Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2005 14:57:39 -0700
Reply-To: Sheila Kennedy <smk**At_Symbol_Here**CHEM.UCSD.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Sheila Kennedy <smk**At_Symbol_Here**CHEM.UCSD.EDU>
Subject: exam questions
Comments: To: LABSAFETY-L Discussion List

Update & thoughts for those who are interested in undergraduate safety
education/examinations. A draft version of the exam is below . Most of
these questions are revised from other tests I had on hand, with a sharp
eye on testing safety practices (see Larry Cattoor's comments, below).
As you can see, I haven't succeeded in avoiding the wrong answer problem
- if you can improve on any of these, please let me know.  Any & all
comment gladly accepted.

While I received lots of encouragement in this effort - and a lot of
thoughtful comments - I didn't receive many actual exam questions. This
at least justified my original assessment of this effort as difficult.
Those I did receive have been edited to fit my needs, so the faults of
the exam are all mine.

Larry Cattoor (Biosafety/Chemical Hygiene Officer, University of Kansas,
Lawrence) suggested an interesting - and the more I think about it,
important - distinction between training and education:

     To me, an exam to evaluate training is different than an exam to
evaluate education. Training is a Pass or Fail situation, whereas
     education can be graded on a quality scale with different levels of
passing or failing. I educate people about safety principles, but I
     train them in safety practices. When discussing principles I can
evaluate on a sliding scale how well they understand and apply
     principles. However, with safety practices the context really is

This made me think that perhaps I was missing a distinction between
questions about principles & questions about training issues (safe
practice) and that this might account for some students reaching a
passing score while missing a KEY item of safety practice. I needed to
identify which was primary for the population being tested. The test I'm
working on this week is a last-ditch effort on the part of the students
not to be ejected from class as unsafe - obviously more of a training
than an education situation.

Sheila M. Kennedy, CHO
Safety Coordinator, Undergraduate Teaching Laboratories
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr.
La Jolla, CA  92093-0303
(858) 534-0221

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

For the purposes of this test, Chris and Alex are students in the UCSD
CHEM Undergraduate Teaching Labs (“the teaching labs”); no reference to
actual persons is intended. For each question, choose one option that
best answers the question. Reference materials are attached.

1. What is the minimum level of personal protection Chris & Alex must
wear to be allowed to work in the teaching labs?
a.  Gloves, goggles, and chemical apron.
b.  Hiking boots, lab coat & full-face shield.
c.  Level ‘A’ protective suit
d.  Eye protection, closed shoes, and long lab coat.
e.  Long pants, T-shirt & shoes with apron & goggles.

2. Chris forgets his goggles and finds that the Undergraduate Labs
Stockroom policy . . .
a.  allows staff members to rent spare goggles to students who forget
their own.
b.  does not allow lending goggles to students who forget their own.
c.  allows lending goggles to students only on the student’s birthday.
d.  encourages responsible behavior by lending goggles to students who
forget their own.
e.  allows staff members to scold students who forget their goggles.

3. Why are closed shoes required, even on warm days?
a.  Solid shoes protect feet from cuts from broken glass.
b.  Solid shoes protect feet from contamination from spills.
c.  Solid shoes provide better traction than slick sandals.
d.  both a & b
e.  all of the above

4. In the teaching labs, contact lens wear:
a.  Is forbidden.
b.  Is recommended.
c.  is not mentioned.
d.  is allowed as safety eyewear
e.  is allowed with safety eyewear

5. Alex is working beside Chris when Chris reaches across an open flame
and catches a sleeve on fire.  What should Alex do FIRST?
a.  shout for the TA’s attention & follow TA’s instructions
b.  prevent Chris from running and shout for the TA’s attention
c.  grab Chris’s other arm & walk across the room to the shower
d.  clear others out of the area while the TA responds to the fire
e.  turn off the burner to keep the fire from getting worse

6. What should Alex do next?
a.  grab Chris’s other arm & walk across the room to the shower
b.  use any nearby blanket, coat or jacket to smother flames
c.  call campus operator for medical attention
d.  prevent Chris from running and shout for the TA’s attention
e.  assist Chris & TA in filling out an accident report

7. A chemical splashed in the eye(s), should be flushed with running
water for at least:
a. one minute
b. five minutes
c. ten minutes
d. fifteen minutes
e. twenty minutes

8. . What FIRST AID should immediately follow skin or eye exposure to a
corrosive chemical  (e.g., acid or base)?
a. No first aid; go directly to the emergency room.
b. Call for medical assistance.
c. Rinse with copious amounts of running water.
d. Listen for instructions from TA.
e. Clean spill with materials from the lab spill kit.

