Safety in Outreach Settings

Make chemistry outreach experiences safer for all to enjoy with this RAMP-based guide.

Safety in Outreach Settings adapts RAMP, the four-part risk management system used in academic labs, to public venues.

Facilitating hands-on activities or performing chemistry demonstrations in public outreach settings requires special safety considerations, beyond the established standard operating procedures of your lab. Places where public outreach takes place such as science museums, libraries, public parks, and schools are all unlikely to have fume hoods, splash shields, eye protection, or even easy access to running water. Add the need to transport chemicals to the site and back again, with the unknowns of bringing together groups of people, and the likelihood that someone gets hurt increases dramatically!

This guide will help you select low-risk activities and demonstrations for your program. It will also help you recognize and eliminate high-risk ones, before they become regrettable accidents. More powerfully, though, this guide will help you plan and implement specific strategies and safeguards to minimize the risks you take every time you engage the public with chemistry.

Safety in Outreach Settings will help you:

  1. Identify and select low-risk activities for your outreach program
  2. Recognize and eliminate high-risk activities and demos before they lead to accidents
  3. Make strategic changes to activities and demos to minimize the likelihood of injury and promote a culture of safety


Safety in Outreach Settings Instruction Guide

The Safety in Outreach Settings Instruction Guide walks through the basics of RAMP and the details of performing a RAMP analysis for hands-on activities and demonstrations in outreach settings.


Outreach Safety Checklists & Worksheets

Host Facility Q&A Checklist

Use this checklist when meeting with representatives from the host facility to ensure that safety concerns are addressed. Communication and careful planning with facility staff will help you design a successful outreach event.

RAMP Worksheet

The RAMP Worksheet will guide your thinking and document how you will minimize risk for each activity and demonstration you plan.


Sample RAMP Worksheet & Activity Example

Review a sample RAMP worksheet and corresponding outreach activity to help you calibrate your risk tolerance to an appropriate level for the organizations you represent when doing outreach.

Outreach Hazard Guide

This collection of Hazard Guides will help you recognize the hazards that may be present in outreach settings and minimize risks during outreach. Practicing hazard identification, following proper procedures for handling chemicals and other hazards, and planning for emergencies are necessary steps when planning and implementing outreach.

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More RAMP and safety resources

The Safety in Outreach Settings RAMP Analysis Guide and Worksheet were developed by a joint-task force consisting of members from the Committee on Community Activities, the Society Committee on Education, and the Committee on Chemical Safety.

Stay Informed

Keep up to date with ACS Outreach announcements.

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Contact the ACS Office of Science Outreach