Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 13:18:00 -0500
Reply-To: "Paul J. Davis" <Paul.Davis**At_Symbol_Here**HEALTHNETWORKLABS.COM>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Paul J. Davis" <Paul.Davis**At_Symbol_Here**HEALTHNETWORKLABS.COM>
Subject: Re: Cell phones in lab
In-Reply-To: A<456DBB51.901**At_Symbol_Here**>
I can only comment on the basis of my experience in a commercial
laboratory and not necessarily from helping to set policy.  I work in a
hospital laboratory with chemicals as well as biologicals and, from the
standpoint of hygiene, I prefer to keep all personal items out of the
laboratory.  I don't want to risk contaminating something that I'm going
to take home with me.

While I agree with the idea that the availability of a cell phone in the
event of an emergency is a good idea, that is most likely not the
typical use of the cell phone in the laboratory.  While we make every
effort to work safely in our laboratories, any distraction from our work
can lead to accidents or mistakes.  We need to stay focused on our work
and our surroundings, whether we are in academia or industry.

I think that, in addition to setting policy, we need to encourage

I hope this is helpful.

Paul J. Davis
Technical Specialist
Health Network Laboratories
Toxicology Laboratory
2024 Lehigh Street
Allentown, PA 18103

Phone:   610-402-5852
Fax:   610-402-5858

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of
Sheila Kennedy
Sent: Wednesday, November 29, 2006 11:55 AM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Cell phones in lab

I don't have any answers or help for most of this, but a question about 
your wording. Doesn't it rule out using the cell phone to summon 
emergency assistance? Do you want to do that?

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

Matt Heinrich wrote:
> Please excuse the cross-posting.  My searches of the CSHEMA-L, DCHAS-L
> and SAFETY list archives didn't produce any answers, so I appeal to
> list.
> My Chemical Management Committee is going to look at the question of
> cell phones in academic and research labs, at the request of one of
> professors.  His primary concern is the cell phone as a vector for
> contamination.  I think the committee will agree that cell phones
> be banned from labs for hygiene reasons, but I am wondering about a
> couple of things:
> 1)  If your institution has addressed this issue, was it a campus-wide
> policy decision, or dealt with on a building-by-building or lab-by-lab
> approach?  What do you see as the pros and cons of those choices?
> 2)  Have you addressed cell phones as a hazard outside of chemical or
> biological labs?  I'm thinking of high-risk activities (aside from
> driving) where the reflex to answer the phone could present an
> additional hazard.
> 3)  What do you think about including personal music players in the
> same policy?  One could make similar arguments against them on the
> of chemical hygiene and distraction risks.  I could see this being a
> point of contention in research labs.
> 4)  Do you have specific policy statements or wording that you could
> share with me?  My Google searches turned up a few lab safety
> hits, but not many CHP or policy hits.  I'm thinking about suggesting
> "Cellular telephones are not to be used in the laboratory at any time
> for any purpose," as a starting point.
> Thank you in advance for your help.
> Matt Heinrich
> Chemical Hygiene Officer
> Radiation Safety Officer
> Walla Walla College
> Ph. 509-527-2148
> Fax  509-527-2249
> heinma**At_Symbol_Here**

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