From: "Kennedy, Sheila" <s1kennedy**At_Symbol_Here**UCSD.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] "Read the SDS"
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2018 17:58:45 +0000
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: BN3PR0401MB1347B3703A43390E8BCCECE695BE0**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <2DE3CB14-9DF5-4014-A275-3341DEFA5B88**At_Symbol_Here**>

Our effort to make sure students have some hazard information under their belts before beginning took the form of requiring a table of materials in the pre-lab report that included a column for hazards (from the SDS, available through the university on-line database) and a column for quantity expected to be used. I added this last to emphasize that Risk is a product of hazard and exposure - if you're exposed to less, your risk is less, even though the hazard remains the same.


In our intro. O-CHEM class, this became a huge task for some experiments that had lots of possible unknowns and lots of reagents. The instructor is experimenting with providing the table as a template. In the early experiments, most or all of the information will be provided. Then the student takes over & provides more  (or all) of the information, building competency, we hope.


This still doesn't address the question of interpreting the hazard information to decide about ventilation, PPE, etc., as most of those decisions are made for lower division undergrads.   



Sheila M. Kennedy, C.H.O.

Safety Coordinator | Teaching Laboratories

Chemistry & Biochemistry |University of California, San Diego

9500 Gilman Dr. | La Jolla, CA  92093-0303

(858) 534 - 0221 | MC 0303 | YORK HALL 3150

s1kennedy**At_Symbol_Here** | Student Lab Safety, CHEM Teaching Labs


From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU> On Behalf Of ILPI Support
Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 9:56 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] "Read the SDS"


Reading the SDS is never sufficient. Understanding it is key. So the instruction should be changed to "use the SDS to determine whether this material presents new or unusual hazards and what precautions should be taken" etc.


If you pair the "determine" with a control banding approach based on the hazard classification and risk/hazard phrases, that gives one a framework on what to do next.  For example, if you have hazards in class 1 (the highest, versus NFPA where that's low) - then stop - do a full risk assessment etc.


That does seem like something one could reduce to a flow chart or simple JavaScript wizard, so I'm curious to see what the collective wisdom of the list comes up with as resources.


BTW, the HSE has a a risk assessment wizard here:


Rob Toreki



Safety Emporium - Lab & Safety Supplies featuring brand names

you know and trust.  Visit us at

esales**At_Symbol_Here**  or toll-free: (866) 326-5412

Fax: (856) 553-6154, PO Box 1003, Blackwood, NJ 08012




On Apr 10, 2018, at 11:51 AM, Stuart, Ralph <Ralph.Stuart**At_Symbol_Here**KEENE.EDU> wrote:


I'm a little frustrated after reviewing yet another teaching lab procedure that barely mentions any safety aspects of the work being described, but include the equivalent of "of course, everyone who does this should read the SDS". Advice this generic feels like a CYA disclaimer rather than anything designed to be helpful for the reader.

While I recognize that a complete documented risk assessment is necessary for many lab situations, I wonder if anyone has developed guidance for how one can convert "read the SDS" to decisions about how much ventilation is needed, personal protective equipment requirements, etc. for fairly simple chemistries being offered to beginning chemists?  

Thanks for any thoughts on this.

- Ralph

Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Environmental Safety Manager
Keene State College
603 358-2859


For more information about the DCHAS-L e-mail list, contact the Divisional membership chair at membership**At_Symbol_Here**
Follow us on Twitter **At_Symbol_Here**acsdchas


--- For more information about the DCHAS-L e-mail list, contact the Divisional membership chair at membership**At_Symbol_Here** Follow us on Twitter **At_Symbol_Here**acsdchas

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.