History of UCSF

Originally founded in 2006, the University Chemical Safety Forum was intended as a place for Chemical Safety Officers to share and discuss chemical safety knowledge and best practice and be a safe space to share information about recent incidents. The biennial meetings have traditionally been hosted by Chemistry departments in Spring and in September of each year and the Chemsaf email distribution list has been a vital source of support for many of us over the years.


Membership of UCSF is gradually growing (we’ve recently hit over 230 members) and now includes technicians, lab managers and H&S officers from many different departments who have an interest in chemical safety in research and teaching in the Higher Education Sector.


Our 24 conferences have been held in locations across the country, from Southampton to Glasgow and Bristol to Cambridge (see previous meetings for the full list), and we are always looking for new Universities to visit – so if you would like to host one of our meetings, please contact one of our Events team. More recently meetings have been held virtually but we look forward to being able to meet up in person again in the near future.


The forum meetings are organised and run by volunteers from our membership, enabling costs of coming along to be kept low and the dinner on the eve of the meetings is always a great way to get to know fellow members. Many thanks go to David Kinneston (ex Southampton), Moray Stark (York), Alaine Martin (Strathclyde) for their leadership of the management group over the last 15 years, and to all the previous treasurers, secretaries, event coordinators, membership secretaries and other members of the UCSF management group. Members of the group have also represented UCSF on Nanosafe working group as well as with IOSH, ISTR and USHA on Responsible Research – Managing health and safety in research: guidance for the not-for-profit sector.