Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2004 12:00:28 -0500
Reply-To: chemcon**At_Symbol_Here**JUNO.COM
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Jay Young <chemcon**At_Symbol_Here**JUNO.COM>
Subject: Re: Laboratory Risk Statement
Comments: To: wellerp**At_Symbol_Here**ELON.EDU
On Tue, 17 Feb 2004 10:20:47 -0500 Paul Weller  writes:
> While agree with the judicial based prudence that Don's comments
> suggest, I question how realistic these endeavors are. If we teach
> the
> students how to read and understand a MSDS once (and maybe test
> them),
> do we have the time to do this every week?  If we only supply
> reagent
> bottles with original labels to the students, do we purchase 100 mL
> bottles of acid rather than 2.5L bottles?  Do we stop making 3M
> acid
> solutions because we cannot purchase them from a supplier and
> cannot
> provide a bottle with an original label?

COMMENT BY Jay Young: Jeepers, how much time does it take to prepare a
simple one question exam?  A single question might be "State two
precautions that are described in the MSDS."  And as to the time taken to
grade the answers, ask a student to grade the darn things for this week,
and another to do the grading next week, and so on.  That way, both the
examinee and the examiner would learn something about safety.

As to the labels, Xerox the darn thing.

> Based on the training I received at the LSI safety training, you
> cannot
> eliminate jury awards for incidents which lead to judicial
> litigation.
> However, if you can show a pattern of following the accepted
> practices,
> such as those found in the ACS Safety in Academic Laboratories and
> Prudent Practices, you may be able to reduce the amount of such an
> award.

Thanks for the plug for that excellent reference, ACS Safety in Academic

> What do ya'll think?  How much time can anyone spend covering their
> collective hides at the expense of their primary mission?  Should
> we
> spend the time working on any of the accepted practices that have
> not
> been examined an implemented?

It's not a matter of protecting your rear end, it's a matter of
preventing harm.  If you can show that you have used good sense and have
done what a reasonable person (who is a professor and knows the hazards
and the precautions) would have done, your lawyer can get you off the
hook.  The thing is though, that some professors themselves have not
taken the time to inform themselves about the hazards and the
precautions.  That can end up being a big mistake.

                        Jay Young

> Paul Weller
> Science Laboratory Manager-Chemistry
> Elon University

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