Category Archives: CHAS materials

2019 CHAS Awards Symposium

The 2019 CHAS Awards were presented at the San Diego National Meeting in August. The awardees and their presentation files are provided here

Ken Fivizzani was presented with the CHAS Lifetime Achievement Award. His presentation was entitled “Seeking the promised land of chemical safety”.

2019 CHAS Lifetime Achievement Award

Sammye Sigmann was presented with the Howard Fawcett Award. Her presentation was entitled “What Can We Learn from Lemony Snicket?”.

2019 CHAS Awards Symposium Howard Fawcett Award
2019 CHAS Awards Symposium Pitt Safety Stratus College and University Award

The University of Pittsburgh was presented with the SafetyStratus College and University Award. Their presentation was entitled “Safety-Culture Growth Catalyzed by an Undergraduate Laboratory Safety Course”

Harry Elston was presented with the Tillmans Skonik award. His presentation was entitled “Leading from the Front“.

2019 CHAS Awards Symposium Tillmanns-Skolnik Award

The final speaker was a guest invited by Sammye Sigmann, Stella Sommer. She spoke on “Rasmussen’s Risk Management Framework Applied to Academic Laboratory Safety”

2019 CHAS Awards Symposium Stella Sommer Invited Speaker Fresno State

CHAS at a Glance – August 2019

“CHAS at a Glance”, the summary of Division of Chemical Health and Safety activities for this month’s ACS national meeting is now available in two formats:

The first is in a format suitable for printing on 8.5×11 paper

The second is a PDF file in “infographic” format suitable for easy scanning on a portable device.

Download one and both to help keep track of what the Division is up to from August 25 – 28!

The agenda for CHAS Executive Committee meeting on Sunday morning of the meeting is available here.

Orlando CHAS At a Glance

CHAS at a Glance for the Spring, 2019 National Meeting is now available here.

CHAS at a Glance includes information about the CHAS workshops, technical symposium, and social hour. If you’re able to attend the meeting, which starts this Sunday, please stop by our CHAS Open Business Meeting on Sunday, March 31, 2019 10 AM to Noon in
Orange County Convention Center – Room W 312 C, Orlando, FL. You can download the agenda of this meeting here:

We hope see you there!

SDS 23 Years Later updated with survey results!

In the December, 1995 issue of the Division’s Journal of Chemical Health and Safety, Neal Langerman reported on a survey he conducted among industrial clients of his company about the value of MSDS collections for the companies. His article can be downloaded here:

Twenty-three years later, much has changed in the world of chemical hazard communication, both in terms of the communications technology used to share the information involved and, with the advent of the GHS system, the contents of the materials itself. 

To help assess us what progress has been made in hazard communication performance, we did an informal poll of the CHAS membership. We received 139 responses, with distinct patterns to their responses.

You can download summaries of their responses and comments in 5 files:

Related to this topic, there is an interesting 2018 article on Evaluating the readability and suitability of construction occupational safety and health materials designed for workers that includes SDS’s as part of their evaluation of safety literature for construction workers.

Nominations sought for 2019 CHAS awards

The American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Health and Safety is seeking nominations for the division awards described below.  

More information about each of the awards can be found on the CHAS website at

The deadline for nominations is December 1, 2018.  

All awardees will be notified by Spring 2019, and awards will be presented at the national ACS meeting in August, 2019.  Please direct all questions and submit nominations to the Awards Chair, Kimi Brown, at

  • Tillmanns-Skolnik Award was established in 1984 to recognize and honor outstanding, long-term service to the Division of Chemical Health and Safety. Nominees must have been an active member of the division for at least five years and have shown, though personal effort, outstanding support for the realization of CHAS’s goals in Chemical Health and Safety.
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award from the ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety recognizes a lifetime of dedication and service to the American Chemical Society, the ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety, and the field of chemical health and safety.  The awardee will have shown support for the goals and activities of CHAS, the ACS, and the chemical health and safety community; and will have, through personal effort, helped CHAS and the ACS reach those goals.

Safety as an ACS Core Value

In December, 2016, the American Chemical Society’s Board of Directors adopted “Professionalism, Safety and Ethics” as a core value of the Society in its Strategic Plan.

In order to make this commitment more concrete, ACS’s 2018 President, Dr. Peter Dorhout (his twitter feed can be found here) convened an ACS “Safety Summit” in February, 2018. The report on the ACS Safety Summit can be downloaded here.C&EN’s report on the summit can be found here.

Ralph Stuart, the chair of the ACS Committee on Chemical Safety reported to the Committee on the summit and how the Society is planning on incorporating safety into its overall strategy to support its members, educators, decision-makers and the public. His presentation to the committee can be downloaded here.

Please feel free to share any questions and comments on this work with either Peter or Ralph.

Safety Guidelines for the Chemistry Professional

Over the course of 2016 and 2017, representatives of the American Chemical Society’s Committee on Chemical Safety and Division of Chemical Health and Safety developed an ACS policy statement on chemical safety as well as document describing Safety Guidelines for the Chemistry Professional. These are designed to support chemists as they perform their daily work in safe and environmentally responsible way.

Catching up with Runaway Hot Plates

Attached to this link is a PDF version of the poster below on Runaway Hot Plates. This poster was part of the DCHAS collection at the 2017 SciMix sessions in Washington, DC. Questions about the poster should be directed to the authors:

  • Kimberly Brown of the Office of Environmental Health and Radiation Safety at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA,
  • Mark Mathews of the Environmental Safety and Health Directorate, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge TN and
  • Joseph Pickel of the Physical Sciences Directorate, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge TN

Developing a Safety Culture

Institutional & Enterprise Level Efforts to Developing a Safety Culture

The Chemical Safety Board: Safety is good business and good policy. V. Sutherland

Safety Googles aren’t for nerds. T. George

Changing the federal oversight model of the Department of Energy National Laboratories. J. McBrearty

Are you prepared for a journey? K. Jeskie

Grassroots Approaches to Developing a Safety Culture

Improving Safety in the Chemical Enterprise Through Transparent Sharing of Best Safety Practices. M. Jones, L. Sellor, Dow

Back to Safety Basics at Northwestern University. M. Blayney

Building a Safety Culture: An Undergrad Perspective N. Fredstrom

OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs. D. Kalinowski

The Joint Safety Team: A researcher-led initiative for improving academic safety culture C. Gee

Collaborative efforts between faculty and embedded safety professionals to improve critical thinking skills of undergraduates
S. Sigmann

Characterising bias in regulatory risk and decision analysis

There’s an interesting, although dense, article at
entitled “Characterising bias in regulatory risk and decision analysis: An analysis of heuristics applied in health technology appraisal, chemicals regulation, and climate change governance”. It describes the root issues that many of us face in using specific tools (GHS, Job Hazard Analysis, Control Banding, etc.) to make decisions in the face of uncertainty. I am particularly interested in the article’s discussion of decision rules in Table 1 and how that compares to the various approaches outlined in Identifying and Evaluating Hazards in Research Laboratories.

In my mind, the goal of the article is to remind us to put some error bars arounds our decision-making criteria as we proceed with any of these approaches.