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ACS Essentials of Lab Safety for General Chemistry

A course that aims to prepare students to enter the chemistry lab.

ACS Essentials of Lab Safety for General Chemistry provides an authoritative, easily-adoptable resource for use across general chemistry courses at both two-year and four-year institutions. Developed in collaboration with leading subject matter experts, the efficient user-driven course provides a solid learning experience to integrate chemical safety in general chemistry labs.

ACS Essentials of Lab Safety for General Chemistry is a 90-minute online course that provides students with the vital concepts of chemical safety and prepares them for their first experiment in the general chemistry lab.

Developed by leading experts, the six interactive learning modules in ACS Essentials of Lab Safety for General Chemistry introduce the RAMP framework, a commonly used laboratory risk assessment method, and walk students through the four principles of RAMP—Recognize hazards, Assess risks, Minimize risks, and Prepare for emergencies. Critical instruction is brought to life through narrated presentations with real-life photos and videos, and the course is completed with a capstone exercise to assess understanding of foundational lab safety protocols.

ACS Essentials of Lab Safety for General Chemistry is intended for use in the introductory general chemistry laboratory sequence but may also support other science and engineering labs. This easily adoptable course seamlessly integrates with most learning management systems, allowing instructors to teach and assess with ease. It also complies with the ADA accessibility standards and is easy to use on all devices, making its content available for all students anytime, anywhere with a consistent user experience.

Register to watch a recorded demonstration of ACS Essentials of Lab Safety for General Chemistry.

Establish a consistent lab safety introduction across student populations.

  • Prioritize lab safety as a core competency across a wide range of general chemistry learners.
  • Ensure students responsibly enter the science lab with clear understanding of lab safety protocols and responsibilities.
  • Introduce common language, concepts, and skills of safety to promote consistent understanding.
  • Increase student awareness of the potential hazards present in the lab and how to assess and minimize the risks from these hazards.
  • Alert students about common lab incidents.
  • Eliminate the need and time for faculty and staff to source or develop lab safety resources.
  • Seamlessly integrate highly credible lab safety resource into the undergraduate curriculum.
  • Track and monitor student compliance and understanding through turnkey learning management system (LMS) integration.
  • Provide Administration peace of mind that students are receiving a common high-quality level of safety training across the entire science curriculum.

Six comprehensive, interactive lessons introduce core safety topics including:

  • Lesson 1 — Academic Success and Safety: Understanding the importance of a positive safety culture and the student’s role to play.
    ⊳ Handling Pre-Lab Uncertainty
    ⊳ Safety Culture
    ⊳ Lab Safety Tips
    ⊳ Lifelong Skills
  • Lesson 2 — RAMP Framework: Understanding the steps of risk assessment with the RAMP framework
    ⊳ Pre-Lab Preparation
    ⊳ RAMP-An Introduction
    ⊳ Recognizing Hazards
    ⊳ Assessing the Risks of Hazards
    ⊳ Minimizing the Risks of Hazards
    ⊳ Preparing for Emergencies
  • Lesson 3 — Communication Matters: Understanding the role of chemical labels and GHS pictograms in recognizing common chemical, health, and physical hazards
    ⊳ GHS Pictograms & exercises
    ⊳ Primary Container Labels & Exercises
    ⊳ Labeling Secondary Containers
    ⊳ Reading Hazardous Waste Labels
    ⊳ Safety Data Sheets
  • Lesson 4 — Best Practices to Minimize Risks: Understanding how to prepare for, conduct, and clean up after experiments to minimize risks
    ⊳ Appropriate Attire for the Lab
    ⊳ Belongings on the Bench
    ⊳ Fume Hoods
    ⊳ Emergency Equipment
    ⊳ Emergency Response
    ⊳ Proper Glove Use
    ⊳ In the Lab: Finish up Properly
  • Lesson 5 — Prepare for Emergencies: Understanding how to prepare for and respond to common emergencies: Spills, Cuts, Burns, and Fires
    ⊳ Students’ role in an Emergency
    ⊳ Handling a Spill
    ⊳ Large Spill
    ⊳ Cuts and Burns
    ⊳ Fire
    ⊳ Calling Emergency Personnel
    ⊳ Exercise: Clear Access in Lab
    ⊳ Best Practices in the Lab
  • Lesson 6 — A Day in the Lab, Capstone Simulation (Assessment): Apply the knowledge gained through a simulated exercise.

