Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2008 19:42:12 -0500
Reply-To: ILPI <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: ILPI <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Subject: Re: Shorts and Skirts in Labs
Comments: cc: LDMclouth**At_Symbol_Here**LBL.GOV
In-Reply-To: <490F8C20.2000908**At_Symbol_Here**>

>I'm interested in written policies/procedures on wearing shorts and 
>skirts in chemistry labs.

My personal and professional opinion is that neither should NEVER be 
worn in a lab.  Here's 3 quick examples that form the basis of that 

1. A grad student was moving some old vacuum lines down to the 
storeroom.  These were the old-fashioned kind that were assembled in 
place and when they were taken down they had to be cut/broken.  The 
ends of the manifold were jagged and stuck out from the end of the 
cart he was using.  He managed to jab himself in the leg pretty good 
and required stitches.  I suspect if he had been wearing jeans 
instead of shorts he would have had only a superficial wound.

2.  In the accident I describe at jagged pieces of glass 
embedded themselves in the ceiling ductwork.  Had anyone actually 
been hit by those it is easy to imagine the injuries.  And the 
potential effect on protected skin vs unprotected is obvious.

3.  Here's an example where a flask disintegrated into hundreds of 
tiny fragments.  While the brunt of the impact was on the victim's 
arm, it gets across the idea that the more layers of *anything* 
between the skin and projectiles, the better.  In this archived 
UseNet post you will fine my firsthand account at the very bottom:

And don't get me started on the fires I've witnessed....

That all said, you will find *tremendous* resistance trying to ban 
shorts/skirts in laboratories.  Even from seasoned 
faculty/researchers who really should know better.   The worst 
example I ever saw of that was at an oceanographic institution where 
it took unbelievable effort to get them to agree to ban bare feet and 
sandals in the lab (and they still didn't ban shorts).  If you run 
into anyone like that, send them a copy of this message.

Rob Toreki
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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