CSB Receives American Chemical Society's Howard Fawcett Award

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has been named as the 2008 recipient of the American Chemical Society's Howard Fawcett Award, honoring "outstanding contributions in the field of chemical health and safety," marking the first time the 25-year-old award has been presented to an entire organization.

CSB Chairman John Bresland accepted the award last nigh on behalf of the agency at the society's national meeting in Philadelphia.

"All of us at the CSB are honored to receive this prestigious award, recognizing our more than 10 years of work to improve the safety of American workplaces and communities," Bresland said. "I thank the members of the American Chemical Society for their longstanding support of our mission to save lives by investigating and preventing chemical disasters."

Founded in 1876, the American Chemical Society (ACS) is the world's largest scientific society, with more than 160,000 members, including chemists, chemical engineers, and other technical professionals from around the globe. The Fawcett award is presented annually by the ACS's Chemical Health and Safety Division.

According to the nomination statement for the award, "The CSB has developed a number of innovative tools to communicate the results of its investigations to the public, government, industry, and academia. The [computer] animations which explain in detail how a specific incident occurred are particularly noteworthy. The CSB is providing strong leadership to industry and to other agencies aimed at improving safety performance through aggressive safety management systems."

CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. The agency's board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.

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