Tag Archives: Teaching Lab Safety

5 Key Safety Questions for Chemical Demonstrations

At the Spring, 2017 ACS national meeting, CHAS members Ralph Stuart and Sammye Sigmann made presentations in the Division of Chemical Education technical program on topics related to undergraduate research safety. Sammye’s  presentation was entitled:
Integrating Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment into Course-based Undergraduate Research (CURE)

Ralph’s (which Sammye co-authored) was entitled:
Providing laboratory safety education to REU audiences.

In addition, they co-authored a poster for Sci Mix. An overview of the poster and a link to it are provided below.
In 2016, the ACS Division of Chemical Education (CHED) updated their “Safety Guidelines for Chemical Demonstrations”. The Guidelines are available at the CHED web site. Look at DCHAS web site to see how these guidelines align with the “5 Key Questions”.

This poster provides a quick overview of the five key safety questions that anyone planning chemical demonstrations or experiments should ask and answer prior to work. It is also important to be aware that local jurisdictions may require more extensive planning for some demonstrations and so for everyone’s safety – check with the local Fire Department for help with planning your demonstration.

The Five Key Questions are:

  1. What specific chemical or physical reactivity hazards are associated with the way I’m using these chemicals?
  2. What type of ventilation do I need?
  3. What personal protective equipment do I need?
  4. What emergency response protocols will be needed if something goes wrong?
  5. What will I do with the waste?

Sigmann, S.; Stuart, R.

Assessing Risk: Five Key Questions for Safe Research and Demos. inChemistry Magazine, 2016, September/October, 6-9.

Five Chem Safety Questions poster


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

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

Spring 2015 DCHAS Technical Presentations

acs denver

Legalized Marijuana & Health & Safety,
Monday, March 23

Taking Care of Mary Jane’s Workers J. Lieberman

Safety considerations in the development of sensible workplace drug testing policies for legalized marijuana. R.W. Phifer

Marijuana health and safety for licensed and regulated businesses C. Villano

State mandated testing of retail marijuana in Colorado. A. LaFrate

Safety and health standard of cannabis extractions with an emphasis on C02. A. Cahoj

Recent improvements in chromatography: Advancing chromatographic data quality to make a safer Cannabis product. A. Rigdon, R. Lake, R. Freeman, F. Carroll, T. Kahler

GC methods for Cannabis safety and potency testing A. Rigdon, J. Cochran, C. Hilliard, W. Schroeder, C. Schroeder, T. Flood

Safety in Undergraduate Teaching
Tuesday, March 24

Moving from Danger to Safety Culture R. Stuart

Teaching Basic Technique with a view into preparing for a safer educational and work environment. F.K. Wood-Black, K. Black

Using traditional safety rules to teach more advanced concepts in chemical hygiene. S.B. Sigmann

Talk dirty to me: Teaching undergraduate students the importance of good hygiene in the teaching laboratory. L. Gallion, A.M. Wilson, M.J. Samide

Risk hazard assessment in the general chemistry laboratory. S.D. Wiediger, A. Hyett

Developing a safety synergy in the chemistry department at Stanford University. C.T. Cox, S. Chan

Safety Friday: Do in-class safety presentations impact student behavior and perceptions of laboratory safety? A.M. Wilson, P.M. Morgan

Student view of safety in the undergraduate laboratory. T. Black, F.K. Wood-Black

Nitric acid acts upon trousers: Learning about hazardous chemicals. K.P. Fivizzani

Fall 2014 Technical Presentations

Powerpoint files from selected papers presented at the Fall 2014 DCHAS technical sessions can be found here.

DCHAS Awards Presentations

Decker its been a busy year. D. Decker

Keeping freshmen safe: A holistic approach to safety in undergraduate general chemistry. B. Enderle.

Planning accommodations for students with disabilities in chemistry teaching labs. J. Boval, S. Kennedy

Supporting and Facilitating Students and Workers with Disabilities in the Research and Teaching Laboratory

Creating a safe environment for service animals in teaching laboratories. D. Decker

Developing an inclusive environment for deaf A. Ross, S. Smith, T. Pagano
Accommodation_students with low vision S. Kennedy
3-Dimensional Printing as Means of Making Chemistry Accessible to Blind Students. D. Tantillo, H. Wedler

CHED Sustain-Mix

Safe Sustainable Laboratories: The DCHAS perspective R. Stuart

How Far We’ve Come: A Retrospective of Laboratory Safety Over the Decades

Decades and decades and decades of chemical safety: Where have we been and where are we going? J. Palmer

Environmental revolution of the 1970s: A paradigm shift. S. Sigmann

Communicating safety information. F. Wood-Black (Decker)

Laboratory safety and safety education: Past, present, future. R. Hill, Jr.

PPE: Outfitting UC’s laboratory heroes. K. Smith, E. Young

Laboratory incidents in the press: What do they tell us? R. Stuart

Greening Our Laboratories: How and Why?

Green chemistry is safe chemistry. D. Finster, S. Bradley, T. Goodwin

Green lab certification: Defining and incentivizing best practices. A. Batchelor, J. Tepe

Green labs self-assessment tool: Collaboratively developed, comprehensive and uniform. A. Doyle, A. Paradise

Cornell green labs: Engaging students. E. Sweet

Managing lab ventilation to balance safety and sustainability. R. Stuart, E. Sweet

Greening a modern multi-discipline research building in New York City. E. Talley

Recycling in teaching laboratories, easier than we thought. J. Emerson, A. Franz, C. Rosales