DCHAS Comments on ACS role in safety culture

In a June 27 C&EN comment, Tom Connelly posed a number of questions about possibly increasing the Society’s role in promoting chemical and laboratory safety. As part of that comment, he posed seven specific questions in an attempt to obtain input on this matter. Those seven questions are listed below.

The deadline has been extended to Friday, October 21st, so if you has time to contribute to this issue, could you please send any comments to safety@acs.org.

Many thanks.

Rod Bennett,
Chair, Committee on Divisional Activities

· Should ACS Publications and CAS in­crease safety content and considerations in our publications and online information?

· How can we ensure that all ACS content (print, virtual, video) not only conforms to safety best practices, but actively promotes best practices?

· How might ACS increase its program­ming related to safety at our national and regional meetings?

· After the Bhopal, India, tragedy, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers launched its Center for Chemical Process Safety; it is now the “go-to,” authoritative source on the subject. Is there an analo­gous role for ACS in chemical laboratory safety?

· Through our Committee on Professional Training, ACS approves bachelor’s degree chemistry programs. Part of this approval involves an examination of safety policies and procedures. All ACS-approved chem­istry departments must have a written chemical hygiene plan consistent with Oc­cupational Safety & Health Administration and state standards. Are there ways to mea­sure various institutions’ underlying safety cultures as well?

· Can ACS partner with other organi­zations to promote tools that will help institutions strengthen their safety pro­grams? The Society of Chemical Manufac­turers & Affiliates (SOCMA) provides its ChemStewards technology to industrial laboratories. Does it have applicability in academic labs?
· Should ACS include safety explicitly within its core values? This step will be con­sidered formally by our board during the preparation of our 2017 strategic plan.

The responses from the DCHAS division Executive Committee are in PDF form here: dchas-comments-on-acs-role-in-safety. ACS members in general are encouraged to add their thoughts on these question at safety@acs.org

The Safety Committee of the Division of Chemical Education also developed a response on CHED’s behalf. This response can be found here.

Safety Culture Education Discussion

At the September CSHEMA regional meeting, three DCHAS members (Gail Hall of Boston College, Zehra Schneider-Graham of the University of Massachusetts Boston, and Ralph Stuart of Keene State College) participated in a panel discussion about how Environmental Health and Safety Departments can best support laboratory safety culture through their safety training efforts. The presentations discussed the challenge of developing training programs that reflected the institutional culture while also addressing regulatory requirements.

Three key lessons from the Lab-XL project with the EPA were highlighted:

  • Each academic institution is unique
  • Connecting to the academic mission is necessary to motivate organizational change
  • Flexibility goes a long way in laboratory settings

In addition to describing approaches to this issue in the undergraduate and graduate laboratory settings, the panel presented the results of a DCHAS/CSHEMA survey of safety education efforts. PDF versions of the presentations and the survey results are provided here:

Developing Safety Culture Education at a PUI Campus, Ralph Stuart

Naming the Dead Cat in the Middle of the Table, Gail Hall

Survey on Lab Safety Culture Education on Campus, Zehra Schneider-Graham

Safety Culture Education Survey Results Data (in PDF) (if you are interested in these data in Excel format for further exploration, contact Ralph Stuart at ralph.stuart@keene.edu).

Also note this related article from the Journal of Chemical Education on Using the Universal Design for Learning Approach in Science Laboratories To Minimize Student Stress

BCCE Risk Assessment Presentations

The links below provide access to risk assessment presentations and tools for teaching laboratories and chemistry demonstrations presented at the 2016 Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (BCCE). The presentations were made by Ralph Stuart of Keene State College and Sammye Sigmann of Appalachian State University. These documents are still in development and they would appreciate questions and comments about ways to improve them.

Presentation on Hazard and Risk Assessment for Chemical Demonstrations

Samuella B. Sigmann, NRCC-CHO Appalachian State University
Irene Cesa Flinn Scientific (ret.) and
Monique Wilham University of Michigan – Flint

Presentation: Chemical Demonstrations: Assessing Hazard and Risk

Text document: Aligning risk assessment questions with ACS CHED Demonstration guidelines

Text document: Sample Risk Assessment for the “Elephant’s Toothpaste” demonstration

Presentation on Meeting New Chemical Safety Expectations in Instructional Laboratories

Lab Risk Assessment Workbook
(Excel, Beta Version)

DCHAS Posters 2016

Posters from the DCHAS poster session in Philadelphia:

