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Dow Unveils Lab Safety Website

Training: Resource hosts comprehensive video library

by Jyllian Kemsley
May 24, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 21

Dow Chemical has launched a laboratory safety website that includes a comprehensive set of training videos and additional resources, the company announced on May 19.

Publicly accessible at, the website incorporates 30 professionally produced videos. Several more are still in production. Pankaj Gupta, an R&D leader in Dow’s oil, gas, and mining business, unveiled the site last week at the Council for Chemical Research annual meeting, in Arlington, Va.

“It appears to have a lot of very good resources, and we will look at them very carefully,” says Peter Ashbrook, director of the division of research safety at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. “I think Dow should be commended for putting this material out for public consumption.”

The videos and other materials cover topics such as personal protective equipment selection, gas cylinder handling, hazard assessment, and near-miss reporting.

Gupta says the website, called Dow Lab Safety Academy, grew out of Dow’s pilot safety program with the University of Minnesota, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of California, Santa Barbara (C&EN, Oct. 29, 2012, page 21).

The video topics are intended to be interesting and useful particularly for graduate students but will also likely have broader appeal. Dow settled on the list through internal discussion with new employees and people involved in the university program, as well as feedback from the partner schools, Gupta says.

Dow has been working on the website for nine months, Gupta says. He declined to specify Dow’s budget to develop the project. Although the company has spent a significant amount of money on the pilot university program and the new website, the largest expense was the time and effort of the Dow employees who contributed to the initiatives, Gupta says.


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