat fitting, Campus Provost/ Executive Vice Chancellor Alison Galloway prepares to leave with a bundle of personal protective equipment. (Photo by Richard Baldwin)
scott brandt gets fitted with a lab coat
Scott Brandt, vice chancellor for research, tries on his protective lab coat. (Photo by Christina Lombardo)
lab coat distribution event
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry provided space for the January protective equipment distribution event. (Photo by Christina Lombardo)

More than 680 UC Santa Cruz researchers were fitted with custom-designed lab coats and eye protection at a distribution event hosted by UCSC's department of Environmental Health & Safety.

The personal protective equipment distribution is a key component in an ongoing process to raise the standard of care and improve safety within the lab environment, said James Schoonover, environmental health and safety advisor with the Division of Physical & Biological Sciences.

The January event was organized by the campus Environmental Health and Safety department (EH&S), Division of Physical & Biological Sciences, along with the Enterprise Risk Management Team from the UC Office of the President and private contractors and vendors.

Each researcher received gender-specific, fitted lab coats and eye protection. The equipment provides an appropriate level of protection when working with hazardous materials. Alison Galloway, an anthropologist and campus provost and executive vice chancellor, and Scott Brandt, vice chancellor for research, participated along with other researchers, staff, and students.

Similar events have taken place or will soon at the other nine UC campuses and at Lawrence Berkeley Labs. The distribution of safety equipment is part of a UC system-wide effort in conjunction with each campus's environmental health and safety department and research divisions to have every principal investigator assess hazards in research labs and ensure that all researchers have and use the appropriate equipment.

EH&S Director Patrick Goff said the program is to "help ensure the health and safety of all researchers and as a visible, outward sign of improving the culture of safety within labs." UCSC is committed to providing a safe place to perform research and is demonstrating this by continuing the funding needed to protect laboratory personnel, he said.