While working at a mine in Papua New Guinea in the late 1970s, Ian Cowie noticed that staff were routinely exposed to hazardous chemicals in the course of their work.

With little safety data available from suppliers, Ian independently researched the properties of all the chemicals used in the mine. He subsequently developed the company’s first set of safe work practices for handling hazardous chemicals and recommendations for use of protective equipment.

Ian subsequently built the first software in Australia to automate the production of safety data sheets. In 1988, established ACOHS to develop a commercial software application and professional services for creating, managing and sharing safety data for hazardous chemicals.

Since it was founded, ACOHS has been an innovator and thought-leader in chemical safety, a participant in numerous industry and technical groups, and an agitator for ever-higher standards to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people in the workplace and protection of the environment.