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Fearless Vision: Achieving Excellence in Research Safety

Fearless Vision LogoSafety Culture at UMD

 Launched in 2020, Fearless Vision: Achieving Excellence in Research Safety is a campus-wide initiative that focuses on streamlining research safety compliance and lifting the safety culture from transactional to transformational. Below is a listing of our current planned objectives which all focus on providing a strong foundation for Principal Investigators to build and manage their safety programs. Check back for updates on our progress. For questions or support please contact

  1. UMD Laboratory Notebooks (Completed) ESSR and VPR worked together to produce a UMD-branded research notebook that is customized with UMD information. Among the features, this notebook highlights the Expectations for Safe Research which guide our collective vision of a campus community that places the highest value on safe and responsible research. Notebooks are $35.00 and proceeds will be used to fund a campus-wide Research Safety Award. See Laboratory Safety Notebooks for more information.
  2. UMD Research Safety Standard (Completed) The UMD Research Safety Standard was developed by the Laboratory Operations and Safety Committee in response to a call to action from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities to strengthen the culture of safety within academic research operations. This standard provides clear roles, responsibilities, and procedures for all campus entities involved in the research enterprise. See Vice President for Research Announcement Letter.
  3. Updating the UMD Chemical Hygiene Plan and launching SciShield ChemTracker Module (Completed) The UMD Chemical Hygiene Plan is a regulatory document that is used to manage all chemical hazards in research. This year, ESSR is making substantive changes to reflect the enhanced Laboratory Safety program and providing tools and resources for researchers to more easily comply with the regulatory requirements. This includes the implementation of a centralized chemical inventory system which will live within the SciShield (formerly BioRAFT) safety management platform that researchers are familiar with for other safety related items. This centralization provides both a single platform for researchers to navigate safety related responsibilities and the ability for inventory information to be quickly used in emergencies by first responders.
  4. Research Safety Training Enhancement (In Progress) A USM audit indicated that tracking metrics for research safety-related training completion is a high priority for the University System. We will be using the SciShield system to provide automatic reminders to individuals who need training and provide digest summaries to Principal Investigators to track safety training metrics within their own laboratories. As there are many changes to university procedures regarding research safety, ESSR will be providing a Safety Management for Principal Investigators to ensure all PIs are aware of their research safety responsibilities.
  5. Prescription Safety Glasses (Completed) ESSR is partnering with Cintas/Essilor to provide a prescription safety glasses program for all researchers. Funding has been allocated from the VPR and Provost to start the implementation of this program. 
  6. Satellite Emergency Beacon Rental Program (Completed) The APLU report identified that universities think about research safety beyond the bounds of the campus into field environments. This new program will provide a rental program for field researchers who work in remote locations where cellular service is not adequate for emergency situations.
  7. Laboratory Hazard Warning Signage Moves to SciShield(2022) In keeping with the goal of streamlining research safety resources through the SciShield platform, ESSR is moving the laboratory hazard warning signage information collection to SciShield. This system will work with information already in the system and make managing signage faster and easier for research groups. The physical signs will also be replaced with ones designed with the capacity to contain more hazard and safety information.
  8. Redeploy UMD Safety Culture Survey (TBD)In 2014, the Office of Research Safety administered a Research Safety Survey aimed at better understanding current safety practices, perceptions, and attitudes within our research community, with a goal of identifying resources needed to support a positive culture of safety. This predates the major changes to research safety procedures including the implementation of the centralized SciShield safety management platform. A redeployment of the survey will allow the university to monitor changes in safety culture over time. 
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