New Web Resource Focuses on Hazard Assessment in Research Laboratories
A new website developed by the American Chemical Society (ACS) Committee on Chemical Safety collects methods and tools for assessing hazards in research laboratories. The website is based on the document Identifying and Evaluating Hazards in Research Laboratories (PDF), which was published in 2015. ACS’s new website provides information on the fundamentals of hazard assessment in research laboratories, different ways to conduct hazard assessments, and how to prepare for a hazard assessment, including guidance on scoping and assembling an analysis team. Examples and templates related to what-if analysis, job hazard analysis, checklists, standard operating procedures, and control banding are also available.
“Safety in the laboratory requires a full team effort to be successful,” according to information on ACS’s new site. “When everyone in the laboratory understands how to identify hazards, assess risk, and select the appropriate control measures to eliminate a hazard or minimize risk, accidents, injuries and near misses can be reduced.”
The Identifying and Evaluating Hazards in Research Laboratories guide was developed by ACS at the request of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) following an explosion at a Texas Tech University laboratory in 2010 that injured a graduate student. CSB praised the thoroughness of the ACS publication, stating that the organization exceeded the agency’s recommendation to “develop good practice guidance that identifies and describes methodologies to assess and control hazards that can be used successfully in a research laboratory.”