All posts by Ralph Stuart

2016 BCCE Lab 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)



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

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

Chemical, Sample & Asset Management Tools

Wednesday’s presentations on Chemical, Sample & Asset Management Tools discussed a variety of aspects of how the safety program collects, organizes and uses data and information related to chemicals and their hazards. The morning’s presentations focused on chemical inventories: why institutions need them; some platforms for collecting and reporting the information associated with them; and what they look like “on the ground”.

The afternoon presentations took a more global approach to chemical safety information in the lab, discussing the organizational, environmental and information contexts of this data.  The last speaker of the day described an emerging innovative approach to collecting “Lessons Learned” information from laboratory events,

Chemical inventories: What are they good for? R. Stuart

How UNHCEMS has evolved from a Chemical Inventory Tracking system to an Environmental Management Tool. C. Myer, P. Collins, A. Glode

Use of RFID and scanning technologies for managing large Chemical Inventories. J.M. Pickel 10:25: Intermission.

Developing a cloud based chemical inventory application for the University of California System (UC Chemicals). H. Weizman

Using a chemical inventory system to optimize safe laboratory research. G. Baysinger, R. Creed, L.M. Gibbs

Chemical stockroom management: Lessons learned ten years in. S.B. Sigmann

UC Safety: An Integrated Approach to Your Chemical Management Needs (link to demo site) J. Ballinger

PubChem’s Laboratory Chemical Safety Summary (LCSS). S. Kim, J. Zhang, A. Gindulyte, P. Thiessen, L. McEwen, R. Stuart, E. Bolton, S. Bryant

Socio-Legal Issues in the Application of Semantic Web Technology to Chemical Safety. J.G. Frey, M.I. Borkum

Precompetitive collaboration to advance laboratory safety C.I. Nitsche. Link to the project web site.

Developing, Implementing & Teaching Hazard Assessment Tools

Tuesday’s presentations discussed the Developing, Implementing & Teaching Hazard Assessment Tools from a variety of points of view, including their impact on lab safety culture; their role as an information and educational process in the laboratory; and how institutions can provide oversight of the quality of this work.

The afternoon session was a 3 hour workshop that discussed how the Bowtie Methodology to hazard and incident analysis can be applied in the laboratory sessions through several examples worked through in small groups.

Creating a Culture of Safety: APLU Recommendations and Tools for Universities and Colleges. K. Jeskie

Parsing the Chemical Risk Assessment Process for the Laboratory. R. Stuart

Incorporating Hazard Assessment into Laboratory Curricula: One Pathway to Growing a Sustainable Safety Culture. L.J. Tirri

A Remarkable Advance in Lab Coats for Chemical Exposure Prevention C.A. Merlic

Software Tools to Assist and Promote Laboratory Safety. C.A. Merlic, S.M. Hussain

Using Case Studies and Receving Ancillary Benefits Through Instruction and Use of What-If Hazard Reviews in an Academic Research Environment. K.W. Kretchman

System to identify, analyze and control the hazards of laboratory researcher at Argonne National Laboratory. S. Baumann, S. Rupkey

Hazard Review and Approval System at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. S.G. Ringen

Development of a database for hazard assessment and work approval in the Material Measurement Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). E. Mackey, C. Vogel, B. Brass

Introduction to Bowtie Methodology for a Laboratory Setting. C. Boylan, M.B. Mulcahy

Safety Culture Begins in the Classroom; the Impact of UCLA and TTU

The first two half day symposia in the DCHAS program at the ACS national meeting discussed the role of safety culture in the teaching laboratory and the impact of the UCLA and Texas Tech incidents since the Chemical Safety Board report was published in 2011.

Safety Culture Begins in the Classroom: Demonstrations, Awareness, & Pre-Lab Planning

Wild, Wild West to GHS: Reflections on my first year as a general chemistry laboratory coordinator. R. Sansom, M.B. Allen

Safety education for early lab students: How do they learn it before they need it? S.M. Kennedy

Chemical demonstrations: The good, the bad, the ugly.  D.A Katz
Resource file: Chemistry Club Demos

Development of demonstrations – a collaborative project between the safety office and teaching assistants. D.M. Decker, J.T. Greenfield

Anatomy of an Incident M.E. Cournoyer

How Texas Tech & UCLA Have Affected Laboratory Safety Nationwide

We better watch out: Prevention beats reparation. K.P. Fivizzani

Digging Deep: the response to cultural issues. K.B. Jeskie

Changing a culture: The accident at Texas Tech, what happened in the next ve years, and why you should develop a culture of safety: thoughts from the department chair at the time. D.j. Casadonte

Developing a chemical safety program from lessons learned. J.H. Wright

Developing standard operating procedures (SOPs) – a tale of a really fun project (really!). D.M. Decker, C.A. Jakober. Related materials: UCD_SOP_Pyrophorics_template and Pyrophoric_Spill_Flowchart_v1.0

Improving safety performance and compliance through web-based tools. D.A. Harvey

What a CSB Safety Investigator does

The ACS Multimedia Lab has produced a video about one of the DCHAS members, Mary Beth Mulchahy, a PhD chemist who is now a safety investigator with the US Chemical Safety Board. The What Chemists Do short videos feature chemists and the diversity of careers in the profession. We hope the video content will be insightful to both aspiring chemists (students) and chemical professionals. mary beth

Mary Beth Mulcahy, Ph.D, is an investigator at the U.S. Chemical Safety Board. Mulcahy doesn’t normally know what her day is going to be like at work. As an investigator at this federal agency, Mulcahy typically gathers evidence and witnesses at an incident scene. But her work goes beyond crunching data and analyzing numbers. Listen as Mulcahy shares her experience working at the CSB and what it takes for young professionals to be an investigator.

