FAIC ONLINE: Laboratory Safety for Conservation

September 18 - October 16, 2014

Register here
This on-line course covers important topics that are essential to your safety, the safety of your co-workers, and preventing damage from environmental hazards. The course leads you through development of a chemical hygiene plan for your laboratory, based on readings, videos, and other materials that illustrate general principles as well as specific guidelines for safety in the laboratory. Follow-up quizzes and online discussions ensure that you understand the material and know how it applies to conservation practices.

This material in this course is essential for anyone working in a laboratory or supervising students, interns, or others in a laboratory setting.;

The course contents include:

  • Chemical storage
  • New MSDS information
  • Handling of corrosives
  • Waste handling
  • Eye and face protection
  • Working with flammable and toxic materials
  • Carcinogens and long-range hazards
  • Spill prevention and clean-up
  • Combustibles and flammables
  • Proper ventilation

Online discussion forums allow you to draw on the combined experience of other participants and the course facilitators. Best of all, “Laboratory Safety for Conservation” comes to you. All you need is a computer with Internet access and you are ready to learn. 

“Laboratory Safety for Conservation” is a four-week course. The course will begin on Thursday, September 18 and continue, with new activities and discussions each week, through October 16. The instructor, Mary E. Winkler, will guide discussions and offer tips and resources beyond what you find on the course site. You may work on the course at any time within each week.

Required Text:
You will need a copy of Artist Beware by Michael McCann (1992 edition or later). This book can be purchased new or used through amazon.com, abebooks.com or other book retailers. 

Time Requirements:
Expect to spend at least six hours per week on the course – roughly the equivalent of attending a full-day workshop each week. You will use this time to view videos, read supplemental materials, and to read and respond to the work of others in the course. You choose when, according to your own schedule--at noon during your lunch break, in the evening with a cup of coffee by your side, or at six in the morning in your favorite jammies.

Although the timing of your participation is flexible, we have found that participants have difficulty keeping up with the course during extended trips. We recommend planning to log in at least twice per week to get good value from the activities and discussions during the course.

Is Distance Learning Right for Me?
We’re glad you asked! We all learn in different ways. Take the interactive quiz (found on the main "Take a Course" page, or click here) to see if this type of course is a good match for your learning style.

Technical Requirements:
No special hardware or software is needed for this course. An internet connection and a reasonably up-to-date browser (Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari) are all that is required. The course videos are best viewed with a high-speed connection.

Register by September 8 for special early bird discount:  $120 AIC members, $180 non-members. The regular fee for this course, applicable after September 8, is $200 for AIC members, $300 for non-members.  The registration deadline is September 22, 2014.  Participants will be accepted in order of receipt of paid registration. Enrollment is limited, so early registration is advised. Register here.

About the Facilitator:
Mary Winkler is a Certified Safety Professional currently working for the Smithsonian Institution as Occupational Safety and Health Manager where she has been involved with the oversight for safety and health programs for the 19 museums, research centers and the zoological park.   From 1992 to 2007 she managed Safety and Health programs for the USDA’s Henry Wallace National Agricultural Research Center.   Her work included developing and implementing the Safety and Health Programs including Laboratory Safety Programs for the complex 7000 acre research center which also housed several significant national collections for agriculture.   She was elected Chapter President of the National Capital Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers from 2006 – 2007 and has been serving on its Executive Board since 2004.   Prior to her work with the USDA she worked as a Chemists assistant for the DuPont Company’s Stine Haskell Laboratories in the Chemical Discovery Division.

About the Series: 
“Laboratory Safety for Conservation” is part of FAIC’s online education series, “Business and Management Practices for Conservators.” Funded by The Getty Foundation, the series covers basic business skills with a focus on the requirements of the conservation community. 

This course was created with funding from the Getty Foundation. It is presented with funding from the FAIC Endowment for Professional Development, which is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and by gifts from members and friends of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. FAIC courses are made possible with the assistance of many AIC members, but no AIC membership dues were used to create or present this course.

Special thanks to the AIC Health and Safety Committee, James Martin, Mary E. Winkler, Elizabeth S. Goins, the American Chemical Society, and Cyrelle Gerson.

For more information, contact:
Abigail Choudhury, Development and Education Coordinator
Foundation of the American Institute for
  Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works
1156 15th Street, NW, Suite 320
Washington, DC 20005
Fax: 202-452-9328

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