“Gun Death” Lab Safety

Ok this one makes me ANGRY! My current lab is almost all “Designated Lab Space”, and falls under lab safety rules. Pretty much the only places that isn’t “Lab Space” is common areas shared by all the labs.

This means when I’m doing data entry I can neither eat or drink. Can you tell me a time you need caffeine MORE than when you’re doing data entry? If I need a snack or a drink, I must leave my lab and go to a common space. It sucks, but its for safety, and that’s why this story pisses me off!

County prosecutors say a University of California, Los Angeles chemistry professor has been ordered to stand trial after a fire in his lab caused the death of a 23-year-old research assistant….Prosecutors say Sangji was in Harran’s organic chemistry laboratory Dec. 29, 2008, when she transferred a highly flammable material without wearing a protective lab coat. The material spilled and caught fire, causing severe burns.

Now guilt needs to be determined by a court of law. Was this a student violating the rules, or was the lab run in such a way that violations of the rules were overlooked? I used to work with a man who would routinely be seen drinking coffee or eating a sandwich while running samples in the lab space. He was frequently reprimanded for this, he probably would have been fired if not for his senior position. If he had been harmed by his unsafe activities there would have been a paper trail and the blame would fall on him. Still I can see bad lab mangers not caring, or even not supplying protective gear, and that can encourage unsafe behaviors.

No matter, protective gear is a MUST! Wear your lab coats, wear your safety glasses, and no open-toe shoes in the lab! They don’t make you wear that stuff because dress-up is fun!


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2 Responses to “Gun Death” Lab Safety

  1. 45er says:

    Agreed. The Mrs works in a lab and is very serious about the rules. She might complain a bit for the same reasons you mentioned, but she knows violating them might mean someone getting sick or killed. Kind of important to keep that in perspective. She might be the only one that always wears all the protective gear all the time.

  2. Alan says:

    When you spill fuming nitric acid on yourself you’ll be mighty thankful it was under the vent hood and you took the time to put your protective sleeves and gloves on like you were supposed to. That stuff is nasty.

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