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Subject: Course on health and safety in museums

Course on health and safety in museums

From: Catharine Hawks <cahawks>
Date: Friday, December 19, 2003
GW University Special Topics Course
Introduction to Health and Safety in Museums
(MSTD 297.80) (PubH 290.33)

Credit Hours:

    2 - PubH
    3 - MSTD
        (students who register through MSTD will complete an
        additional research project with one of the course

Prerequisites: None (PubH 221 is recommended but not required)

Course Dates: Summer Session I, 2004 (May 19-July 2, 2004)
Tuesday and Thursday evenings 6:10-8:20 pm

Registration: Spring, 2004. Registration information will be
available at <URL:>. Please contact one of the
course directors (see below) for information. GW Columbia College
alumni may be eligible to audit the course. Contact one of the
course directors for permission to audit.

Location: TBA in Ross Hall, GW Campus (2 off-site classes, one at a
local museum and one at the Smithsonian's Museum Support Center in
Silver Hill, MD)

Required Text: McCann, Michael. 1992. Artist Beware. 2nd edition.
The Lyons Press, New York. Other readings as assigned. Web site for
registered students,TBA

Course Directors:

    David Goldsmith (PubH)
    eohdfg [at] gwumc__edu

    Catharine Hawks (MSTD)
    cahawks [at] aol__com

Methods of Instruction: Lectures, visits to Smithsonian and other
museum facilities, Web quizzes, term paper/presentation

Grading Methods: Best 4 of 5 quizzes -25%; Presentation /paper -
65%; Class participation - 10%

Course Schedule

Week 1
Session 1
(Instructors: Goldsmith, Hawks)

    Introduction to the course

    Bibliographies and technical references/resources

    Overview of museum occupations and workforces, museum
    terminology, museum facilities and functions

    Overview of health and safety hazards in museum-related work
    including hazards to museum visitors and volunteers Session 2
    (Instructor: Goldsmith)

    Overview of toxicology; toxicology of specific biological,
    chemical, radiological hazards as outlined in Week 1; medical
    toxicology as it applies to museum staff and visiting public,
    Routes of entry, how standards are set (risk assessment),
    differences between occupational and community health standards

Week 2
Session 1
(Instructor: Ertel)

    Overview of safety and safety programs: program administration,
    health and safety committees, inspections, emergency procedures,
    employer/employee rights and responsibilities, workers
    compensation, regulations, job hazard analyses,

    OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, Chemical Hygiene Programs,
    Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), and OSHA construction
    standard vs general industry standards (e.g., for exhibit

Session 2
(Local museum)
(Instructors: Ertel, Hawks)

    Field trip to local museum for safety assessment walk-through

Week 3
Session 1
(Instructor: Ertel)

    Chemical handling, storage, and labeling, with emphasis on
    laboratory safety and exhibit shops

    Hazardous waste disposal

Session 2
(Instructor: Ertel)

    Health hazard control: ventilation, substitution, personal
    protective equipment including respirators, radiation
    protection, biohazards protection in field and laboratory

    Safety hazard evaluation and control: ergonomics, physical plant

Week 4
Session 1
(Instructor: Goldsmith)

    Outlines due for papers/presentations

    Role of monitoring and surveillance: exposure monitoring,
    biological monitoring, medical surveillance, permissible
    exposure standards, with emphasis on museum environments

Session 2
(Instructors: Hawks, Makos)

    Object testing for contaminants, NAGPRA issues, disclosure
    statements for loans, deaccessions, repatriation agreements,
    pest control methods, contaminated storage/exhibit cases and
    other materials, hazards in field work, exhibits collection
    safety for the public, hazard communication for shipping and

Week 5
Session 1 (Museum Support Center, Smithsonian)
(Instructor: Dietrich)

    Disaster planning, response and recovery--safety for staff,
    visitors, and the collections

    Facilities tour

Session 2
(Instructor: Stemmen)

    Fire protection: fire codes; fire protection systems; fire
    protection in public displays and fluid collection storage

Week 6
Session 1
(Instructors: Goldsmith, Hawks)

    Final papers due
    Course summary

Session 2 (Instructors: Goldsmith, Hawks)


Catharine Hawks
2419 Barbour Road
Falls Church VA 22043-3026 USA
703-876-9272 (phone/fax)

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:47
                 Distributed: Friday, December 19, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-17-47-010
Received on Friday, 19 December, 2003

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Retrieved: Tuesday, 19-Nov-2019 12:40:47 GMT