Daniel Hu, a 5th year graduate student in the Champion Lab, participated in the 2023 American Chemical Society (ACS) Presidential Safety Summit at the ACS headquarters in Washington, D.C. The invitation-only event was held on October 6-7.
In 2016, the ACS Board of Directors adopted safety as one of the society’s core values, seeking to ensure that the ACS would be a leader in the area of safety, especially as it relates to chemical safety. To coordinate multiple initiatives and develop a cohesive strategy, the ACS began to hold annual Safety Summits in 2018. Each year, a thematic topic is selected, with 2023 focusing on Laboratory Safety Teams (LSTs). LSTs are student-led groups that promote a culture of safety at their institutions, and the summit worked to highlight best-practices and strategies to start and grow LSTs across more universities.
In addition to attending the summit, Daniel was one of five members of the summit steering committee, consisting of four graduate students and one safety professional. Daniel was selected based on his leadership of the Lab Safety Officer (LSO) Program in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, a role he has served in for three years. During his time as the lead LSO, Daniel has helped guide a robust program comprised of about 40 LSOs who serve as safety information resources for their own laboratories and perform periodic safety walk-throughs of other departmental laboratories. Additionally, Daniel has led efforts to assemble a comprehensive package of on-boarding safety guides for newly-appointed LSOs. These are tailored for each of the divisions within the department and cover an array of specialized topics and techniques. Mary Prorok, Assistant Chair of the department and co-chair of the Departmental Safety Committee, said “Daniel’s organizational skills, effective communication style, and sincere concern for the safety of researchers are key elements of his successful leadership of the LSO program.”