We are all saddened by this tragedy. As safety professionals, we all know that there are many contributing factors in such an incident, some of which we probably still don’t completely understand from a distance.
In the coverage, I’m surprised that there have be en few references to the OSHA Lab Standard and the Chemical Hygiene Plan. The OLS/CHP is key to laboratory safety, so it should be ver y relevant to this incident. (The CalOSHA citation only cited the training requirement s of the OLS.)
I wonder—are the OSHA Lab Standard requirements sufficiently rigorous to minimize the possibility of this type of accident? If not, perhaps DivCHAS should suggest improvements to th e OLS/CHP, or create a new model CHP. Is something out there already?
BTW, in December 2003 the New York Times ran a series o
articles about OSHA’s weak enforcement of workplace fatalities. See <
for more information. Only in the
Peter A. Reinhardt
Director, Office of Environmental Health & Safety
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