Tag Archives: Technical Presentations

2020-21 CHAS Journal Club Index

During the 2020-21 academic year, an average of between 15 and 20 people gathered to review and discuss academic papers relevant to lab safety in academia.

During the fall, we followed the traditional model of a presenter who led the discussion after the group was encouraged to read the paper. In the spring, we began a two-step process: first a table read where the group silently collaboratively commented on an abbreviated version of the paper in a shared google document one week and then had an oral discussion the second week. The second approach enabled much more engagement by the group as a whole.

The spring papers we discussed were primarily focused on graduate student led Lab Safety Teams and included (in reverse chronological order):

The fall papers were focused primarily on the idea of safety culture and included (in reverse chronological order):

  • What Is A Culture Of Safety And Can It Be Changed?
  • Safety Culture & Communication
  • Supporting Scientists By Making Research Safer
  • Perspectives On Safety Culture
  • Making Safety Second Nature In An Academic Lab
  • We will pick up the Journal Club again in the fall of 2021.
    We are interested in looking at the psychology of safety with 2 things in mind:

    • (1) papers with well-done empirical studies, and
    • (2) studies that investigate an issue that is present in academia.

    It is likely that papers that are investigating the psychology of safety have focused primarily on industry (construction, airplanes, etc), so it will be important to identify the specific phenomenon they are investigating and be prepared to translate it to academia. Questions about the CHAS Journal Club can be directed to membership@dchas.org

    Fall 2020 CHAS at a Glance

    The Fall 2020 ACS National Meeting will be held virtually. This page provides an overview of the CHAS activities associated with this meeting. You can download a printable version of the page here. Details about our technical program can be found at the ACS national meeting web site. You can also Visit the ACS Safety and Green Chemistry Booth near the exhibit hall entrance.

    Our Divisional Executive Committee business meeting will be held 10 AM to noon Pacific time on Sunday, August 16. Contact us at membership@dchas.org for connection details and the agenda book.

    SERMACS 2019 CHAS Presentations

    The 2019 Southeast Regional Meeting hosted a Division of Chemical Health and Safety symposium related to safety culture in the laboratory. The symposium was entitled Teaching, Creating and Sustaining a Safety Culture. This symposium was supported  in part by a Corporation Associates Local Section grant in the amount of $1,000.00 which was used to support the speaker’s travel costs. PDF versions of these presentations of this symposium are available below.

    Nurturing a safety culture through student engagement, Ralph House, UNC-CH

    Supporting a Culture of Safety with Teachable Moments Melinda Box NC State University

    Successful Execution of Top-Down Safety Culture at UNC-Chapel Hill Jim Potts UNC-CH

    Collaborative safety training and integrative program development Mark Lassiter Montreat College

    Cultivating a culture of safety in undergraduate chemistry labs at UNC Chapel Hill Kathleen Nevins UNC-CH

    From rules to RAMP: Embracing safety culture, expanding frontier as a recent graduate Rachel Bocwinski ACS

    SOPs, SOCs, and Docs: Developing peer-to-peer safety to fight complacency in synthetic inorganic chemistry Quinton Bruch UNC-CH

    Laboratory Safety Culture at UNC-CH Mary Beth Koza UNC-CH

    Making Chemistry Greener and Safer

    A Symposium of the 23rd Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference and 9th International Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry

    Organizers: Peter Reinhardt (Presider: peter.reinhardt@yale.edu), Ralph Stuart

    How major incidents can drive safety, sustainability and profitability: Lessons from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board,

    Kristen Kulinowski, U.S. Chemical Safety Board

    For 20 years, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) has investigated more than 100 major incidents where the accidental release of hazardous substances resulted in harm to people, property and the environment. Our investigations aim to understand and communicate the root and contributing causes of these incidents so they can be prevented in the future for a safer and more productive industry. As a non-regulatory, investigative Federal agency, the CSB issues recommendations for changes to industry practices, standards, and regulations and advocates for these changes to be propagated throughout the industry.

