February 27, 2008

Inspiring 2008 Hero Nominee --  Barbara Lee Foster

Barbara Lee Foster, Nominated by Erik A Talley, Chair, Division of Chemical Health and Safety, American Chemical Society, New York.

Barbara Lee Foster is known for her commitment and pursuit of excellence in safety. Barbara L. Foster is a Certified Chemical Hygiene Officer. At West Virginia University, Morgantown, she is the Department of Chemistry Safety Director and Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Safety Program Coordinator.

Erik Talley wrote, In addition to her duties within the University, she actively supports K-12 science programs with materials and is a safety resource to teachers...Barbara is an inspirational leader and presents an exemplary role model for presenting science in a safe, enjoyable and educational manner. She frequently presents safety workshops for teachers and encourages her colleagues to work in their communities to enhance safety in science classrooms.

Foster has published many papers, created a variety of resources for science teachers including manuals such as Laboratory Safety and Management, A Handbook for Teaching Assistants, (2007).


From the WVU Chemistry Department webpage, Message from the Safety Director:

It is with a keen sense of responsibility that we prepare our students for their careers in laboratory settings in academia, industry, government, law enforcement, and the health sciences. We realize that what our students learn about safety in our laboratories will have a significant impact on all of the people who will share their work environments in the future. Work Safely and Teach Safety!

From "In pursuit of excellence in safety," Journal of Chemical Health & Safety, May/June 2007.

How do we ascertain the efficacy of a laboratory safety program? If we set a goal to achieve excellence in all aspects of our safety program, where do we set the bar? To achieve a measure of excellence, several key elements must be present and function at the highest possible level within a laboratory safety program. These essential elements include: Administrative Responsibilities, Safety Documents, Chemical Management Program, Laboratory Inspection Program, and Emergency Preparedness...

I encourage you to instill a philosophy of safety in your laboratory and workplace. Set a good example every day by following the safety rules, enforcing the safety rules, and providing a safe and healthy learning environment for your students and employees.

Foster is also active professionally as a Member of the ACS Joint Board-Council Committee on Chemical Safety and Secretary (2004-2006) of the ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety. Barbara serves on the Board of Editors for the journal Chemical Health & Safety. She is the recipient of 2006 Tillmanns-Skolnick Award for outstanding service to the ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety and 2007 Chair, American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Health and Safety.

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