Safety Committee Report, Spring 2016

Safety Committee
David Finster [dfinster@exchange.wittenberg.edu], Chair

The Safety Committee (SC) had its first formal meeting in Boston last fall!

A subset of the SC has worked via email to produce a considerably improved version of the CHED-produced (1995 vintage!) “Safety Guidelines for Chemical Demonstrations.” This will be presented to the Executive Committee for approval at the San Diego meeting.

Initial efforts have been made to review “safety/hazard statements” in the Journal of Chemical Education articles. This project is still a work in progress and we will be in contact with the JCE editor when we have a report and recommendations. (As background, folks in the chemical safely community often find “hazard statements” in ACS journals at large to vary widely in usefulness. We intend to develop a more useful protocol and format for such statements for JCE and use this as a model for more ACS publications.)

The chair of the SC has been in contact with Exams Institute Director Kristen Murphy about the possibility of updating the 1997 Chemical Health and Safety Exam. The Exams Institute included some questions in a recent survey about the desire for and possible format of a revised exam. Results should be available by the time of the San Diego meeting. The 1997 exam has not sold well, but the assessment landscape may be changing the need for a good safety exam. Since safety instruction is addressed quite differently than other traditional content areas for which exams are produced the content and utility of such an exam is less clear.

A group from the ACS Committee on Chemical Safety (CCS) is currently revising “Safety in Academic Chemistry Laboratories.” There was some discussion at our Boston meeting about revision ideas. The 8th edition of SACL should be available in l spring or early summer of 2016.

The SC has considerable overlap in personnel and interest with CCS and CHAS. We seek to work with these ACS groups toward the improvement of safety instruction and resources. Please share your ideas, frustrations, and success stories with us!

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