    While major incidents are always disruptive, and often tragic, they can present opportunities for facility management and employees to take stock of the facility’s overall operational efficiency and make improvements to the process that meet the twin goals of safety and sustainability. A facility that experienced a major incident may be motivated in the aftermath to assess and address other unrelated safety hazards as well as longstanding inefficiencies in plant operations. When equipment has been damaged or destroyed, the feasibility of redesigning a process to make it inherently safer and more sustainable can be assessed as part of the rebuilding or repair phase.

    This talk will present cases in which a major incident resulted in changes to processes that made them both safer and greener. One recent case, in particular, involved a top-to-bottom assessment of a facility’s operations that resulted in the complete phaseout of one hazardous chemical and ongoing efforts to drive toward more sustainable operations across the plant, even in areas that were uninvolved in the incident. The company reports that these changes have resulted in a streamlining of operations that is enhancing their bottom line. By talking with its peers about the incident and its post-incident improvements, this company is amplifying the message that safety, sustainability and profitability can be mutually supportive goals.

    Paradigm shift in approach to safety through green chemistry,

    Jane Wissinger, University of Minnesota

    The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)’s Hierarchy of Controls pyramid pictorially illustrates that the most effective method to improve safety is through elimination or substitution of the hazards. Yet, many research labs still choose to use old protocols, with, for example hazardous solvents and procedures, without considering recent green chemistry innovations demonstrating safer alternatives.

    This presentation will assert that green chemistry education is key to creating a paradigm shift that prioritizes minimizing the hazard for reducing risk instead of seeking ways to minimize exposure. More specifically, intersection exists between RAMP, the stepwise student learning tool developed by Hill and Finster, and the goals of green chemistry. Green chemistry metrics can be applied for Recognizing and Assessing the risk and, the increased abundance of green chemistry/safer alternatives resource guides and hazard assessment online tools can offer mechanisms to Minimize the risk. Initiatives by the green chemistry community to provide educational tools for teaching basic chemical toxicology informing safer chemical design and processes can also be impactful.

    Overall, applying green chemistry principles to chemical safety provides a unique opportunity for the chemical enterprise to meet our responsibilities to safeguard human health and the environment sustainably.

    Incorporating chemical safety into green chemistry graduate research and undergraduate curriculum

    Kendra Denlinger, Xavier University

    Green chemistry and chemical safety considerations connect in many different places in academic chemistry work. Two of these connections in both the graduate research laboratory and undergraduate curriculum will be discussed. Recently, an online green chemistry course for undergraduate students was introduced into the curriculum at the University of Cincinnati. This course, designed by 5 chemistry graduate students, walks participants through various aspects of green chemistry: history, solvent use, green chemistry metrics, various green methodologies, and community engagement.

    The incorporation of chemical safety into this course is discussed, along with proposed areas of improvement. Several examples of incorporating chemical safety into a graduate research setting are also discussed. These examples include using a near-miss incident and a green chemistry metric to improve the safety, as well as the greenness, of the research.

    Enhancing laboratory safety: Principles of safe synthetic chemistry,

    Craig Merlic, UCLA

    The twelve principles of green chemistry established in 1998 by Paul Anastas and John Warner elegantly prescribe ways to conduct chemical research and production in order to minimize hazardous effects on human health and the environment. As these principles address hazardous chemicals they also then directly impact safety in the conduct of chemical research and production. However, there is more to conducting safe synthetic chemistry than just these principles. This talk will outline the principles of safe synthetic chemistry that can broadly impact the chemical enterprise with concepts and examples relevant to both organic and inorganic synthesis.

