From: "Stuart, Ralph" <Ralph.Stuart**At_Symbol_Here**KEENE.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] sodium hydride solution
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2018 12:23:29 +0000
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: 7882EBCA-689F-4415-9CB5-605CCDD4874C**At_Symbol_Here**

> >I am wondering if a certified safety professional should have to sign off on these substances, much like an engineer signs off that a bridge won`t collapse....

I don't know of any campuses with enough safety professionals who have the expertise to review the wide variety of uses of chemicals found in an academic setting. I have been in situations where I have been asked to serve in that role on specific projects, and I wouldn't have been able to sign off that the equivalent of a bridge collapsing would not occur, because the specifics of the project were still being determined at the point where my input was requested.

I have been able to add value in many situations when a laboratory supervisor is looking for help in scoping the best practices associated with the work they are interested in doing (e.g. will I need a fume hood for this work?), but given that anyone can purchase essentially any chemical they like, the responsibility of deciding to go ahead with the work based on the currently available safety information has rest with the person who bought the chemical and their supervisor, not an outside reviewers'.

For what it's worth, this observation applies both within chemistry departments and outside them. My experience is that non-chemists tend to ask more and better chemical safety questions than chemists do.

- 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

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.