9. The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) provides all of the following
information EXCEPT:
a. Spill and clean-up data
b. Fire hazard information
c. First aid information for personal exposure
d. Experimental procedures using the material
e. Health hazard information

10. What is the best way to warn others about the hazards of your
a. Label containers with owner’s name, locker number & date
b. Read MSDSs before lab time; list hazards of each material in pre-lab
c. Label containers with full chemical name, concentration and hazards
d. Find the UCSD list of highly hazardous materials and post it in the lab.
e. Keep hazardous materials stored securely in the drawer or cupboard.

Some materials should ONLY be used in a laboratory ‘fume’ hood. Would
the following characteristic(s) suggest that a material belongs in this

11. Volatile only
a. yes
b. no

12. Unpleasant or irritating odor
a. yes
b. no

13. Corrosive and volatile
a. yes
b. no

14. Volatile and toxic
a. yes
b. no

15. Flammable only
a. yes
b. no

16. Toxic only
a. yes
b. no

Answer the following questions based on the MSDS provided:

Is the product corrosive?
17. Black Magic Wire Wheel Cleaner
a. yes
b. no
18. Roundup
a. yes
b. no
19. Acetone (CH3COCH3)
a. yes
b. no
20. Potassium dichromate (K2Cr2O7)
a. yes
b. no
21. Caustic Soda Beads
a. yes
b. no

Is the product toxic?
22. Black Magic Wire Wheel Cleaner
a. yes
b. no
23. Roundup
a. yes
b. no
24. Acetone (CH3COCH3)
a. yes
b. no
25. Potassium dichromate (K2Cr2O7)
a. yes
b. no
26. Caustic Soda Beads
a. yes
b. no

Is the product flammable?
27. Black Magic Wire Wheel Cleaner
a. yes
b. no
28. Roundup
a. yes
b. no
29. Acetone (CH3COCH3)
a. yes
b. no
30. Potassium dichromate (K2Cr2O7)
a. yes
b. no
31.  Caustic Soda Beads
a. yes
b. no

32. A hazardous waste in a teaching lab should be . . .
a.  disposed of as soon as possible to avoid contamination of persons or
work areas.
b.  disposed according to instructions provided.
c.  kept closed except when waste is being added.
d.  all of the above
e.  none of the above – no  hazardous wastes are generated in the
teaching labs.

33. What is the recommended strategy for handling broken or chipped
glassware in lab?
a.  Let professional staff handle all broken glass.
b.  Using tools (e.g., tongs & dust pan), carry the broken pieces to the
outside Dumpster.
c.  Dispose of all pieces in a puncture-resistant “Broken Glass” box.
d.  Using tools (e.g., tongs & dust pan), carry the broken pieces to the
e.  Wrap pieces in multiple layers of paper or plastic before placing in
“Broken Glass” box.

34. Some volatile materials can cause irritation of the respiratory
tract, intoxication, central nervous system depression, drowsiness, or
nausea; some are acutely toxic. What is the best way to prevent
accidental inhalation while working with these materials?
a.  Working with volatile hazardous materials in the lab hood
b.  Closing containers before removing them from the hood
c.  Holding your breath while transferring them
d.  a & b
e.  none of the above

35.  Which strategy is recommended when a refill of a hazardous material
is needed?
a. The student tells the TA who calls for a delivery.
b. The student goes to the stockroom and asks for a refill to be delivered.
c. The student places the empty bottle into a secondary transport
container (such as a red bottle carrier) and goes to the stockroom and
asks for a refill to be delivered.
d. The student places the empty bottle into a secondary transport
container (such as a red bottle carrier), goes to the stockroom and
returns with the refill in the secondary container.
e. Students never need chemical reagents refilled in the lab.