    An active collaboration between faculty and research safety to evaluate green chemistry and safety from the bench to the institutional level

    Christopher Weber, Clemson University

    Green chemistry methods in academic teaching laboratories are widely acknowledged as being inherently safer than traditional organic synthetic methods, however, this may not always be the case when viewed from the broader institutional perspective. A green synthesis may provide greater safety for the student in the lab but may present unforeseen challenges at the university level in terms of waste disposal, chemical storage, and cost. The Clemson University organic teaching laboratories serve over 1,000 students per academic semester presenting the challenge of designing a green chemistry curriculum which is both green and safer at the bench and institutional levels. To address this challenge, a collaborative effort was made between the organic lab teaching faculty and the university’s Office of Research Safety to design a lab module which is greener and safer at both levels while providing the necessary chemical knowledge to the students.

    We have designed a 2-week laboratory module for chemical engineering students in which groups compare a new green synthesis of crystal violet with the traditional synthetic route. The methods are compared in terms of green chemistry principles and safety from the perspective of the bench chemist and the university safety professional. This approach provides the students with the requisite chemical and analytical knowledge as well as providing the Office of Research Safety and teaching staff valuable data with which further course improvements can be made in keeping with Clemson’s ongoing commitment to education, safety, and environmental stewardship.

    Suggested enhancements of green chemistry assessment tools crowdsourced from the ACS Committee on Chemical Safety

    Peter Reinhardt, Yale University

    Assessment tools have been developed to determine the relative “greenness” of chemical reactions, processes and products. These tools often overlook key safety factors that could render the “greenest” alternative impractical or unusable. In many cases, researchers and engineers assume that safety risks that may arise during green chemistry can be addressed with administrative and engineering controls, rather than averting safety risks altogether through experimental or production design.

    In August 2018, the American Chemical Society’s Committee on Chemical Safety reviewed two green chemistry assessment tools—EcoScale and Green Star. Multiple suggestions were made to improve the tools. By incorporating safety factors, the tools could be useful in choosing alternatives that optimize both greenness and safety. This paper will review the Committee’s suggested additions, explain the consequences of not considering safety, and recommend some reasonable changes so the tools can be more versatile and usable in the real world.

    Spring 2019 Technical Presentations

    The 2019 ACS National Meeting was held in Orlando, FL from March 31 to April 3. Our thanks to the authors who agreed to share their technical presentations below.

    Educating the Educators

    Ten Years After the UCLA Fire

    Improving Academic Safety Culture: Undergraduate & Graduate Student Leadership in Laboratory Safety

    The Chemistry of Disasters

    Posters Presented at SciMix

    Nanosafety and Awards Presentations at Boston National Meeting

    Nanomaterials: Applications, Safety Considerations, & Implications for Human Health & the Environment

    Role of the National Nanotechnology Initiative in the Safe and Responsible Development of Nanotechnology.
    M. Meador

    Nanotechnology: Where is it Today and is EHS a Part of Successful Commercialization.
    C. Geraci

    Back from the future: What nanotechnology can teach us about chemical safety today.
    K. Kulinowski

    CHAS Awards Symposium

    Looking forward: Fifty years experience in chemical safety.
    N. Langerman

    Zooming out: The future of chemical-research health and safety through a wide-angle lens.
    K. Brown

    Innovation transforming lives through the power of clean water.
    D. Schmidt

    Yale’s Safety Advisor Model for Supporting and Integrating Safety into Research. P. Reinhardt

    Fostering a culture of safety at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. C. Brennan, N. Eskew

    Dow Lab Safety Academy: Lessons Learned & Future Opportunities.
    L. Seiler

    Learning Laboratory Safety through Storytelling

    Enhancing the Culture of Safety through Good Storytelling.
    M.B. Koza

    How personal stories can support safety training.
    D.M. Decker

    What’s the point of your story?
    K.P. Fivizzani

    Playing with Fire.
    S.B. Sigmann

    An unknowing, unthinking, uncaring graduate student learns a lesson about safety.
    R.H. Hill

    The Genres of Science
    R. Stuart

    Turning safety observations into messages.
    T.C. Gallagher, R. Brian, R. Stuart

