Date: Tue, 4 Nov 2008 08:46:27 -0500
Reply-To: "Joseph M. Crockett" <jcrocket**At_Symbol_Here**BRIDGEWATER.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Joseph M. Crockett" <jcrocket**At_Symbol_Here**BRIDGEWATER.EDU>
Subject: Re: Shorts and Skirts in Labs
In-Reply-To: <p06020408c535464e4d62**At_Symbol_Here**[]>

Our dress code is as follows. We are dealing with undergraduates so we do a
llow jeans and tennis shoes which is what they all have. I do recommend lea
ther shoes to them. We have allowed a long ankle-length skirt for two stude
nts due to religious reasons. On violations, I have sent only three or four
 home to get dressed. All is explained to them
in a 2.5 hour seminar at the beginning of the term. They have to sign the d
ress code and we keep the signed sheets in the lab (and post it) so they ca
nnot claim ignorance

Joe Crockett

Lab Dress Code:

*       Shoes, not sandals or open shoes, are required in the lab at all ti
*       Due to the probable spillage of water and the floor becoming slippe
ry, rubber soled shoes, such as tennis shoes, are best.

*       Shorts or skirts will not be worn. They will not keep solutions fro
m splattering on your legs. Blue jeans may the best type of lab wear.

*       Belly-button policy: shirts that expose your midriff are not permit
ted in lab. The bench top is near your waist level, so spills there will be
 common. A buttoned lab coat covering the midriff is acceptable.

*       Safety glasses or goggles are required at all times in the lab.
*       Contact lenses should not be worn in the lab since vapors can be tr
apped between the lens and the eye.
*       Prescription glasses are acceptable with safety goggles.


*       First violation - you will be sent back to your dormitory or house 
to make the necessary changes to come under compliance.

*       Second violation - you will not be allowed to return to the lab on 
that day. You may make up that experiment on the make-up day.

*       Third violation - you will receive a zero for that lab.

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of IL
Sent: Monday, November 03, 2008 7:42 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Shorts and Skirts in Labs

>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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