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Offline Borek

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Offline discodermolide

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Re: Lab safety...
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2013, 06:40:59 PM »
Thanks for posting that link. The message is clear.

Here is one from the ACS itself, I find this video shocking and the ACS should be ashamed to publish this!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWefNwFbYKw&feature=youtu.be
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Offline Raphael

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Re: Lab safety...
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2013, 08:48:13 PM »
I came here to post the same video.  It's very sad that all these people have gotten hurt or died. I guess for me though in my mind your safety is your own responsibility and you need to go over everything you are working with before you go into the lab. The people in charge of the lab are surely responsible as well, but in the end people need to be reading MSDS's, do research on what they are using, and protecting themselves correctly, even if their PI doesn't say anything. But maybe I'm just jaded and paranoid. I don't want it to sound like I am blaming just the people that got hurt, because there are probably many, many people that could be blamed if you wanted to blame someone. I feel bad for everyone involved in these cases...


Here is one from the ACS itself, I find this video shocking and the ACS should be ashamed to publish this!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWefNwFbYKw&feature=youtu.be

I don't understand. Why is a video about dayglo bad?

Offline discodermolide

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Re: Lab safety...
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2013, 11:12:06 PM »
Well if the factory has a dust explosion it will paint the town the colours of the rainbow. I saw no real precautions to prevent the build up of dust in the air. Static discharge.
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Offline Dan

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Re: Lab safety...
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2013, 03:54:41 AM »
The people in charge of the lab are surely responsible as well, but in the end people need to be reading MSDS's, do research on what they are using, and protecting themselves correctly, even if their PI doesn't say anything.

Yes, the responsibility is certainly a shared one. There is a general safety problem in universities, which is due to a large proportion of the workers being untrained. While safety may seem like common sense, I don't think it is really that simple. There are often still major problems with experienced people coming in from labs with poor safety practice - it is habit and attitude. For example, the detonation case study is particularly baffling to me - how you can decide to manually grind what you know is an explosive material without at least a blast shield is beyond me - but I was educated in a lab where we used blast shields for much less dangerous activities than that, so that's hardly surprising.

The major deficiency I've experienced in university labs is lack of enforcement. It's great to have safety lectures, safety policy, COSHH assessments for experiments etc., but when nobody is actually checking to see whether any of these regulations are being followed in reality (except for an annual inspection) standards remain fairly low. That said, I did work in one department where you were suspended from the for a week if caught without safety glasses in a lab. As you can imagine, this was an excellent strategy to get PIs to actually enforce good safety practice in their own groups - unfortunately I think that otherwise many PIs turn a blind eye to it.

The system we run in the lab I'm currently in involves a monthly safety rota, which gets everyone involved in safety and conscience of it. Since we started doing this about a year ago safety standards have improved substantially.
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Offline curiouscat

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Re: Lab safety...
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2013, 09:20:56 AM »
Here is one from the ACS itself, I find this video shocking and the ACS should be ashamed to publish this!

I'm confused.  ??? Why should ACS be ashamed again? Or was this sarcasm?

Offline curiouscat

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Re: Lab safety...
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2013, 09:24:20 AM »
There is a general safety problem in universities, which is due to a large proportion of the workers being untrained.

Is there really? Do we have statistics? For the amount of experiments and people involved I don't think I've read as many accident reports. Maybe  incidents get swept under the carpet; but still. I'd be curious to see studies of this, if there are any.

Offline Dan

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Re: Lab safety...
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2013, 09:34:46 AM »
I don't know of any studies, I should have been clear that this is from my personal observations. Our safety office openly acknowledges that we, as a department, do not meet industrial safety standards and that they are trying to get us there.

My only experience of industry was a 3 month placement during my PhD - the safety standards were markedly better. I had to lose some bad habits fast.
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Offline DrCMS

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Re: Lab safety...
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2013, 09:45:25 AM »
My own experience is similar in that University PhD chemists do not get any formal safety training; I got shown what to do by an older PhD student and later I showed new students what to do.  Different research groups therefore developed different standards.  When I got my first job in industry it became quite clear that the standards at University were much lower than those expected in industry.

I have worked in dye factories and I've got to say that the dayglo one is a *please do not swear* they should be ashamed of showing anyone.  The place is covered in dye/pigment dusts.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 10:53:59 AM by Dan »

Offline curiouscat

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Re: Lab safety...
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2013, 09:53:14 AM »
I don't know of any studies, I should have been clear that this is from my personal observations. Our safety office openly acknowledges that we, as a department, do not meet industrial safety standards and that they are trying to get us there.

My only experience of industry was a 3 month placement during my PhD - the safety standards were markedly better. I had to lose some bad habits fast.

All that is true. Though I prefer to judge by outcome and not a formulaic adherence to standards (which safety officers are often guilty of IMHO). Industrial safety standards can cut both ways. I'm not sure they are entirely and verbatim appropriate for a research setting.

My point is a safety standard needs to be recognized as a tradeoff and that's often lost sight off. There's nothing such as absolute safety.

Offline discodermolide

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Re: Lab safety...
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2013, 09:57:50 AM »
Quote from DrCMS "I have worked in dye factories and I've got to say that the dayglo one is a *please do not swear* they should be ashamed of showing anyone.  The place is covered in dye/pigment dusts."
I agree 100%. The environmental people should be on their backs for the mess.
The ACS should not propagate such "dirty chemistry" it's exactly the image we do not want to project. The populous is worried enough about chemicals in the food. If I was not a chemist I would wonder what else is going on that they did not show. If the plant has an accident what effect will that MESS have on me and my kids.
And this from the ACS who should be promoting the exact opposite.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 10:54:16 AM by Dan »
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Offline Raphael

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Re: Lab safety...
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2013, 12:54:56 PM »
Well if the factory has a dust explosion it will paint the town the colours of the rainbow. I saw no real precautions to prevent the build up of dust in the air. Static discharge.

Makes sense.

Offline JGK

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Re: Lab safety...
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2013, 02:30:08 PM »
I don't understand. Why is a video about dayglo bad?

It is the state of the production floor, god knows what the worker looks like after a shift. if its spreading over the plant like that, workers (not wearing resipiratory protection must be inhaling a fair amount. If the particle size is low (>5┬Ám in the video) it will fully penetrate into the lung alveoli. Plastics will not be metabolized and could lead to mutagenic tissue changes through irritation.

With highly coloured material you can see the dispersion. Suppose the same company made a toxic colourless/odourless material instead, would you even want to walk in there?

I appreciate that production areas can be messy, but hygiene is taking a huge sabbatical in that video.
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Re: Lab safety...
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2013, 01:33:01 AM »
Really which is true. Though I favor to judge by gains and also virtually no formulaic adherence to standards (that safety officers are certainly frequently guilty of IMHO). Commercial your safety requirements can cut simultaneously methods. I am not absolute sure the couple tend to be completely as well as also verbatim appropriate for an analysis environment.

Offline JGK

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Re: Lab safety...
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2013, 01:57:22 PM »
Not really lab safety, but the award for the most cringe-making video has to go to the European Commission with this one for a campaign to get more women into science.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g032MPrSjFA
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