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ACS Case Studies for Research Lab Safety

Help Your Students Learn Advanced Safety Skills through Real-World Case Studies

ACS Case Studies for Research Lab Safety takes a case study approach to teaching and learning with a library of self-paced case studies, through which students learn fundamental risk assessment skills that are universally applicable to all research laboratories.

ACS Case Studies of Research Lab Safety is a 90-minute course that guides students and faculty through five real-world lab safety incident case studies. Based on the RAMP model, this course teaches fundamental risk assessment skills that are universally applicable to all research environments throughout their academic career and into industry.

Each case study leads students through the exploration of a real-world research laboratory incident with questions that prompt them to reflect on how and why incidents happen. This process helps students reason through decisions at various levels and identify ways to assess risks and minimize hazards, even when performing common tasks in the lab.

Vivid Illustrations and simulated conversations make each scenario relatable and increase students’ awareness and readiness before they receive more thorough safety lectures.

This interactive and modular course, together with supplementary materials all in one place, makes it easy for instructors, principal investigators, and EHS or lab managers alike to put the RAMP model into action in their department or institution. These case studies also help stimulate important conversations around risk assessment and research safety.

When adopted in conjunction with other ACS safety courses, ACS Case Studies of Research Lab Safety helps cultivate a safer learning environment for all who work and study on their campus.

Features & Benefits:

  • A readily available tool that reduces the burden of curriculum development and completion management on faculty and staff
  • Easy integration into the upper-division undergraduate and graduate curriculum
  • Authoritative best practices designed and created by lab safety experts
  • Equip students with risk-based thinking skills and good safety habits that last throughout their academic career and into the workplace
  • An immersive story-telling experience, making the case study relatable and memorable
  • Increase the confidence of everyone who studies and works in and around labs
  • Prioritize lab safety as a core competency for all researchers
  • Enhance the safety culture in your institution

Six comprehensive, interactive lessons introduce core safety topics including:

  • Lesson 1 — Introduction to RAMP: An introduction to the RAMP framework for risk assessment in laboratory experiments.
    » Basics of risks assessment and minimization
    » Applications of the RAMP model in research labs
    » Choose the appropriate fire extinguishers
  • Lesson 2 — Pyrophoric Fire: A new researcher and a post-doc learn about the risks of pyrophoric waste being removed from a glovebox.
    » Apply RAMP when working with pyrophoric chemicals
    » Identify key hazards of pyrophoric reagents
    » Minimize the risks of these key hazards
    » Properly clean up a spill in the glove box and handle the waste
    » Respond effectively to an emergency involving pyrophoric reagents
    » Best practices to prepare for emergencies
    » Supplies and equipment needed to minimize risks
  • Lesson 3 — Piranha Solutions: A new researcher learns that there can even be risks involved in cleaning glassware alone.
    » Apply RAMP when working with piranha solutions
    » Identify hazards and risks of working along in the lab
    » Glassware cleaning and hazardous waste behaviors
    » Minimize risks when performing routine housekeeping
    » Respond appropriately during an emergency involving injuries
  • Lesson 4 — Double Trouble: Two researchers work together to try to handle too many hazardous experiments at once.
    » Using RAMP when scaling up a reaction
    » Preparing glassware
    » Pyrophoric scale-up
    » Recognize hazards associated with complex situations
    » Describe the correct way to use a centrifuge
    » Analyze how to respond effectively to a situation involving multiple experimental errors
  • Lesson 5 — Chemical Storage Mishap: An experienced researcher grapples with deteriorating chemical storage while working alone.
    » Recognize hazards in moving or organizing chemicals in storage
    » A sulfuric acid spill
    » Identify ways to minimize risk when handling hazardous chemicals
    » Prepare for emergencies involving hazardous chemicals
  • Lesson 6 — Elevating Lachrymator: A researcher borrows a chemical from another lab and must handle a large chemical spill in the elevator
    » Using RAMP when transporting chemicals
    » Minimize spill risk during transport of hazardous chemicals
    » Respond appropriately to a hazardous spill in a public space
    » Get help and contact EHS

ACS Case Studies for Research Lab Safety is available to academic, corporate and government institutions. This course can be easily integrated into your existing learning management system (LMS). Pricing is tiered based on number of learners.

Access is available for course evaluation and review.

Click below to get started, and we’ll be glad to help setup a course demo, evaluation, quotation.

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System Requirements

In order to use this course in the academic environment, it must be integrated into a learning management system (LMS). Below are some of the commonly used systems we have verified and the types of fulfillment files we currently offer. If you don’t see your LMS or the file format that your LMS requires, let your ACS representative know and we will work with you to test your learning environment.

Verified Learning Management System-Package Format Combinations
The following combinations have been tested and verified:

⊳ Moodle / SCORM 1.2
⊳ Canvas / LTI 1.1
⊳ Blackboard / SCORM 1.2
⊳ Docebo / SCORM 1.2, SCORM 2004 3rd Edition, LTI 1.1

Learning Management System Package Formats
ACS Institute courses are provided in standard eLearning package formats for import into customer Learning Management Systems. The following package format options are available:

⊳ SCORM 1.2
⊳ SCORM 2004 3rd Edition
⊳ LTI 1.1
⊳ LTI 1.3

Delivery Network URL Whitelisting
Communication with the ACS Institute delivery network is needed for licensing compliance, which requires whitelisting a URL prior to package import and student use.[1]

The URL for customer I.T. teams to whitelist is

[1]ACS Institute uses IMS Global Learning Consortium Standards and does NOT store any institutional data with the exception of anonymized user IDs and Course IDs.

Trusted Subject Matter Experts

Mobile friendly

Students can choose to complete this 90-minute course on nearly any device available to them, including a computer, tablet, or even a mobile phone. This gives instructors confidence that all students have the ability to complete the assigned courses on time.

Bookmarked progress means students do not have to complete the entire course at one time. When they return to the course, they can pick up right where they left off.

An illustration of a lab safety case study on a tablet

Illustrations based on real-world lab incidents

Each case study, presented with illustrations and simulated conversations, leads the learner through the exploration of a real-world research laboratory incident and helps them identify risks and recognize hazards around the common tasks and chemical reagents in every research lab.

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Enhanced accessibility

Closed captioning, screen reader access, style customization, keyboard capability, and open navigation ensure that students with disabilities benefit equally from this course. These features even help students whose first language is not English to better follow the content.

A small group of additional resources introduces students to other safety information including videos, books, webpages, and OSHA resources.

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