From: dave.nancy**At_Symbol_Here**roadrunner.com Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Shorts and Skirts in Labs Date: November 5, 2008 6:22:24 PM EST (CA) Hello, If I may add to Ms. Osterby's comments, which are spot on........ I am the Laboratories Director at a USDOE cleanup site. Our facilities consist of a Process Chemistry laboratory and an Environmental Monitoring laboratory. The hazards are many and include radioactive materials, chemical reagents, heat sources, cryogenics, sharps, electrical energy, pinch points, and much more. We stress the importance of proper PPE to all employees and mandate minimum dress requirements that include long pants (no shorts or skirts but neat blue jeans are acceptable), shirts with sleeves, sturdy safety-toe footwear, and no dangling jewelry. Long hair must be tied back and out of the way. Additionally, staff must use appropriate PPE commensurate with the procedure and hazards being undertaken which can go well beyond the classic lab coat to include full-body Tyvek suits, shoe covers, forearm protection, two layers of gloves, face shields and splash goggles, among other options. Safety requirements are written into each analytical procedure as mandated by our Chemical Hygiene Program Plan. We use drill scenarios to practice emergency response procedures and, weekly, conduct documented inspections of safety showers, eyewashes, spill kits, chemical inventory status, and so forth. Training sessions and re-qualification activities for all staff are a matter of routine. Furthermore, adherence to safety practices is a line item score in our annual personnel evaluations, the outcome of which can determine a worker's likelihood for advancement. So, to the esteemed educators among our colleagues in this forum, at every opportunity please re-enforce to your students that the professional world's expectations regarding personal safety can be very high. Just as students work hard to study their curriculum, they should work equally hard to develop safe work habits. All the education and advanced degrees in the world mean nothing if a person suffers a loss of physical capacity (or worse), ending a promising career. The root cause of many accidents is inattention to detail and/ or poor work practices. Kindest Regards, David M. Scalise URS Laboratories Director West Valley Demonstration Project 10282 Rock Springs Road West Valley, NY 14171 tel: (716) 942-4160 FAX: (716) 942-2095 david_m_scalise**At_Symbol_Here**urscorp.com A professional laboratory On Nov 5, 2008, at 6:59 AM, List Moderator wrote: From: "Osterby, Meg"
Date: November 4, 2008 5:19:12 PM EST (CA) Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] Shorts and Skirts in Labs Our technical college chemistry teaching labs follow the safety guidelines of long pants and closed shoes with lab coat on top. We do not allow students who are inappropriately dressed to participate in that day's lab. It's amazing when you say they can't do the lab, how many of them suddenly remember that they have long pants and closed shoes in their gym locker or car. Very few students actually miss a lab following this policy. We also do not allow midriff tops that do not completely cover the abdomen and back, and of course, splash guard safety goggles are a must whenever chemicals, heat, or glassware are in use. The staff points out to the students who want to argue the dress code that if their bosses stipulate a certain attire, they wear it without complaint or lose their jobs, and we deserve more respect than that dress code since we are enforcing it for their safety. Very few persist in arguing after that. Meg Osterby Chemistry Instructor Western Technical College 400 7th St. N. LaCrosse, WI, 54601
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