Research Safety Blog

Let's Call It a Day

By David Costa

A couple of weeks ago, America celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  I spent my day off from work thinking about what a great humanitarian Dr. King was, but also about all the other “special” days we celebrate.  It seems as if there is a special day for everything.

So, I did a little research.  Did you know that there are over 50 annual special days that are recognized by presidential proclamation?  In addition, there are over 60 days Americans celebrate that are not presidentially recognized.  These days consist of everything from Star Wars Day to Ice Cream For Breakfast Day.

It got me thinking.  Why is there no Researcher Day?

I understand that everything can’t be a Federal holiday or observed by presidential proclamation, but isn’t researchers’ contribution to humanity worthy of even an unofficial day?  At the very least, there isn’t one person on earth who hasn’t benefitted from taking an aspirin or cold tablet.  Why do we think Record Store Day and CAPS LOCK DAY are more important than celebrating researchers?

To be fair, the National Postdoctoral Association recently celebrated its fifth annual National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW).  Although I applaud their efforts, NPAW doesn’t pertain to all researchers, just a subset of researchers.  Why not celebrate all researchers, from graduate students to researchers who have been at the bench for years?

2014 headlines were filled with high-profile near misses at federally funded research laboratories.  We couldn’t help but be reminded of how researchers put themselves at risk on a daily basis.  Don’t these heroes deserve a day?  Isn’t recognizing the people who devote their lives to fighting cancer and AIDS, or those who’ve enhanced our lives with better technology more important than having ice cream for breakfast?

Official or unofficial, regarding researchers I say, let’s show appreciation to those who truly deserve it and  “call it a day.” 





Recorded Webinar: Marketing Your EHS Programs

Making the Connection: EHS Communications

Communication is no longer simple.  Smartphones, texting, emails, and social media have made communication more accessible, but is our communication as effective?  Is our communication reaching our targeted audience? 

Take group texts for example, someone sends a singular text out to their entire contact list rather than sending a personal message.  Sometimes this can be an effective way to get important information to multiple people.  But what about those people who the text doesn’t really pertain to?  Not to mention, receiving everyone else’s responses can be pretty annoying and interruptive.  Oftentimes people begin ignoring these texts.   Is this then effective communication?

The “group text” mentality has found its way into our laboratories and institutions.  Researchers are often barraged by bulk emails about training that don’t even apply to them.  What happens?  Researchers begin to ignore all such emails and miss ones that are pertinent.  All of a sudden, a researcher may find themself delinquent in compliance or training.  In an effort to make communication simpler or easier, we sometimes make it less effective.

How then can EHS effectively communicate with thousands of researchers?  Personal phone calls or emails are too labor intensive and “group” emails often are ignored.  What is the solution? 

The BioRAFT solution is to make communication easy and exact.  BioRAFT registers researchers by their hazardous exposures and job activities, matching training to researchers’ specific needs.  In addition, BioRAFT automatically sends researchers training notifications and reminders.  Communication in BioRAFT is not only effective, but efficient, as EHS saves time from manually calling or emailing thousands of researchers. 

BioRAFT’s effective and targeted communication does not stop at training.  EHS can target researchers based on department, building, laboratory, job activities, or even job title.  Whether they are promoting various internal safety campaigns or notifying laboratories about inspections, BioRAFT allows EHS to target specific audiences easily and efficiently. 

To see how BioRAFT makes EHS communications easier and more effective, register for our free webinar on January 27th.