Strong safety cultures manage safety consistently and systematically. Management requires method, which in turn requires a framework for understanding situations, environments, and materials. RAMP is such a framework. It may be seen as a framework for understanding context to enable decision making.

RAMP is a concept for scientific safety, developed by Robert H. Hill and David C. Finster in their textbook Laboratory Safety for Chemistry Students.

The authors present RAMP as a mnemonic, enabling practitioners, educators, and students to remember four key principles of safety:

RAMP perpetuates a virtuous, sustainable cycle. It is:

  • Simple
    Enables perspective, quickly
  • Structured
    Enables formal inquiry and documentation
  • Flexible
    Adapts (to constraints)
  • Scalable
    Grows with science and the amount of work done in scientific pursuits
  • Collaborative
    Encourages creative, contextual solutions
  • Transferrable
    Usable in a variety of circumstances

ACS authors are incorporating RAMP into materials that support safety education and safety culture. Practitioners, educators, and students who learn and embrace RAMP are leaders in the chemistry and the broader scientific enterprise.

A Closer Look


Managing safety requires understanding of key terms.

  • Safety - freedom from danger, injury, or damage
  • Hazard - a potential source of danger or harm
  • Risk - the probability of suffering harm from exposure to an unsafe situation
  • Exposure - coming in direct contact with a hazard

Terms that All Chemistry and Other Science Teachers Should Know

Some Materials That Support RAMP

RAMP Origin

Recognition and Assessment

Minimize and Prepare