Austin Moyle recently moderated a ACS Chemical Health and Safety (CHAS) workshop and submitted this helpful report. If you are interested in attending the next workshop on October 17th, registration informtaion can be found at the Eventbrite page.
In June, I had the privilege of serving as a moderator at the ACS Chemical Health and Safety (CHAS) workshop, Empowering Academic Researchers to Strengthen Safety Culture. I was introduced to this opportunity after the WashU Chemistry Department kindly sponsored me to attend the same workshop in February 2021.
In a highly interactive format with regular break-out discussion rooms, the workshop covers: (1) Educating participants about the value of risks assessment by applying RAMP principles to their own lab: recognize hazards, asses risk, minimize risk, prepare for emergencies; (2) Guiding participants to improve awareness of safety culture and messages from university leadership by discussing the causes and effects of the well known lab accident at Texas Tech; (3) Empowering participants to expand their safety networks and develop laboratory safety teams (LSTs). An LST usually includes graduate students and postdocs who serve as safety officers in their own respective groups and work with department leadership to improve safety culture and policies at their own institution.
The audience of the workshop is primarily graduate student researchers, but we have observed consistent attendance from safety professionals and faculty.
I am most excited about the reach of this network of safety conscious researchers. Notably, I had already met another moderator for this workshop at another safety conference I had attended in 2019 in collaboration with ExxonMobil. I also recently discovered that one of my collaborators at Pfizer served as a facilitator for this workshop when he was just a graduate student two years ago at Yale. I look forward to continuing to work with this community—the next workshop is in October 2021. The attached screenshot includes the student leaders involved in putting on the workshop (taken with permission).
Some info about this workshop:
The $25 workshop was put on in collaboration with the ACS Great Lakes Regional Meeting (GLRM), such that those who attended the workshop could register for only $5. There were 71 registrants—14 through GLRM, 57 who registered directly. 55 participants attended the workshop—10 through GLRM, 45 registered directly. 27 difference universities were represented by the attendees. Of those who canceled or did not attend, 12 people have bumped their registration to the October 2021 workshop.
More updates and History of the LSTs can be found here: https://dchas.org/2020/11/04/history-of-the-chas-lst-workshop/