EHS challenges in 3D Printing
Pat Mulrooney, Sr. Staff Industrial Hygenist, Lockheed Martin Corporation

Vacuum System and Schlenk Line Safety
Tilak Chandra and Jeffrey P. Zebrowski

What’s in a Code of Conduct?
Frankie Wood-Black

Good Neighbors – What does it take to be a good neighbor?
Frankie Wood-Black

You have 5 minutes with your elected representaive. What would you ask him or her to do related to safety?
rankie Wood-Black

Incorporating chemical safety and security into the undergraduate curriculum
Ursula J. Williams, Sharon S. Yohn, Daniel R. Dries, Richard R. Hark, Amber J. Helsel-Ickes, John B. Unger Department of Chemistry, Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA 16652

Establishing a Safe Workplace Culture
Mark Thomson Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI

Re-organizing the CPT Undergraduate Guidelines to Elevate the Status of Safety and Ethics in the Chemistry Curriculum
David C. Finster, Department of Chemistry, Wittenberg University

Safety & ethics in ACS and major engineering societies: A gap analysis
Daniel R . Kuespert PhD, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Laboratory Incidents in the University Of Sonora: Student’s Perspective
C.R. Álvarez-Chávez, R. Ruiz-Talavera, F.O. Muñoz-Osuna, L.S. Marín-Ramírez, A. Zavala-Reyna, R. Pérez-Ríos, M.E. Arce-Corrales
Universidad de Sonora. Hermosillo, Sonora, México

Risk Perception in Laboratory Students of the University of Sonora
K. Pérez-Gámez, C.R. Álvarez-Chávez, F.O. Muñoz-Osuna, L. S. Marín-Ramírez, L. E. Velázquez-Contreras, J. Esquer-Peralta Hermosillo, Sonora, México. Universidad de Sonora.

Using Public Information to Support Chemical Safety

Laboratory use cases for chemical safety information
Ralph Stuart

Risk assessment and crisis management in the research laboratory using online resources: A EH&S perspective
Neelam Bharti

UCal Chemicals: An overview of growing challenges
Chris Jakober, Russell Vernon, Phillip Painter

Chemical Safety and Hazard Information in PubChem
Jian Zhang

Semantic annotation of the LCSS in PubChem
Gang Fu

GHS and NFPA diamonds: How they can be useful
Roger Sayle

iRAMP & PubChem
eah McEwen

Chemical Classification ClassyFire Applications in EHS
Yannick Feunang

Surveying the chem safety landscape
Ralph Stuart

Related CHED and CINF presentations:

Co-developing lab safety and chemical information skills
Ralph Stuart and Leah McEwen

Regulatory Issues in the Lab: Chemical Security and the ADA

Chemical Security

Navigating CFATS in Academia. R.M. Izzo

Addressing Chemical Security Concerns in a Research Lab Setting. M.B. Koza

ADA Issues in the Lab

Overview of the Federal regulations that require physical accessibility in labs & the “Building Blocks of Accessibility” that apply in lab settings. J. Perry

Special Health and Safety Considerations for Persons with Disabilities Who Work in Scientific Research, Testing, or Teaching Laboratories. J. Baum

Accommodations and Modifications in Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities. J.Zesski

ADA Technical Assistance Centers Who we are and what we do. C. Sweet

Institutional Responsibilities for Adapting Laboratories for Students with Disabilities Responsibilities. S.M. Kennedy, J. Boval

Tools for Adapting Laboratories for Students with Disabilities S.M. Kennedy, J. Boval

Brief overview of service animals C. Sweet

Chemical Safety and Public Policy

Sustainable chemistry and public policy. R.J. Garant

Evaluating Risks – Understanding multiple perspectives. F.K. Wood-Black

What you need to know about TSCA reform. A.M. Noce

California’s Safer Consumer Products Program: Asking the Questions. A. Doherty

Some government relation lessons from the development of Subpart K. R. Izzo

Influence of litigation on corporate behavior . N.R. Langerman

Safety policies of peer-reviewed journals L. Grabowski, S.R. Goode

Public policy statements advising policymakers and regulators. K.P. Fivizzani

EPA TSCA June 30 2016 webinar

Chemical Safety in the K-12 Classroom

Incorporating basic chemical hygiene concepts into the secondary education methods course for pre-service science teachers.
S.B. Sigmann

Revising CHED’s Minimum Safety Guidelines for Chemical Demonstrations
I.G. Cesa, D.C. Finster, S.B. Sigmann, M.R. Wilhelm

Practical approach to NFPA 45
R. Stuart

Enhancing safety in a chemistry high school classroom: ACS Science Coach approach.
Y.I. Gonzalez

SOCED on Challenges and opportunities affecting safety in the K-12 classroom.
D. Krone

ACT on Challenges and Opportunities affecting Safety in the K-12 Classroom
S. Hawkins.