36. Which of the following precaution(s) should be taken when heating
materials with direct heat (e.g., a Bunsen burner)?
a. Aim container opening away from everyone.
b. Diffuse heat with a wire gauze under the flask or beaker.
c. Avoid local hot spots by moving test tube across flame.
d. Heat test tubes or beakers gently in a hot water bath.
e. All of the above.

37. What is the reason for prohibiting ALL chewing gum, food, drink, and
smoking materials in the chemistry labs?
a.  Delay of lab work
b.  Dried gum under lab benches
c.  The possibility of contamination and poisoning
d.  No appropriate disposal containers
e.  Health concerns for those with food allergies

38. While massing a solid chemical on the balance, Alex finds the mass
is larger than necessary and removes a small portion with a spatula.
What is the recommended strategy for dealing with the excess material?
a.  Offer it to Chris or another student to use, but never leave it
b.  Return it to the stock bottle  -  if the spatula used was clean.
c.  Deposit it in the ‘Excess Solids’ waste jar on the balance table.
d.  a & b
e.  a & c

39.  In the event of a property fire in the teaching labs (not involving
any persons or clothing), a student should:
a.  Fight the fire until the emergency crew arrives.
b.  Evacuate the room, close doors & call campus police from a safe
c.  Assist others in evacuation, where possible.
d.  a & b
e.  b & c

40.  In the event of a building evacuation (for fire, a major spill, or
following an earthquake), students should leave the building and:
a.  meet in the assembly area to take roll.
b.  reenter the building only when everyone is safe.
c.  meet in the assembly area and listen for further instructions.
d.  a & b
e.  a & c

41.  In the event of a building evacuation, the designated assembly area
for your class . . .
a.  may be reassigned by Emergency Responders on the scene.
b.  is in the motorcycle parking lot Northeast of York Hall.
c.  is at the fountain in Revelle Plaza.
d.  a & b
e.  a & c

42.  In any emergency, a student’s  first concern should be . . .
a.  protection of the environment from pollution.
b.  safety of the people involved.
c.  protection of lab instruments and other University property.
d.  water damage to expensive equipment.
e.  water damage to student backpacks

43.  Students who arrive unprepared or inappropriately equipped for a
lab class will be . . .
a.  given time to makeup the lab later.
b.  dismissed until ready to work.
c.  given the average grade for that experiment.
d.  immediately failed in the class.
e.  given a grade of 'zero' for the experiment.

44.  Lightweight gloves available in the labs should be . . .
a.  used by anyone handling hazardous materials.
b.  removed before leaving lab & entering public areas.
c.  changed when contaminated.
d.  removed before handling common items such as telephones and door knobs.
e.  all of the above.

45. Where can lab workers (including students)  find Material Safety
Data Sheets (MSDSs) to learn about the hazards of lab materials?
a.  Undergraduate Labs Stockrooms or the UCSD Science & Engineering Library.
b.  Any good bookstore &  the University co-op store.
c.  On the web via the Undergraduate Labs' web site or the UC Office of
the President (UCOP) web site.
d.  a & b
e.  a & c

46.  To check the temperature of oven-dried glass . . .
a.  check the appearance.
b.  observe the color.
c.  grab the glass very briefly.
d.  hold a hand near glass without touching.
e.  ask TA.

47.  Hazardous chemicals used at home do not require personal protective
equipment (i.e., gloves & eye protection) because consumer products are
not as hazardous as laboratory chemicals.
a.  True
b.  False

48.  How should you dispose of the sludge created when neutralizing a
small acid spill with sodium bicarbonate?
a.  Collect it in a dust pan, seal it in a plastic bag and label the bag.
b.  Dump it in the trash bin.
c.  Store in the hazardous waste area of the lab.
d.  a & b
e.  a & c

49.  How can you assure yourself (& your lab mates) that all acid has
been cleaned from a spill on the floor?
a.  Ask the TA.
b.  Call the lab staff to check and approve your cleanup.
c.  Moisten the area with water and test with pH paper.
d.  Fill our an accident report, so lab staff will check it before the
next lab meeting.
e.  You can never really be sure.

50.  When should a student request a replacement liquid hazardous waste
bottle for the lab?
a.  When the bottle is ~50% full.
b.  When the bottle is completely full.
c.  When the liquid level reaches the “FULL” line.
d.  At the end of each lab meeting.
e.  At the end of the experiment.

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