Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2006 20:09:35 -0800
Reply-To: Laurence Doemeny <ldoemeny**At_Symbol_Here**COX.NET>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Laurence Doemeny <ldoemeny**At_Symbol_Here**COX.NET>
Subject: Re: cell phones in labs
Comments: To: Harry Elston
In-Reply-To: <**At_Symbol_Here**>

The following is taken from my cell phone instruction manual. Turning Off Your Phone in Dangerous Areas To avoid interfering with blasting operations, turn your phone off when in a blasting area or in other areas with signs indicating two-way radios should be turned off. Construction crews often use remote-control RF devices to set off explosives. Turn your phone off when you're in any area that has a potentially explosive atmosphere. Although it's rare, your phone and accessories could generate sparks. Sparks can cause an explosion or fire, resulting in bodily injury or even death. These areas are often, but not always, clearly marked. They include: - Fueling areas such as gas stations. - Below deck on boats. - Fuel or chemical transfer or storage facilities. - Areas where the air contains chemicals or particles such as grain, dust, or metal powders. - Any other area where you would normally be advised to turn off your vehicle's engine. Note: Never transport or store flammable gas, liquid or explosives in the compartment of your vehicle that contains your phone or accessories. -----Original Message----- From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Harry Elston Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2006 12:20 PM To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] cell phones in labs > >For the use of non-instrinsically safe electronic devices such as >cell phones with flammable liquids, how about using the standards >for flammability in the OSHA confined space standard at 20 CFR >1910.146? The standard for flammable vapors and vapors and gases is >to evacuate the area at any concentrations above 10% of the Lower >Flammable Limit (10% LEL), using a combustible gas indicator >calibrated with methane or pentane. > >Another thing to consider is the HAZWOPER standard, 29 CFR >1910.120(k) [I think], decontamination. Nothing should be brought >to the face without washing both face and hands. So much for using >cell phones with potentially contaminated hands. George, Don't take this the wrong way, but your post is perhaps the classic example of the misapplication of regulations. Laboratories are not: (1) Confined spaces (2) Hazardous waste operations sites (3) Hazardous waste emergency response operation sites, unless, of course an incident is in process. CGIs are not a common laboratory instrument. Why would they be? You can go to just about any university synthetic organic research wing and identify by odor the research in progress, given enough experience. Cell phones are not intrinsically safe, they are not required to be. The question that was on topic was "what about cell phones in labs?" In industry, unless a company has a written policy regarding the use of phones, it will be left to the supervisor. Personally I don't like to see them in the lab for a number of reason, none of which are regulation, most of which are prudent (chemical or business) practice: (1) Distraction from what you're doing (2) Distracting your neighbor from what they are suppose to be doing. (I really don't care what your having for dinner or where you're going after work.) (3) Exposure control issues. Why spread it around to your eyes and face? (4) You're on company time - answer your personal phone on your own time. Most plans come with voice mail....use it. (5) I really don't want your experiment shared with the company's competitors. (Cell phones with cameras here). That all being said, you need to look at the job in its entirety to make a decent risk assessment. For example, if you're not on the bench, but at a computer workstation, what about answering the phone there? Gotta get the whole picture.... H +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Harry J. Elston, Ph.D., CIH Principal - Midwest Chemical Safety helston**At_Symbol_Here** 217.971.6047 Editor, Chemical Health & Safety "When a committee is in charge, no one is in charge." Elston's management axiom #3

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