Visit to discover the various industry member programs at the American Chemical Society.


San Diego CHAS at a Glance and EC Agenda

The CHAS program for San Diego is summarized in the CHAS at a Glance PDF file available for download here: CHAS at a glance – San Diego Spring 2016 chas at a glance

The Executive Committee’s agenda book for the spring national meeting in San Diego on Sunday March 13 is available in PDF format from this link. All DCHAS members are welcome to attend; if you are unable to, feel free to send comments on the agenda items to the Secretary at

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

Sunday, March 13th
8:30 AM – 11:00 AM (Breakfast at 8:00 AM)

Hilton Gaslamp – Santa Rosa Room

Officer Reports (8:40am-9:30am)
Chair’s Report – John Palmer (see 01 Chair Report)
Past Chair’s Report – Debbie Decker (see 02 Immediate past chairs report)
Treasurer’s Report – Neal Langerman (see 03-Treasurers-Report)
Secretary’s Report – Ralph Stuart (see attachment 4)
Councilor Report – Bob Hill and Frankie Wood-Black (see 05 Councilors Report to CHAS SD)
Special Guests [9:30-9:40am – intro & short presentation plus questions/comments] (Ken Smith – Jason Spruell)

BREAK (9:45-9:55am)

Committee & Other Reports (10:00-11:00am)

Programming Committee (see 06 Programming report)
JCHAS Editor’s Report – Harry Elston (see 07 JCHAS Editors Report)
Government Relations Committee (see attachment 8)
Long-Range Planning Committee / Administrative Manual / ByLaws (see09 Long Range Planning Committee Report)

Cannabis Subdivision Update (see 10 CANN Report)
Strategic Plan Progress Reports (see 11 Educational Programming report)
Philadelphia Social Event
Awards Committee
Membership Committee (see 12 Membership report)
Policy Writing Team (see 13 Policy Statement Writing Team)

ACS Strategic Plan (see 14 ACS strategic plan 16)
Updates from the CHED Safety Committee and input from other Divisional Reps.

Learning Opportunity in Identifying Safety Barriers at the SD National Meeting

Traditionally, safety controls (barriers) have been identified as physical in nature—like a fume hood, glove box, or personal protective equipment—intended to separate and protect people and the environment from specific hazards. However, the success of physical barriers in a laboratory setting depends upon specific behaviors by the laboratory workers; these, in turn, are influenced by organizational policies and oversight and an organization’s explicit commitment to them. Consequently, to assure their effectiveness, the safety barrier concept has to be extended beyond physical safeguards to consider a variety of organizational and operational barriers. By expanding the scope of safety barriers to include system factors, it becomes clear that safety requires continual monitoring and response at many levels of an organization.

As part of its technical program at the San Diego national meeting, DCHAS will be offering an innovative, interactive technical session to help people across the laboratory community, including students, faculty, lab staff, research administration and Environmental Health and Safety staff gain experience in understanding the interplay of the protective barriers in the laboratory setting.

On Tuesday afternoon, March 15, Mary Beth Mulcahy, investigator at the Chemical Safety Board, will chair and Chris Boylan of Det Norske Veritas will lead a workshop entitled “Introduction to bowtie methodology for a laboratory setting”. Using real world examples from both the teaching and research laboratories, this workshop will help participants acquire skills in identifying how safety barriers in the laboratory interact and when those interactions can lead to safety failures.


More information about this workshop can be found in this PDF document: Introduction to the Bowtie Methodology in the Laboratory Setting

In order to help us plan for the most productive audience session, please contact Mary Beth at if you’re planning on attending.

Become a Member

Membership Benefits

Membership in the Division of Chemical Heath and Safety is a powerful tool for chemical health and safety professionals in industry, academia and government. Membership benefits include access to theDCHAS e-mail listserv. This diverse group is comprised of safety professionals (with a wide range of backgrounds and careers) who freely share their experiences, insight, and knowledge when members have questions and serve to mentor safety professionals to help ensure their success. You will also receive notice of papers to be presented and social events at National Meetings.

You can join the Division at the ACS web site at

To receive the ACS Journal of Chemical Health and Safety, you can receive it as a membership benefit by joining the ACS itself at the ACS membership website.
For more information, please contact Ralph Stuart, Membership Chair at