Philadelphia CHAS at a Glance

You can download the CHAS at a glance – Philly Fall 2016 for the Philadelphia National Meeting from this page.  A quick summary is

3 workshops (registration required):
Fri. Aug. 19th (8:30 AM to 4:00 PM)
Laboratory Waste Management

Sat. Aug. 20th (8:30 AM to 4:00 PM)
How to be a More Effective Chemical Hygiene Officer

Sat. Aug. 20th (8:30 AM to 4:00 PM)
Chemical Reactivity Hazards: Laboratory Scale Recognition & Control

DCHAS Executive Committee Meeting (all members invited)

Download the Agenda Book from the bottom of this page.
Sunday, Aug 21 8 AM to noon
Marriott Downtown, Grand Ballroom Salon C

Monday Evening, August 22nd
Wine and Cheese Reception

Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent
15 South 7th St., Philadelphia

Sponsored by: Workrite Corp. Chem Service, Inc.,
WC Environmental, LLC Midwest Chemical Safety


  • Division of Chemical Health and Safety Awards
  • Americans with Disabilities Act and Accommodations in the Laboratory
  • Ask Dr. Safety: Chemical Security in Research Institutions
  • Chemical Safety in the K-12 Classroom-Oral
  • Safety and Ethics in our Chemical Community
  • Chemical Safety in Public Policy
  • Biochemistry of Cannabis
  • Using Public Information to Support a Chemical Safety Culture, Co-sponsored with CINF

DCHAS Agenda Book

Division of Chemical Health & Safety
Executive Committee ACS Spring 2016 Meeting

Sunday, August 21th, 8 AM to Noon
Marriott Downtown, Grand Ballroom Salon C

Download the entire agenda book in PDF

Reports (8:30am-9:30am)

1 DCHAS Chair report – John Palmer (see attachment 1)

2 Treasurer’s Report – Neal Langerman (see attachment 2)

3 CHAS Councilor report– Bob Hill and Frankie Wood-Black
(see attachment 3)

4 Admin Manual report: Administrative Manual and Bylaw Updates – Sammye Sigmann (see attachment 4)

5 JCHAS Editors Report – Harry Elston (see attachment 5)

6 CHAS Programming Committee – Debbie Decker (see attachment 6)

BREAK (9:45-9:55am)

7 DCHAS secretary report – Ralph Stuart (see attachment 7)

8 CHAS Membership Report– Joe Pickel (see attachment 8)

9 Policy Writing Team – Ken Fivizzani (see attachment 9)

10 Government Relations Committee– Ellen Sweet (see attachment 10)

11 Report on IPG Survey Development (IPG Group 1) – Ellen Sweet

12 CANN Report– Ezra Pyror (see attachment 11)

Other reports from the floor


Control Banding in the Laboratory

Here is a collection of web-based information about using chemical safety levels or other control banding techniques in the laboratory. If you know of another resource or example that we should add to the list, contact us at secretary@dchas.org.

General Information

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

OSH Answers Fact Sheets

NIOSH Control Banding Page

Overview of Control Banding Theory and Research

Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals

Wikipedia description:

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe “About the GHS” page:

OSHA guidance:

PubChem Laboratory Chemical Safety Summaries:

1999 Article in the Journal of Chemical Health and Safety

Chemical safety levels (CSLs): A proposal for chemical safety practices in microbiological and biomedical laboratories

Specific Applications

Laboratory Inspection Frequency

University of Michigan Lab Hazard Rank

Laboratory Personal Protective Equipment Selection Guide

University of South Florida

Laboratory Standard Operating Procedures

University of California Davis

Laboratory Ventilation

Cornell University Ithaca Laboratory Ventilation Management Plan

Laboratory Emergency Response

University of North Carolina Greensboro

Working Safely with Engineered Nanomaterials in Academic Research Setting

California Nanosafety Consortium of Higher Education

Control Bands in Biosafety Settings

Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) 5th Edition