In its commitment to provide a healthy and safe working environment for the CU community, Chulalongkorn University’s Center for Safety, Health and Environment of Chulalongkorn University (SHECU), is determined to make Chula a zero-accident organization by 2021.
On 26 May 2020, SHECU released four announcements on the standard practices of managing occupational safety and health in a working environment, and guidelines on radiation safety, chemical safety, and biosafety and biosecurity.
Professor Tirayut Vilaivan, Director at SHECU, reveals that in the past the safety on campus was managed by individual faculties and departments, causing the measures to lack consistency in practice. By 2016, the University established the Center for Safety, Health and Environment of Chulalongkorn University to promote and drive health and safety policies on campus.
Following the Occupational Safety, Health, and Environment Act in 2011, the University established a work safety management system that complied accordingly to the provisions. The four announcements released set clear guidelines to standardize the safety practices across campus. The four announcements are:
1. Guidelines on Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Management
2. Guidelines on Chemical Safety, Health and Environment
3. Guidelines on Radiation Safety, Health and Environment
4. Guidelines on Biosafety and Biosecurity
Professor Tirayut explains that to make safety efforts sustainable, people must realize the importance of these safety measures and put in the effort to normalize the idea of occupational safety. SHECU is responsible for coordinating with university faculties and departments to ensure that policies are implemented and providing support and guidance to the working units.
By 2021, the goal is to have a compliance officer in charge of occupational health, safety, and the environment in every department. While the long-term goal is to not only encourage the CU community to inherit these practices but to raise awareness of the importance of safety and normalizing it.
“Occupational safety laws and standards are not going to make our lives more complicated. On the contrary, it is something we should have implemented long ago. SHECU has built a system designed for these safety measures, along with hosting workshops to educate the different departments on campus. The highest goal of SHECU is to reduce the number of accidents on campus. We want to continually improve our working environment and for the CU community to realize that safety is everyone’s concern”, Professor Tirayut shares.
Professor Somkiat Ngamprasertsith, Chairperson of the Safety Committee of the Faculty of Science, mentions that the Faculty of Science, over the past 10 years, has implemented various safety guidelines. The labs at the Faculty have been granted with TIS 2677 – 2558 for two of its three labs.
Previously, the faculty implemented safety measures that followed the Enhancement of Safety Practice of Research Laboratory in Thailand and adopted several other measures from abroad. This announcement will provide better guidelines for staff working with machines, equipment, and hazardous materials, such as chemicals, or radiation. Although there may still be some flaws in the policies, it is a major step towards protecting the health and welfare of the CU community.
Vachiraporn Vilaiwan, Chula Safety Ambassador and PhD. student at the College of Public Health Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, is the representative spokesperson between SHECU and the students. Vachiraporn reveals that the four announcements do provide a clearer vision and can be easily implemented to increase safety and reduce risks of accidents on campus. “Safety starts with us”, Vachiraporn concludes.
For more information on occupational safety and health in a working environment, and guidelines on radiation safety, chemical safety, and biosafety and biosecurity, click here