Safety Message

Foreword from the Head of Department

On behalf of the Department of Pharmacology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, let me extend our warmest welcome to those who have just join the Department. For those who have just arrived from overseas, welcome to Singapore.

I am sure that you, either as a research staff or postgraduate students, have come with much enthusiasm about your undertakings in this department for the next few years. Each one of you will embark on a different project but you all have one thing in common, that is the desire to succeed. We are here to help you along the way to success. We recognize that the most difficult period is always in the very beginning when you are in a new environment, not sure about what you are doing and how things should be done. This is why the department has expended much effort in producing this webpage to guide you.

Essentially, rules are made for two important reasons. Firstly, personal safety is of utmost importance. During the period of stays with the Department, you will have to handle many hazardous substances such as toxins, corrosives and radioactive materials. You must behave responsibly so that no one is subjected to unnecessary risk. I would like to appeal to you in particular that if and when an accident occurs, do not cover up and just slip away. You should instead inform all the relevant people so that damage and hazards may be minimized. There cannot be any penalty for such responsible behavior. The department is interested only in safety for all. Personal safety is not complete without security in the work place especially when you work alone late into the night, so please study the safety and security measures and put them into day-to-day practice.

Secondly, a harmonious atmosphere in the work place reduces stress and increases productivity. Most of the rules made in this regard are really just common courtesy that we should extend to all our colleagues at all times. As it is often said: "A little consideration goes a long way". I have no doubt in my mind that success will come with relative ease in a safe, secure and harmonious working environment.

Foreword from the Department Safety and Health Committee Chair

On behalf of the Department of Pharmacology’s Safety and Health committee, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to all the members of the Department.

The Department of Pharmacology, in line with current NUS policy and Government legislations, is acutely aware of the necessity to adhere to international standards of safety legislation. The Department fully recognizes that not only does safety ‘begin at home’, but also that all personnel working in, or visiting the Department must be fully briefed on Department/University safety policies. All staff and students in the Department of Pharmacology firmly believe that safety is a serious issue that concerns all personnel’s working in the various laboratories and offices. It is, therefore, essential to have in place a robust safety management system that can provide a range of instructional and resourceful materials to aid the researchers/members fully comprehend the incorporation of the fundamental rules of safety practices into their daily work routine. Hence, the department has put up a great deal of effort in constructing this webpage to educate and guide all the members.

The Department will strive to further enhance this culture so that it becomes an instinctive behavior in all staff and students. We hope that our success will motivate others to conscientiously feel the need and to develop new initiatives to protect their own people within their work environment.

Department Safety Policy

The Department of Pharmacology views the nurturing, long-term development, and refinement of a safety culture among all who work in the Department as of utmost priority and importance.


Scope:

This policy has been established to protect the safety and health of all occupants of the Department of Pharmacology, students, staff and visitors stationed at MD3 premises.


Our objectives are to:

  1. ensure that all who work in the Department (including visitors and workers) are made aware of the importance and relevance of all safety regulations and abide by them fully, and
  2. nurture a 'safety culture' that is comprehensive, easy to understand and, most importantly, strictly followed by all who work in our research laboratories or conduct practical classes for students in the teaching laboratory.

Personal Responsibility of All Staff and Students for Safe Practices

To achieve the objectives, the Department will continually cultivate and nurture safe and healthy practices in teaching and research. We will ensure that all staff members, students, contractors and visitors take personal responsibility to prevent from and protect against potential injuries to themselves and their colleagues.


Equipment Safety

Equipment safety for all users is assured by insistence on hands-on training prior to use. Regular inspection and maintenance of all laboratory equipment will be closely monitored, according to manufacturers’ recommendations


Commitment to Safety Compliance

The Department is committed to comply with all legislations, guidelines and standards prescribed by OSHE and Government organizations in relation to safety, health, and environmental issues and will review these periodically to ensure their relevance and compliance.


Mandatory Training for All

The Department fully supports the Structured Safety Training System organized by OSHE to help protect lives by preventing mishaps, accidents and injuries. These measures will indirectly reduce operating costs. PIs must ensure that lab members, including students under their charge, attend in-house training and external training courses relevant to their job scope and the work hazards they face in the course of their work.

Accident Prevention


Staff and students alike must report any incident to their respective PIs immediately. We also stress the importance of ensuring that prompt and proper corrective action is implemented in line with recommendations and SOPs.


Environment Protection

PIs are required to consider the following before submission of any protocol for risk assessment:

Is the procedure necessary?
Can the procedure be replaced by other safer approach?
Can the amount of hazardous substances used be minimized?

Proper inventory and management of hazardous materials must be thoroughly recorded. All wastes generated must be treated and disposed of in an environmentally safe manner. To ensure this, only licensed toxic industrial waste collectors are engaged for waste disposal.


Communication

The policy shall be communicated to all occupants and feedback will be provided through the department website, welcome folder, Safety bulletin board, regular meetings and safety orientation sessions.


Total Workplace Safety and Health System (TWSH)

The Department fully supports the TWSH program introduced by University or Faculty. The Department will take effort to promote a conducive environment for the implementation of TWSH. We will monitor and evaluate the implementation of TWSH initiatives in department in order to integrate workplace health, safety and well-being activities of our staff.


Review and Continual Improvement

The Department will carry out periodic review of control measures, unannounced safety inspections, internal audits and consultations with staff and students to ensure the Health and Safety objectives are achievable, appropriate and effective.

The Department will continually strive to ensure that the culture of safe laboratory practices is ingrained in the attitude and behavior of all its staff and students. To ensure this, the Department will consistently upgrade and update the knowledge, skills and awareness of safety issues among all its staff and students.


Associate Professor W.S. Fred Wong
Head
Department of Department, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
Reviewed on 30 October 2016