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Barbara Foster

Director of Laboratory Safety

ECAS Laboratory Safety


Barbara Foster is the Director of Laboratory Safety for the C. Eugene Bennett Department of Chemistry at West Virginia University. She also serves as the College Safety Officer for the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at WVU. In these capacities, Foster oversees all aspects of laboratory safety in the science departments, including creation of safety plans, risk assessment and risk management, chemical inventory updates, adherence to safety regulations, and laboratory inspections. 

Foster is certified as a Chemical Hygiene Officer through the National Registry of Certified Chemists. She is a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and received the Tillmanns-Skolnick Award from the ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety (DCHAS) in 2006 in recognition of her service to the division. Ms. Foster served as the chair of DCHAS in 2007. 

She serves as a reviewer for the ACS Journal of Chemical Education and is a member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 45 Technical Committee. 

Foster served as co-chair of the committee that was formed by the National Academy of Sciences to produce Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Management of Chemical Hazards, published in 2011. 

She is the author of over 20 instructional publications and papers and she has presented over 60 talks on chemical safety at professional meetings, workshops, academic institutions, and government facilities across the nation.


Co-chair of Committee, Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Management of Chemical Hazards, Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology, Division on Earth and Life Studies, National Research Council of the National Academies, Washington, D.C., 2011.

Foster, B.L., Laboratory Safety and Management – A Handbook for Teaching Assistants, West Virginia University: Morgantown, WV, 2007.

Foster, B.L., “In Pursuit of Excellence in Safety”, Journal of Chemical Health & Safety, Elsevier Science Ireland, Ltd.: Shannon, Ireland; May/June 2007; pp 6-13.

Foster, B.L., “The Chemical Inventory Management System in Academia”, Chemical Health & Safety 2005, 12(5), September/October; pp. 21-25.

Foster, B.L., “Mercury Thermometer Replacements in Chemistry Laboratories”, Journal of Chemical Education, February 2005, pp. 269-270.

Foster, B.L., “Safety Issues Related to Microwave-Enhanced Chemistry”, Paper 2.b, ACS Online Chemistry Course, Chemical Safety: Protecting Ourselves and Our Environment, October 2004.

Foster, B.L., “Basic Principles of Safety in Academic Laboratories”, Paper 2, ACS Online Chemistry Course, Chemical Safety: Protecting Ourselves and Our Environment, September 2004.

Foster, B.L., “Laboratory Safety Program Assessment in Academia”, Chemical Health & Safety; Elsevier Science Ireland, Ltd.: Shannon, Ireland; 11(4), July/August 2004; pp. 6-13.

Foster, B.L., Laboratory Safety and Management, West Virginia University: Morgantown, WV, June 2004.