National Heritage Responders

Is an emergency (such as a natural or man-made disaster) affecting your institution? Call our response team 24/7 at
202-661-8068.  

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Health and Safety

Resources from AIC's Annual Meeting

Protect Yourself – Save your Collections: Health & Safety in Emergency Response
44th Annual Meeting, May 16, 2016


Do you and your colleagues have the necessary rapid-response plans, training and supplies to address disasters safely? Focusing on health and safety issues in emergency response, this session will discuss practical approaches and lessons learned by conservators, safety and emergency professionals from real disaster scenarios. Presenters from McGill University’s Emergency Management & Preparedness Office and Redpath Museum will discuss institution-wide implementation of preparation and response, focusing on the health and safety needs of first responders and how the wider University incident plan is coordinated with the Museum. Representatives of the National Heritage Responders (Formerly AIC-CERT) will discuss health and safety issues related to conservators acting as second responders.

Health & Safety/Conservators in Private Practice Lunchtime Lecture
43rd Annual Meeting, May 14, 2015

Studio Design Challenges: Creating a Safe and Practical Space
Jeff Hirsch, William Jarema, Dan Klein and Roger Rudy
Conservators working within small to medium-sized organizations may not have the resources of larger institutions to design a conservation laboratory that serves those performing treatments and maintains the health and safety of the practitioners. The situation is more urgent for conservators in private practice who may have to consider the well-being of family members sharing in-home studio space. Led by architects and engineers from EwingCole, who specialize in designing cultural heritage facilities, this session reviewed priorities and realistic goals for improving common, at-hand work spaces ranging from in-home studios to larger rented commercial spaces.

Health & Safety Session: Sustaining the Conservator
42nd Annual Meeting, May 31, 2014

Controlling Hazardous Collection Materials
Kerith Koss Schrager, Anne Kingery-Schwartz and Kathryn Makos
Responsible stewardship of hazardous collections materials involves implementing policies that ensure the health and safety of the materials as well as the individuals who come in contact with them. This talk discussed employing collections-based risk management plans, understanding hazard disclosure requirements, and knowing when and how to consult health and safety professionals.

Unintended Consequences of Persistent Residual Vapor-Phase Chemicals within Collection Storage
Catharine Hawks and Kathryn Makos
Residual chemicals within cabinetry and collections have been identified through technical scientific study. While health implications are cautionary and controllable, adverse consequences to the condition of the collections can be significant. Recommendations for mitigation of these hazards were presented.

Solvents, Scents and Sensibility – Swapping: Solvent Substitution Strategies, 
Part II

Chris Stavroudis
Continuing with the topics covered in Solvents, Scents and Sensibility-Part I (General Concurrent Session), this talk included a discussion of safer solvents to help sustain the conservator and the environment, toxicity overviews, in-depth reviews of reformulating “bad” solvents, and molecular interactions and solubility parameters.

Medical Evaluations for Museum and Collection Care Professionals
David Hinkamp, MD (University of Illinois School of Public Health) and Ruth Norton.
Using examples from the Field Museum, the authors discussed methods to promote occupational health benefits and safer working practices through medical evaluations, exposure monitoring, maintaining lists of materials used, and accurately describing conservation and collections care work practices to medical staff.

Sustainability for the Conservator: Mold Remediation
Chris Stavroudis and AIC Emergency Committee
The AIC Emergency Committee presented lessons learned and techniques used for Hurricane Sandy recovery at the Cultural Recovery Center in Brooklyn, New York to highlight the key steps conservators need to take to protect themselves when working with mold or moldy artworks, including a demonstration on wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Ergonomics in Collection Care
David Hinkamp, MD (University of Illinois School of Public Health)
Dr. Hinkamp discussed current ergonomics theories and best practices for improving workstations and postures/positions using real world conservation task examples supplied by Emerging Conservation Professionals Network and the Health & Safety Committee.

General Session42nd Annual Meeting, May 28-31, 2014

Solvents, Scents and Sensibility – Swapping: Solvent Substitution Strategies, Part I
Chris Stavroudis
New and modified cleaning systems can sometimes replace traditional solvent cleaning. A number of such systems were presented and discussed. The simplest approach to minimizing solvent use in testing is to simply mix very small amounts of solvents very precisely to minimize waste and exposure. The discussion progressed to introducing or re-familiarizing conservators with lesser known and less used solvents that are safer for us and the environment.

Organizing Seminars and Pre-/Post-conference Sessions

Practical Aspects of Mold Remediation Workshop

Dr. Elliott Horner; organized by Hilary A. Kaplan

Dallas, TX

Practical Aspects of Mold Remediation Workshop

Dr. Elliott Horner; organized by Hilary A. Kaplan

Philadelphia, PA

Respirator Fit Testing

David Jacobi; organized by Hilary A. Kaplan

Norfolk, VA

Luncheon Lectures

Lecture Title

Presenter

Meeting Location

"Solvent substitution: Theory and Tools for Safer Choices"

John Burke
Dr. David Erhardt
Dr. Mark Ormsby

Dallas, TX

"Preventing Overuse Injuries in Conservators"

Dr. Michael McCann

Philadelphia, PA

"Conserving Your Health and Safety"

Dr. Patricia H. Hamm

St. Louis, MO

"What Have We Here? Hazards Associated with Disaster Recovery"

Monona Rossol

Arlington, VA

"Line of Defense: Proper Selection of Gloves and other Personal Protective Equipment"

Kathryn Makos

San Diego, CA

"Putting It in Proper Perspective: A Practical Guide to Health Hazard Regulations"

Kathryn Makos

Norfolk, VA

"No Magic Bullets: Ethical Considerations for Pest Management Strategies"

Wendy Jessup (coauthored with Monona Rossol)

St. Paul, MN

"Health Hazards in Conservation" (Evening Lecture)

Angela Babin

Denver, CO

"Health Hazards in Conservation" (Evening Lecture)

Angela Babin

Nashville, TN

"Save and Regulated Art Conservation" (Evening Lecture)

Monona Rossol

Denver, CO