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 responsibility. 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 the > 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 our > professors. His primary concern is the cell phone as a vector for > contamination. I think the committee will agree that cell phones should > 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 basis > 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 agreement > 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 or > 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**wwc.edu > This message (including any attachments) is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is non-public, proprietary, privileged, confidential, and exempt from disclosure under applicable law or may constitute as attorney work product. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, notify us immediately by telephone and (i) destroy this message if a facsimile or (ii) delete this message immediately if this is an electronic communication.
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