In order to connect a number of already existing diverse ACS safety engagements and develop a cohesive strategy, the ACS has been sponsoring annual Safety Summits.
These summits have brought together a number of ACS stakeholders along with outside experts and have provided opportunities for the Society-wide conversations about safety and led to a number of collaborative safety projects.
Purpose of Safety Summits
To optimize the social benefits of the chemical enterprise, the practice of chemistry must include best safety practices from concept through research, development, manufacture, use, and disposal of its products. Only such a holistic approach will control individual and public risks associated with resulting technologies to acceptable levels.
For this reason, in 2016, the ACS Board of Directors adopted safety as one of the Society’s core values. This action established the expectation that the Society and its members will be leaders in this area, particularly in regard to chemical safety concerns. Living this commitment requires a thoughtful and proactive strategy for the ACS to pursue with stakeholders. Such a strategy will support a safer and more sustainable chemical enterprise for the benefit of Earth and its people.
History of the ACS Safety Summit
In February of 2018, ACS President Peter Darhout sponsored the first ACS Safety Summit since adopting "safety" as one of the Society's core values. ACS governance, technical units, and external stakeholders were invited to jump-start discussions surrounding the following topics:
- How to identify, connect, and coordinate current ACS efforts and expertise in the area of chemical safety, particularly as it applies to safety culture in academic laboratories.
- Formulation of future ACS strategy to demonstrate the Society's leadership in advancing a culture of safety in the chemical enterprise.
- Ways to engage ACS stakeholders and external experts in the chemical safety conversation to promote and ethos of safety.
- Identification of tools, opportunities, and partnerships that ACS can leverage to support safety cultures.