All posts by Ralph Stuart

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.

Howard Fawcett Chemical Health and Safety Award

Download the Nomination Application Form for this Award Here: [Click here to download the Howard Fawcett Nomination Form in Word format]

Statement of Award Purpose

The Howard Fawcett Chemical Health and Safety Award recognizes outstanding individual contributions to the field of Chemical Health and Safety.

Award Amount and Recognition

  • $500 Honorarium
  • Engraved plaque including name of recipient

The recipient of this award is expected to deliver a 15 – 20-minute presentation at the CHAS Awards Symposium at the ACS Fall national meeting in the year that they receive the award. The presentation may be on any topic related to chemical safety.

Description of Eligible Nominees

The award is to be granted for outstanding contributions in the field of chemical health and safety without regard to age, nationality, race, gender or race. Nominees are not required to be members of the Division of Chemical Health and Safety. An individual may be named as the nominee or an organization (company, department, etc.) may be named. If a team is nominated, an individual must be identified as the primary contact to represent the team.

One award is given per year.

Eligible Sources of Nominations

  • Any CHAS division member
  • Subordinate (student, employee, etc.)
  • Superior (supervisor, director, etc.)
  • Peer

Additional Information about this Award

In 1998, as a memorial, the CHAS Award was renamed the Howard H. Fawcett Chemical Health and Safety Award and is now known simply as the Howard Fawcett Award. It was originally supported, in part, by the Safety and Occupational Health Division of E.I. DuPont de Nemours, and by Jay A. Young.

More information about Howard Fawcett can be found here:

Howard Fawcett CHAS Award Recipients

2022: Dr. Susan Silbey,  Professor of Humanities, Sociology and Anthropology, MIT

2021: Robert Toreki, Ph.D., Interactive Learning Paradigms, Incorporated (ILPI)
2020: David Finster, Ph.D.

2019: Samuella Sigmann
2018: Dow Chemical Company
2017: Monona Rossol, President of Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety, Inc.
2016: Lee Latimer
2015: Jyllian Kemsley, C&ENews

2014: Sheila Kennedy, University of California San Diego
2013: Proctor and Gamble’s Children’s Safe Drinking Water program

2012: Robert Emery
2011: Eugene Ngai
2009: Chemical Security Engagement Program of the U.S. Department of State
2008: U.S. Chemical Safety Board

2007: Salvatore R. DiNardi
2006: D. Jeff Burton
2005: Edward H. Rau
2004: Thomas Goehl
2003: Harry J. Elston

2002: Robert H. Hill Jr.
2001: Eileen Segal
2000: Emmett Barkley
1999: Linda Rosenstock
1998: Janet Baum

1997: Louis DiBerardinis
1996: Ralph Stuart
1995: Warren K. Kingsley
1994: Daniel Crowl
1993: Howard F. Fawcett

1992: Kenneth Yoder
1991: Jay A. Young
1990: Stanley Pine
1989: Douglas B. Walters
1988: Leslie Bretherick

1987: Samuel S. Butcher, Dana W. Mayo, Ronald M. Pike
1986: Blaine C. McKusick
1985: Malcolm Renfrew
1984: Warren Kingsley
1983: Herbert House

Tillmanns-Skolnik Award

Download the Nomination Application Form for this Award Here: [Click to Download Tillmanns-Skolnik Nomination Form]

Statement of Award Purpose

The Tillmanns-Skolnik Award was established in 1984 to recognize and honor outstanding, long-term service to the Division of Chemical Health and Safety.

Award Amount and Recognition

  • $500 Honorarium
  • Engraved plaque including name of recipient

The recipient of this award is expected to deliver a 15 – 20-minute presentation at the CHAS Awards Symposium at the ACS Fall national meeting in the year that they receive the award. The presentation may be on any topic related to chemical safety.

Description of Eligible Nominees

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.

One award is given per year.

Eligible Sources of Nominations

Any CHAS division member

Additional Information about this Award

The Tillmanns-Skolnik Award was established in 1984 to recognize and honor outstanding, long-term service to the Division of Chemical Health and Safety. Originally named the Distinguished Service Award, it was renamed the Tillmanns-Skolnik Award in in 1986 to honor Emma Jean Tillmanns-Skolnik.

