The 2023 Southeast Regional Meeting hosted a Division of Chemical Health and Safety symposium titled Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities in Laboratory Safety. Links to the powerpoint files are listed below.
Over the past decade, there has been increasing interest in improving the safety culture of laboratory settings. How do we identify and implement indicators of success of these efforts? When are quantitative cultural measurements available and when do we need to rely on qualitative indicators of movement forward? Both theoretical ideas and concrete examples of the use of this approach are welcome in this symposium.
3745133 – Indicators of success in a safety culture, Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO, Presenter
3733703 – What’s in a name? Mapping the variability in lab safety representative positions, Sarah Zinn, Presenter; Imke Schroeder; Dr. Craig Merlic
3755577 – Factors for improving a laboratory safety coordinator (LSC) program, Kali Miller, Presenter
3754791 – Empowering student-led organizations to create effective safety policies, Angie Tse, Presenter
3738023 – Quantitative and qualitative indicators of safety culture evolution by the joint safety team, Demetra Adrahtas, Presenter; Polly Lynch; Sofia Ramirez; Brady Bresnahan; Taysir Bader
Division of Chemical Health & Safety General Papers
3752873 – Case studies and chemical safety improvements, Sandra Keyser, Presenter
3737640 – Storytelling is an art in building a “safety first” culture, Irene Cesa, Presenter; Dr. Kenneth P Fivizzani; Michael Koehler
3728705 – Vertical safety engagement through new community connections committee of the UMN joint safety team, Vilma Brandao, Presenter; Zoe Maxwell, Presenter; Jeffrey Buenaflor, Presenter; Gretchen Burke, Presenter; Steven Butler, Presenter; Xin Dong, Presenter; Nyema Harmon, Presenter; Erin Maines, Presenter; Taysir Bader; Brady Bresnahan
3752771 – Health and safety information integration: GHS 2021 version 9 in PubChem, Jian Zhang, Presenter; Evan Bolton
3754174 – Laboratory databases: Applications in safety programming, Magdalena Andrzejewska, Presenter
3748086 – Boundary Conditions- designing and operating laboratory access controls for safety, Joseph Pickel, Presenter
3741150 – Safety in the catalysis research lab, Mark Bachrach, Presenter
3754630 – Risk, safety, and troublesome territoriality: Bridging interdisciplinary divides, John G Palmer, PhD, Presenter; Brenda Palmer
3751492 – Risk-based safety education fosters sustainable chemistry education, Georgia Arbuckle-Keil, Presenter; David Finster; Ms. Samuella Sigmann, MS, CCHO; Weslene Tallmadge; Rachel Bocwinski; Marta Gmurczyk
02:00pm – 04:05pm CDT
Division of Chemical Health & Safety Awards Symposium
Brandon Chance, Organizer, Presider
3754798 – Interdepartmental initiatives to improving campus chemical safety, Luis Barthel Rosa, Presenter
3738511 – Building and sustaining a culture of safety via ground-up approaches, Quinton Bruch, Presenter
3750224 – Safety net: Lessons in sharing safe laboratory practices, Alexander Miller, Presenter
3740645 – Governing green labs: Assembling safety at the lab bench, Susan Silbey, Presenter.
Dr. Silbey’s presentation covered laboratory safety management ideas from her recent publications:
- Rank Has Its Privileges: Explaining Why Laboratory Safety Is a Persistent Challenge; Gokce Basbug, Ayn Cavicchi, Susan S. Silbey from Journal of Business Ethics 19 June 2022 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-022-05169-z
- Joelle Evans, Susan S. Silbey (2021) Co-Opting Regulation: Professional Control Through Discretionary Mobilization of Legal Prescriptions and Expert Knowledge. Organization Science in Articles in Advance 10 Dec 2021 . https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.2021.1525
- To protect from lab leaks, we need ‘banal’ safety rules, not anti-terrorism measures; Ruthanne Huising and Susan S. Silbey Aug. 13, 2021 https://www.statnews.com/2021/08/13/banal-lab-safety-rules-keep-us-safe/
Remember: No matter where you go, there you are. Samuella Sigmann
9:10am-9:35am What is your safety role? An introduction to structured safety programs. Mary Heuges
9:35am-10:00am Safety leadership and organizational design Mary Koza
10:35am-11:00am Workplace safety needs diversity to endure that everyone is safe Frankie Wood-Black
11:00am-11:25am Improving researcher safety: Activities of the University of California center for laboratory safety Imke Schroeder
11:25am-11:50am Circadian rhythms based safety for managing the risks of human factor manifestation. Amir Kuat
On June 29, Ralph Stuart presented a webinar for Lab Manager magazine on the topic of Preventing and Managing the Most Likely Lab Accidents. This presentation highlighted a variety of ACS safety resources produced over the last 5 years and described how they can be used in the context of two historical laboratory incidents, specifically the death of Dr. Karen Wetterhahn.
A recorded version of the webinar is available for viewing on the Lab Manager website. A PDF version of the presentation is below, as well as the audience poll responses to the questions asked about their lab risk assessment processes.
This webinar was presented as part of the Divisions Innovative Project funded by the ACS to understand current practices in laboratory risk assessments and how ACS can support improving those practices. If you are interested in participating in this project, contact Ralph Stuart at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Responses to Poll Questions were:
Which of these best describes how often your review your lab’s risks and safety practices?
|We have regular (weekly or monthly) safety discussions as refreshers for all lab staff
|We rely on consistent use of general best lab safety practices
|We review safety as new people are hired or procedures change
|We review our SOPs for safety concerns annually
What part of your lab safety program do you find most challenging?
|Planning for Emergencies
|Managing Safety to Minimize Risks
What is your primary approach to communicating your lab safety practices to people in your lab?
|We place notices and signs pointing out specific hazards in the lab
|We rely on paper Standard Operating Procedures and Lab Guidance
|We put alerts in an Electronic Lab Notebook system
|We focus on word of mouth and chemical intuition
Who is involved in developing and reviewing your laboratory risk assessments?:
|The person who writes the SOP for procedure
|Everyone who handles the chemicals involved in a SOP
|Everyone in the lab, because they could be impacted by a safety incident even though they aren’t conducting the procedure involved
|Our emergency responders who are expected to provide assistance in can of an incident
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):
- Engaging Senior Management To Improve The Safety Culture
- Constructing Consequences For Non-Compliance
- The Joint Safety Team at the University Of Minnesota, Twin Cities: A Model for Student-Led Safety
- Anaphylaxis Induced By Peptide Coupling Agents
- Student-Led Climate Assessment Promotes A Healthier Graduate School Environment
- Lessons Learned From The Creation And Development Of A Researcher-Led Safety Organization At The University Of Chicago
- Starting And Sustaining A Laboratory Safety Team (LST): A Chas Discussion
The fall papers were focused primarily on the idea of safety culture and included (in reverse chronological order):
- Exploring Definitions of Safety Culture
- Dreaming Big & Learning Well
- Improving Safety Culture Through the Health and Safety Organization: A Case Study
- Compassion Fatigue
- Catching Them at It: An Ethnography of Rule Violation
- Scut Work and Safety Roles in the Lab
- A Manifesto for Reality-Based Safety Science
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 email@example.com
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.
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
A Symposium of the 23rd Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference and 9th International Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry
Organizers: Peter Reinhardt (Presider: firstname.lastname@example.org), 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.
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
Managing chemical safety as a social construct:
A paradigm shift in chemistryDownload