Date: Fri, 29 Feb 2008 09:31:18 -0500
Reply-To: Dan Crowl <crowl**At_Symbol_Here**MTU.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Dan Crowl <crowl**At_Symbol_Here**MTU.EDU>
Subject: Re: Shoes in Lab
Comments: To: "Joseph M. Crockett"
In-Reply-To: <A5DFAD8327D9E44DBE2DBAF6C181C03C0144572F1B7C**At_Symbol_Here**bcex01.Bridgewater.local>

Hi All,

Many years ago we imposed a faculty originated shoe policy for our 
instructional labs - with the usual push back and abuse by students.

We eventually assigned a student team the project of contacting 
industrial labs and other universities, and reviewing the OSHA 
requirements, to come up with a draft shoe policy that the team would 
present to the rest of the students.

We had a big safety meeting with all of the students, and lots of 
discussion, and we came up with a policy that all agreed on.

We have not had any trouble since.

We have done this with several issues of this type.

Dan Crowl
Michigan Tech University

Joseph M. Crockett wrote:
> We have looked long and hard at the shoe issue. We are a small college. Most students may have one pair of good leather shoes for Sunday morning and parents would not be happy if they got destroyed in lab. We do allow tennis shoes (no sandal or open shoes) because we know they have them and the soles do provide slip protection. I do not know what other colleges might require.
> During my safety lecture (lasts over two hours), I do stress that leather shoes are best and why. Some students may have an extra pair and wear them.
> Joe C
> -----Original Message-----
> From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of ILPI
> Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 9:21 PM
> To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
> Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Shoes in Lab
> Any closed shoe is better than an open-toed shoe, sandal, bare feet
> etc.   After all, most incidents are going to be minor splashes, and
> most of those will be absorbed by the shoe before penetrating to the
> skin.  In all but a major incident (where the least of your concerns
> would be chemical burns to the foot) the shoe could be easily removed
> or drenching under the shower would start before any damage was done
> to the body.
> Of course, if you're using highly skin-permeable and toxic materials
> such as phenols, dimethylmercury etc. then appropriate
> chemical-resistant boots would be warranted.  But I suspect with the
> amounts and types of material used in an academic/teaching lab that
> such measures would be ever be necessary.  Process plants, of course,
> are another matter.
> Sharps and broken glass are another concern, but again, it's doubtful
> that there are situations in your environment that would require
> boots instead of shoes etc.
> I have never seen or heard of a lab accident exacerbated by the
> wearing of tennis shoes versus something more substantial or less
> permeable.
> On the flip side, I did a Chemical Hygiene Plan review at a highly
> respected instruction where some of the professors liked to work
> barefoot in lab.   There was actual resistance to the idea that the
> CHP rewrite include a ban on such stupidity, and we had to refuse to
> finish the rewrite until they reluctantly agreed to incorporate the
> change!
> Rob Toreki
>> Hello,
>> I would appreciate learning your requirements for shoes in lab.   Tennis
>> shoes, etc., while they cover the foot, offer little protection against
>> spills.  Thank you for any information you might wish to share.
>> Best,
>> Ruth Ann
>> Ruth Ann Murphy, Ph.D.
>> Professor of Chemistry
>> Chair, Department of Chemistry, Environmental Science and Geology
>> The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
>> 900 College Street
>> Belton, TX  76513-2599
>> Phone (254) 295-4542
>> Fax (254) 295-4237
> --
>    =====================================================
> Safety Emporium - Lab & Safety Supplies featuring brand names
> you know and trust.  Visit us at
> esales**At_Symbol_Here**  or toll-free: (866) 326-5412
> Fax: (856) 553-6154, PO Box 1003, Blackwood, NJ 08012

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