Thanks to an Innovative Project Grant from the American Chemical Society to the Division of Chemical Health and Safety, we are able to share the video below with the research chemistry community. The video is 2 minutes and 12 seconds long and provides an overview of the reasons that conducting a risk assessment of laboratory work is so important to maintaining situational awareness as laboratory work proceeds.
The video is meant for sharing – it carries a non-commercial, by attribution Creative Commons license and can be downloaded here.
In addition, the Division has developed a powerpoint file to serve as a teaching that accompanies the video. You can download the powerpoint file here:
Our thanks for their help with this video to :
1. Rachel Brian of Blue Seat Studios for her creativity
2. Tim Gallagher of the University of Bristol in the UK for suggesting this video and his ongoing collaboration in developing the content
3. The more that 300 people who viewed previous versions of the video and the many people who provided helpful suggestions for improving those versions.
4. The ACS Innovative Projects Grant program for funding this project.
Comments and questions about this video can be directed to Ralph Stuart, membership chair of DCHAS at email@example.com
In the 21st century, chemistry research is more varied and expansive than ever before, the rules that keep one lab safe will not adequately address the possible risks in others. Rather than having a universal set of rules, a more adaptive system is needed for both academic and industry labs. Ralph Stuart, Chemical Hygiene Officer at Keene State College, and Samuella Sigmann, Senior Lecturer at Appalachian State University, propose a new way of thinking that builds a dynamic safety system based on your own needs and conditions as well as provides resources on how such programs can be developed.
You can download a PDF of the presentation here.
The webinar was attended by over 850 people, who asked many more interesting questions than we were able to answer during the webinar. We built a web page to answer questions we didn’t get to and provide our initial answers. Some of these questions have many possible answers. Let us know if you have comments or questions on what we’ve said or ask an additional question on the web page.
In case you’re curious, you can see what some of the comments from those who attended in the 2018-03-08 Safety Webinar Speaker Feedback infographic.
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:
- What specific chemical or physical reactivity hazards are associated with the way I’m using these chemicals?
- What type of ventilation do I need?
- What personal protective equipment do I need?
- What emergency response protocols will be needed if something goes wrong?
- 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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org).
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
Laboratory use cases for chemical safety information
Risk assessment and crisis management in the research laboratory using online resources: A EH&S perspective
UCal Chemicals: An overview of growing challenges
Chris Jakober, Russell Vernon, Phillip Painter
GHS and NFPA diamonds: How they can be useful
iRAMP & PubChem
Chemical Classification ClassyFire Applications in EHS
Surveying the chem safety landscape
Related CHED and CINF presentations:
Co-developing lab safety and chemical information skills
Ralph Stuart and Leah McEwen
Legalized Marijuana & Health & Safety,
Monday, March 23
Taking Care of Mary Jane’s Workers J. Lieberman
State mandated testing of retail marijuana in Colorado. A. LaFrate
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
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
Student view of safety in the undergraduate laboratory. T. Black, F.K. Wood-Black
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
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
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
How Far We’ve Come: A Retrospective of Laboratory Safety Over the Decades
Communicating safety information. F. Wood-Black (Decker)
PPE: Outfitting UC’s laboratory heroes. K. Smith, E. Young
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
Managing lab ventilation to balance safety and sustainability. R. Stuart, E. Sweet
Recycling in teaching laboratories, easier than we thought. J. Emerson, A. Franz, C. Rosales