    From Storytelling to StoryMAKING.
    R.M. Izzo

    Preserving Institutional History of Chemical Incidents..
    P.A. Reinhardt

    Using Risk Management Techniques to Improve Situational Awareness and Accident Reduction.
    R. Lippman

    Chemical safety information in PubChem.
    J. Zhang, P. Thiessen, A. Gindulyte, E. Bolton

    Using the chemical inventory system to create research articles that include safety information.
    R.N. Vernon, K.N. Lamb

    JCHAS Editor’s Spotlight: Chemical safety education for the 21st century

    The Editor’s Spotlight for the May / June 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Health and Safety is shining on:

    Chemical safety education for the 21st century — Fostering safety information competency in chemists by
    Samuella Sigmann

    The abstract for this article is:

    During the education process, each person strives to acquire the necessary skill set or set of competencies needed to be successful in their selected career. For example, a job listing for a bench chemist might state that the successful applicant should have a BS in chemistry, (knowledge), be familiar with common laboratory operations (skills), and be a contributing member of a team (attitude). It is our job as curriculum designers and educators to give our students the competencies they will need to be successful. The chemistry curriculum must include those competencies needed for working safely in a chemistry research laboratory.

    This can be accomplished by weaving the knowledge component of competencies spirally into the chemistry major’s curriculum. We cannot assume that a student who has successfully completed a bachelor’s degree in chemistry has acquired the necessary competencies to perform a risk assessment or read a safety data sheet (SDS). Skill-based laboratory activity is valuable and can be specifically transferred to the next task, but knowledge and attitudes assist future learning in a nonspecific transfer and must be taught as ideas and principles. This work looks at the competencies required to be a chemist from an historical point and suggests ways that chemical safety information can be infused into the twenty-first century chemistry curriculum using embedded safety professionals, risk assessment, and SDSs to broaden and deepen safety knowledge.

    This article and the rest of the issue can be found at ScienceDirect site

    Also included in this issue of JCHAS are:

    Chemical safety information in the 21st century
    Ralph Stuart

    Collecting reaction incident information: Engaging the community in sharing safety learnings
    Carmen I. Nitsche, Gabrielle Whittick, Mark Manfredi

    Baseline survey of academic chemical safety information practices
    Leah McEwen, Ralph Stuart, Ellen Sweet, Robin Izzo

    The chemical safety gateway: Beyond Google’s limitations
    Abe Lederman, Sol Lederman

    ACS’s Hazard Assessment in Research Laboratories website: An important safety culture tool
    Kendra Leahy Denlinger

    JCHAS Editor’s Spotlight: Chemical suicides: Hazards and how to manage them

    The Editor’s Spotlight for the March / April 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Health and Safety is shining on:

    Chemical suicides: Hazards and how to manage them by
    Michael Logan and Christina  Baxter

    Michael Logan is affiliated with Research and Scientific Branch, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, GPO BOX 1425, Brisbane, Queensland 4001, Australia.

    Christina Baxter is affiliated with Emergency Response TIPS, LLC, Woodbridge, Virginia 22191, USA.

    The abstract for this article is:

    Emergency response to chemical suicides has become more common place in recent years. In order to address the operational implications of these events, it is first important to understand the methodologies which are commonly used, the locations where the events often occur, the concentrations of material generated, and how those concentration relates to exposure standards and flammability. Using hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, and phosphine as examples, guidance is offered about risk control measures including personal protective equipment and decontamination strategies to effectively and safely mitigate the incidents.

    This article and the rest of the issue can be found at ScienceDirect site

    Also included in this issue of JCHAS are:

    Expanding our Boarders: Safety at ABCChem 2018

    Anatomy of an incident—Multiple failure of safety systems under stress
    Hugo Schmidt

    Make safety a habit!
    Robert H. Hill

    The state of the arts: Chemical safety — 1937 to 2017
    Monona Rossol

    Contamination control monitoring at the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Plutonium Facility
    Michael E. Cournoyer