Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 16:26:55 -0500
Reply-To: ILPI <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: ILPI <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Subject: Re: safety shower location
In-Reply-To: <8956ABB49693F545A146AE96B85080EF121E25**At_Symbol_Here**QUEEN.COUGARS.INT>

>I'd fire my architect for incompetence (i.e., not knowing the "code") if
>he or she put safety showers and eye washes in a hall way space.
>Jay Young

>Why should anyone have to "navigate" by themselves during such an 
>emergency?  Did they make the decision to work alone?  Where they 
>allowed to be in a hazardous area totally alone?  What does prudent 
>practice suggest?  I have my answers to these questions.  What are 
>  W. H. "Jack" Breazeale

I'm going to be a lone voice in the wilderness of this discussion and 
insist there are safety showers in the hall.   Put them in the labs 
if there is space and the intended use will require it, absolutely, 
but put them in the hall as well.

The reason is this - if that lab goes up in a conflagration you 
aren't going to want to stick around.  I have PERSONALLY witnessed 
such an incident - three coworkers hit by an explosion of 
concentrated acid waste and flaming organic waste that were 
accidentally mixed.  A 12-foot double hood going up in flames so 
fierce that smoke rolled back down every hood on the entire floor.

We used the shower in the hallway to extinguish the worker who was 
still on fire. I am *damn* happy there was a shower in the hallway 
and that we didn't have to worry about finding an open laboratory 
nearby to get to one.  As it was, she ended up in the Mass General 
burn ward and received skin grafts; I can't imagine what we would 
have done if that shower hadn't been there - drop stop and roll her 
with our bare hands or try making it to the next lab with a 
shower...neither would have been as effective.  Fire blankets are 
nowhere near as effective as showers, plus we still needed a shower 
to rinse the victims.

This is not, alas, the only such incident I've personally witnessed - 
see this one, too:  There 
is no way you could have treated someone in there if it had been 
required (the lab does have showers in it; it's a large teaching lab 
and there should be showers in it).    If there was no shower in the 
hall, the next nearest showers would be found in adjacent teaching or 
research labs, many of which are unoccupied and locked depending on 
the time of day.

Jack, your points are well taken, but we know that folks in academia 
work alone quite a bit, or are momentarily alone from time to time 
(bathroom breaks, lunch time, went to the stockroom etc.).  We can 
all agree that is a Bad Thing, but it *will* happen.   I'd say that 
to NOT plan accordingly and blame the victim is both morally and 
legally irresponsible.

(additional lab horror stories omitted - man, do I have a lot of them!)


Dr. Rob Toreki
Safety Emporium - Lab & Safety Supplies featuring brand names
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