For centuries chemistry has played an important role in increasing our understanding of the physical and biological elements surrounding us, even more it has made it possible for us to manipulate it. Chemistry laboratories all around the world continues to contribute to the advancement in science and engineering. Chemical laboratories have become a center for acquiring and developing knowledge giving us finished products that can be used for a better future. In addition, it serves as a tool for monitoring and controlling the current use of chemicals for commercial processing. The advancement in the area of chemistry has led to the production of beneficial chemicals used daily in our lives. However, some still have the potential to damage human health, the environment, and the public. As a result the chemical safety and security officer workshop training organized by U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) , Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), Arab Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF), in conjunction with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in  Iraq, and the Iraqi Universities that participate in these workshops for the training of Iraqi chemist at the Universities.

The Objective of the program:

The objectives of these courses are to provide technical expertise and training to improve best practices in security and safety among chemical professionals and industry. This training covers a broad range of chemical laboratory safety and security topics. Each training session provides a comprehensive overview of the many considerations in developing best practices and in establishing a chemical laboratory safety and security management program. Chemical Safety and Security Officer training (CSSO) is designed to provide information and tools that support professionals to train others and to establish chemical safety and security programs at their home institutions.

Details about the program:

The three day workshops in Chemical Safety and Security Officer Trainings aims to provide information and materials to chemistry professors and laboratory leaders in various Iraqi Universities to enable them to conduct follow-on trainings in chemical safety and security on regular basis in their respective institutions or other Iraqi Universities for both lecturers and students.   Specifically, the purpose of the workshop had the following:

  • Help establish a safe and secure workplace;
  • Help safeguard the environment; Prevent/reduce release of hazardous chemicals and operations;
  • Prevent/reduce exposure to staff;
  • Reduce stress and Enhance community relations;
  • Comply with regulations;
  • Crisis management.

Details about the program:

In these workshops, various discussions and material presentations were given by experts and practitioners in Chemistry in the areas of Chemical Science, whom have been certified for delivering such training.  Visits to local university laboratories were conducted focusing on issues and real case studies to be discussed in order to find solutions or ways to improve future practices in the chemical laboratories. Through the workshop, the participants were able to:

  • Discuss various views on Chemical safety practices.
  • Exchange experiences between chemists who have either tried, adopted, or marketed chemistry products and chemists who are still at the learning stage.
  • Learn from chemistry industry practitioners through direct contact with the Practitioners.
  • Agree on the need for more chemistry-education regarding safety procedures and practices in laboratories, and in the production of chemical products for commercial use.
  • Discuss and plans for improving and adapting a safer environment in the University chemical laboratories.

These workshops are a continuation for the CSSO 2011 and CSSO 2012 workshops.

The CSSO 2011 workshops involved four Iraqi Universities ; they are:

  • Workshop 1 - University of Baghdad
  • Workshop 2 - University of Mosul
  • Workshop 3 - University of Basra
  • Workshop 4 - University of Babylon

The CSSO 2012 workshops involved five Iraqi Universities:

  • Workshop 1 - University of Kufa
  • Workshop 2 - University of Technology
  • Workshop 3 - University of Qadisiyah
  • Workshop 4 - University of Tikrit
  • Workshop 5- University of Sulaiymania/Kurdistan Region-Iraq

The CSSO 2013 workshops involved five Iraqi Universities

  • Workshop 1 - University of Kerbala
  • Workshop 2 - University of Thi Qar
  • Workshop 3 - University of Al Nahrain
  • Workshop 4 -  University of Karkuk
  • Workshop 5 - University of Salahaddin

The workshops are managed and executed by ASTF Sharjah  (HQ) and in conjunction with ASTF Baghdad office support.
The total number of participants for CSSO 2013 were 160 about 140 scientists & engineers.
The total funds for the CSSO 2013 program was about 100,000 USD.