Congratulations to Samuel Page of Imperial College London, winner of the Inaugural UCSF Award for his proposal “Growing a network of PhD Safety Champions – transforming safety from a foe to a friend”.
Most universities have little or no student representation at Health & Safety (H&S) discussions. For example, there is only 1 PhD representative for almost 500 Chemistry students at Imperial College London. Other PhD students interact with the H&S professionals only through inspections or incident investigations. They can feel hounded or poorly understood by the Safety team. I propose a system of student Safety Champions selected from each research group for a period of one term. They will lead safety discussions during group meetings and interact more closely with the safety team ensuring two – way communication and feedback from all students.