About the Research Safety First Initative

The Research Safety First Initiative launched in 2022 as a new phase in the partnership between the University of Michigan, Environment, Health and Safety and the U-M Research and Academic Safety Committee. The initiative is designed to support U-M researchers by reducing burden while also increasing adherence to research safety requirements, based on feedback from laboratory directors, unit safety committees and others.

Research and Academic Safety Committee Goals

The RASC’s overall mission is to enhance the culture of research Safety on the Ann Arbor Campus via a continuous improvement model that is collaborative in nature as an ongoing effort.

Individual goals to support culture enhancement including knowledge sharing for enterprise:

  • Ensure leadership is demonstrating safety is a core value of the institution through a consistent and visible commitment to the Research Safety First Initiative.
  • Follow a campus-wide approach to overall consistency toward enhancing the safety culture while allowing for flexibility within the implementation within units to best meet their needs and serve their communities.
  • Promote an environment where safety is a consideration in decision making.
  • Ensure that the U-M research community has a voice, and feels safe, as well as equipped, to report any safety issues or concerns.
  • Ensure that the U-M research community fully understands their roles and responsibilities with regard to safety and receives the necessary knowledge to perform their job safely.
  • Ensure that the feedback loop on identified safety issues and concerns is closed in a timely and sustainable manner and that units are implementing their safety accountability processes when necessary.
  • Position EHS as a resource for safety information and consultation for the research community.
  • Promote the reporting of incidents and near misses that occur on our campus and share lessons learned broadly to create an environment where reporting is safe and others can benefit from the experience to prevent future occurrences.
  • Promote the sharing of best practices around research safety across the campus community.
  • Prioritize the analysis of the reduction of research burden in all of our activities.
  • Promote excellence in research and academic safety performance.
  • Collaborate with Flint and Dearborn campuses to share resources and future plans for the Ann Arbor campus and discuss how their campuses can leverage this guidance to enhance their culture.