Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2004 17:18:52 -0500
Reply-To: Ninette Burns <Ninette.Burns**At_Symbol_Here**GRIFFINLLC.COM>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Ninette Burns <Ninette.Burns**At_Symbol_Here**GRIFFINLLC.COM>
Subject: Re: Laboratory Risk Statement
Comments: To: Donald Rosenthal
I am not affiliated with a university;  I work for a manufacturer of crop
protection chemicals.   We implement the OSHA Lab Standard found in the
Code of Federal Regulations Volume 29 Part 1910 (available online) which
specifies that we must have readily accessible all MSDSs for chemicals that
are on site.   "Ready access" is a key concept - they can't be limited to a
locked office.  My opinion, based on the OSHA interpretation, is that
providing information to students on how to obtain MSDSs is not enough,
although it is certainly a good thing to include.   I recommend that actual
MSDSs be on hand for immediate access, such as in a file cabinet in the lab
area or storeroom.  The MSDS contains information  that is helpful to know
BEFORE it is used, and will tell the reader what to expect in case of an
accidental exposure incident, and what to do about it.  Such a simple thing
as knowing how to read an MSDS can help dispel unwarranted fears of
"chemicals."   Reading the MSDSs prior to starting the labwork should be
part of the lab experience in order to develop the habit.

Inasmuch as a university has employees who are also exposed to these
things, either directly or indirectly, the university should be subject to
the same OSHA regulations as any other workplace.  Regulations or not,
having the MSDSs on hand and available to everyone, student or employee,
makes good sense.

There has been discussion on this list about including safety principles as
part of the education of chemists.  Teachers (including those at
universities) should teach by example.  If the faculty shows respect for
these ordinary safety tools, the students will pick up on it.  And if not,
students will pick that up, too.  When someone gets so cocky that they
think they don't need to do such mundane things, that person is on his/her
way to an incident ( ....not an "accident," but an "incident."  "Accident"
implies that no one was responsible.)  During my education in a university
chemistry department, and in my professional experience, I've seen them

Just by two cents' worth -
Ninette Burns
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Griffin L.L.C.

                      Donald Rosenthal
                      Sent by: DCHAS-L         Subject:  [DCHAS-L] Laboratory Risk Statement
                      Discussion List

                      02/12/2004 12:43
                      Please respond to
                      Donald Rosenthal

I received the appended message from Marcy Towns and am
forwarding it in the hope that I can receive some useful
comments and suggestions which I will relay to Marcy.

Donald Rosenthal
Department of Chemistry
Clarkson University
Potsdam NY 13699-5810


Subject: Laboratory Risk Statement

From: Marcy Towns <00mhtowns**At_Symbol_Here**>

I need to ask for help . . . Ball State is contemplating
adding a laboratory risk statement to the syllabi of our
courses which have a lab.  The current statement is below:

Laboratory risk statement:

Students enrolling in this course should realize that they
will be working with a variety of chemicals, some of which
could be irritating or hazardous with excessive exposure.
Individuals with sensitive medical conditions should take
precautions such as wearing additional protective garments,
delaying enrollment, or not enrolling in this course.  In
particular, women who are or may be pregnant should consult
with their physician.  A list of chemicals used in this course
and information about how to obtain Material Safety Data
Sheets (MSDS) is available in the chemistry department office,
CP 307.


I'd appreciate feedback from any of you who have a similar
statement.  Is our proposed statement close in terms of
wording?  We are considering generating a list of chemicals
for each course with a statement on the bottom directing the
student's attention to a website where MSDS information can be
accessed.  Also, there's been an issue raised regarding our
health center.  The notion is to also send the list of
chemicals to the health center with the accompanying MSDS
sheets.  Is anyone else doing this?

Thanks for the help.  Our faculty is scheduled to discuss it
next Thursday.



Marcy Towns
Professor of Chemistry
Ball State University
Cooper Hall
Muncie, IN 47306
 765-285-2351 (FAX)

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