Date: Fri, 29 Feb 2008 20:08:46 -0500
Reply-To: Steve <jsbonnell**At_Symbol_Here**FUSE.NET>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Steve <jsbonnell**At_Symbol_Here**FUSE.NET>
Subject: Re: Shoes in Lab
In-Reply-To: <47C81736.7010505**At_Symbol_Here**>
Sometimes democracy works...other times you have to lay down the law. I
taught high school chemistry for 10 years and I am currently working as an
industrial safety professional. I understand the expense of PPE since, in
industry, we are required to provide appropriate PPE to the employees. The
excuses that I get from my lab people revolve around "I have the shoes but I
left them at home because sneakers are more comfortable." "Sorry, you're not
working in the lab without your PPE" is the answer. Consider your liability
and the field-day the press will have with your school if you fail to set
safety standards and hold the students to them.

Let their pay (grades) reflect their understanding of, and compliance with,
the safety rules. Keep old galoshes as alternative footwear for those who
insist they can't afford anything but sneakers (are you in tune with the
price for athletic footwear?! You could put Imelda Marcos to shame with the
number of acceptable leather shoes you can buy for what a pair of Nikes
cost)--they'll find leather shoes to wear. We have few production employees
who forget their safety shoes because they know they'll have to wear the
"Clydesdale" strap-on toe caps. Let them know what to expect in 'the land of
labor'. You are doing them a disservice, otherwise.


-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Dan
Sent: Friday, February 29, 2008 09:31
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Shoes in Lab

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
> 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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