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ACS Essentials of Lab Safety for General Chemistry 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.

Thank you to the many chemistry instructors and safety professionals who have met with us personally or attended one of our webinars or demonstrations, we’ve assembled a set of commonly asked questions.

Visit our searchable FAQ page for ACS Essentials of Lab Safety for General Chemistry to find answers to questions about audience, time commitment, pedagogical philosophy, installation, evaluation, and more.

See Full FAQs

Trusted Subject Matter Experts

Craig Merlic, Ph.D.
University of California, Los Angeles

Professor of Chemistry and Executive Director of the University of California Center for Laboratory Safety, Craig Merlic is a nationally renowned expert in chemical and laboratory safety.
Weslene Tallmadge, Ph.D.
Gannon University

Throughout her membership on the ACS Committee on Chemical Safety, Dr. Tallmadge has supported several safety related projects, including a recent revision of Safety in Academic Chemistry Laboratories (SACL) and the college safety video series.
Imke Schroeder, Ph.D.
University of California, Los Angeles

A Research Project Manager at the UC Center for Laboratory Safety, Dr. Schroeder conducts research on laboratory safety, reviews academic safety programs, investigates laboratory accidents, and develops safety training for researchers. She also serves on the Editorial Board of ACS Chemical Health & Safety.
Michael B. Blayney, Ph.D.
Northwestern University

Michael Blayney is the Executive Director of Research Safety at Northwestern University. Throughout his career, Michael has developed laboratory safety training curricula.
Dominick Casadonte, Ph.D.
Texas Tech University

An ACS Fellow, Dr. Casadonte was department chair at Texas Tech when a significant accident occurred that led to substantive cultural change. He is a member of the Division of Chemical Health and Safety and has previously been a contributor to several ACS safety-related publications.
Susan Wiediger, Ph.D.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

While serving on the Safety Committee for the ACS Division of Chemical Education, including as chair, and the Education Chair for the St. Louis Section of the ACS, Dr. Wiediger has been involved in several safety related projects. These activities are synergistic with her education research program which includes studies on various aspects of teaching lab safety.

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.

Real-World Lab Environment

Real-world learning environment

Current laboratory photography and videos make the content more familiar and relatable, helping students to maintain attention and perceive the course as a serious investment in their well-being.

Visual settings incorporate modern, common laboratory equipment to help students become familiar with the environment and safety equipment, giving them confidence before they set foot in the lab for the very first time.

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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.

Training and accountability

Comprehensive training & accountability

An end-of-course assessment provides scores that load directly to your learning management system and ensure students arrive on their first day appropriately dressed and familiar with important topics, including:

  • Appropriate PPE use and selection
  • GHS pictograms
  • Proper chemical labeling
  • Hazardous waste disposal
  • Emergency equipment and response
  • Fume hoods

Full-access to review this course is available for faculty, administrators, and safety professionals.  Click below to get started.

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This course is exactly the kind of instruction that participants in the ACS Institute can come to expect. Students will come away with practical knowledge that lays the foundation for further safety training in keeping with their growth in understanding lab science. It is a remarkable and first-of-its-kind course developed by ACS. It promises to change safety instruction in teaching and research in fundamental ways.”
Michael Blayney Executive Director of Research Safety at Northwestern University
Safety is a core value of the American Chemical Society, and safety instruction is crucial to supporting students engaging in chemistry research. The course we have developed will serve the entire chemistry community, and ultimately create a better ecosystem for research.”
James Milne President of ACS Publications
As a professor who coordinates general chemistry labs and assists with the preparation of teaching assistants for those courses, it is important to me to provide solid basic information in an engaging way to a population that may have very little prior lab experience. For instructors already heavily burdened, this module concisely presents best practices while also recognizing that there may be local variations in equipment or policies.”
Sue Wiediger, Ph.D. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
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