September 11, 2013
In the wake of several serious accidents in research laboratories across the U.S., the American Chemical Society has issued new guidelines in a 132-page report titled “Identifying and Evaluating Hazards in Research Laboratories.” The document was developed by the ACS Committee on Chemical Safety and made publicly available online on Sept. 4 (http://cenm.ag/hazard).
The committee prepared the guidelines in response to a U.S. Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) recommendation. The federal safety board, which usually investigates industrial accidents, asked ACS to develop for research laboratories “good practice guidance that identifies and describes methodologies to assess and control hazards.” CSB made the request after its investigation of a 2010 explosion at Texas Tech University that injured a graduate student. ACS publishes C&EN.