Previous Winners

  • 2020: Robin M. Izzo
  • 2019: Harry Elston
  • 2018: Diane Grob Schmidt
  • 2017: Robert Hill
  • 2016: Sammye Sigmann
  • 2015: Ralph Stuart and Robert Toreki
  • 2014: Kim Jeskie
  • 2013: Neal Langerman
  • 2012: Ken Fivizzani
  • 2011 Frankie Wood-Black
  • 2010 Debbie Decker
  • 2009 Ralph Stuart
  • 2008 Stefan Wawzyniecki
  • 2007 Frankie Wood-Black
  • 2006 Barbara Foster
  • 2005 Russell W. Phifer
  • 2004 Neal Langerman
  • 2003 Peter Ashbrook
  • 2002 Robert Alaimo
  • 2001 Warren Kingsley and Elizabeth Weisburger
  • 2000 Laurence J. Doemeny and Douglas B. Walters
  • 1999 Sung Moon
  • 1998 Erik A. Talley
  • 1997 George H. Wahl, Jr.
  • 1996 Eileen B. Segal
  • 1995 Steve Szabo
  • 1994 Po-Yung Lu
  • 1993 Ruth Hathaway
  • 1992 Ernest I. Becker
  • 1991 Pat Redden
  • 1989 Jay A. Young
  • 1988 Donald Hedberg
  • 1987 Lyle H. Phifer
  • 1986 I.J. Wilk
  • 1984 Howard Fawcett


Events Planned for 2016

The technical program at the ACS National Meeting in San Diego March 12-16  is quite full, with over 50 papers on a variety of topics. This also includes a slate of chemical safety workshops; information about these can be found here.

The  Call for Papers for at the National Meeting in Philadelphia is now available.

The new Cannabis Subdivision of DCHAS is planning both technical symposia and workshops to be presented at the national meetings.


Pacifichem 2015 Lab Safety Symposium

Symposium on Safety in the Academic Research Laboratory 

Chemical research laboratories often house hazardous materials, which with proper training and use can be used safely and without incident. Unfortunately, most academic labs do not have the requisite culture or knowledge to eliminate/minimize hazards that exist. As evidence, we only need to point to recent devastating incidents that have occurred in academic settings. It is important for faculty, staff and students alike to have a positive attitude towards safety, be aware of all possible hazards and how to meliorate them, and adopt a safety ethos. Recent events have led to several studies identifying mechanisms to build a “culture of safety” in academic research laboratories. This symposium will explore global efforts that are currently underway to enhance awareness and improve the safety environment for all students in academic settings. Presentations such as those discussing the US National Research Council Study Report on “Establishing and Promoting a Culture of Safety in Academic Laboratory Research” and the ExxonMobil Partners in Academic Lab Safety (PALS) will be highlighted, along with sister efforts around the Pacific Rim.

SCTY 18: Safe science: Promoting a culture of safety in academic research (link to report discussed in this presentation)
Holden Thorp

SCTY 19: Safety first culture in Australian laboratories
Angelica Vecchio-Sadus

SCTY 20: Comprehensive and effective program for environmental safety education in universities
Yoshiko Tsuji

SCTY 21: Laboratory safety in ChBE at Georgia Tech and the PALS collaboration with ExxonMobil

SCTY 22: International differences in laboratory safety preparation for chemistry graduate students
Russell Phifer

SCTY 23: Evolution of safety culture in University of California academic research laboratories
John Palmer, Lawrence Wong

SCTY 24: Laboratory Scale Risk Assessment
Neal Langerman

SCTY 25: Study of students’ engagement in various styles of safety videos
Haim Weizman

SCTY 46: From accident analysis to accident prevention at UCLA
Craig Merlin

SCTY 47: A student’s perspective on safety in the academic lab
Nils Persson

SCTY 48: Assessment and management of chemical risks in academic laboratories: (1) Important factors for risk assessment in chemical laboratories
Hitoshi Yamamoto

SCTY 49: Advancing safety culture in academic research laboratories: A case study (link to the study discussed in this presentation)
2:00pm-2:20pm Tue, Dec 15 Lawrence Gibbs

SCTY 50: Assessment and management of chemical risks in academic laboratories (2) Influence of laboratory layout on airflow in university laboratory
Yukiko Nezu

SCTY 51: Assessment and management of chemical risks in academic laboratories (3) Oshima et al – Observing behavior of experimenter and chemical
Yoshito Oshima

SCTY 52: Ensuring a safe and successful research laboratory for deaf and hard-of-hearing undergraduate students
Todd Pagano

SCTY 53:  Supporting a prudent safety culture through job hazard analysis and information literacy skills
Ralph Stuart

SCTY 54: Critical role of public access to chemical data and information in supporting safety culture in academic research laboratories
Leah McEwen

SCTY 55: Leveraging academic safety culture as a value-added tool for maximizing the undergraduate research experience and Introducing general chemistry students to academic safety culture through participatory case study development Gregory Ferrence