Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 13:09:47 -0800
Reply-To: Sheila Kennedy <s1kennedy**At_Symbol_Here**UCSD.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Sheila Kennedy <s1kennedy**At_Symbol_Here**UCSD.EDU>
Organization: UCSD Chemistry & Biochemistry
Subject: Re: Cell Phones in Lab
Comments: To: Matt Heinrich
In-Reply-To: <456D7CFC020000E800014BFF**At_Symbol_Here**>

I know of at least one teacher who announces early on that cell phones 
are NOT TO RING in his class - I believe he give a zero for the day to 
the first offender & doesn't have any further trouble. ... must be nice 
to play God once in a while....

On the other hand, timers are cheap & could be provided as lab equipment.

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:
> Ladies and Gentlemen,
> Thank you so much for the great responses.  Many helpful questions and
> suggestions.  (And if you've got more, feel free to let fly.)
> A little more verbose explanation, for those who had questions:
> The concern was raised by our Organic Chemistry professor, and his
> primary concern was the undergrad students' reflex to answer the phone
> immediately (no, OF COURSE they wouldn't have turned off the ringer or
> phone) in the middle of a procedure, with their gloves still on, etc. 
> He was also concerned about the fact that most of his students no longer
> wear watches, and were pulling out their phones to time procedures, and
> simply laying them on the bench top.  So, again, he is concerned about
> the telephones being a vector for carrying chemical contaminants out of
> the lab (and yet he's not in favor of providing lab coats. . .).  I do
> agree with the responses that suggest that this is an issue where
> education and reinforcement on basic lab hygiene and safety consistently
> applied should help take care of the issue.
> The issue of cell phones for emergency communication doesn't seem
> terribly compelling, because we have emergency phones in the hallways
> throughout our Life Sciences building, and in particular right outside
> the door to the O. Chem. lab.
> My impression is that our O. Chem. professor wants to ban cell phones
> from his lab, but he wants a little backup.  He did express concern
> about being the only one to institute a ban, and having an uphill battle
> against constant arguments.  I'm in favor of the ban, and would like to
> see it expanded to anything that could distract attention away from
> hazardous jobs or procedures.  I think that having a well-thought out
> policy may be helpful, but I feel that the core issue really needs to be
> addressed by the professors, teaching assistants and researchers.
> Once again, many thanks for the thoughtful responses.
> 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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