Date: Mon, 10 Aug 2009 14:31:38 -0400
Reply-To: List Moderator <ecgrants**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: List Moderator <ecgrants**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Subject: Re: Final thoughts on UCLA fatal accident.

From: "Nail, John" 
Date: August 10, 2009 2:02:11 PM EDT
Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] Final thoughts on UCLA fatal accident.

The one aspect of the UCLA incident that I have not seen discussed in  

these messages is that fact that the victim panicked; she ran away  
from the safety shower instead of towards it.

Everyone who has worked extensively with pyrophores knows that it  
isn=92t a matter if whether something bad will happen, it is a matter of 
when it will happen and how the person responds; even the most highly- 

trained, careful, etc, poisonous snake handler eventually gets bitten.

The following may sound silly, but it likely will be more useful than  

more regulations and documents, and making researchers write =91I will  

not set myself on fire=92 in their lab notebooks - there should be 
drills=92 in which the PI, a post-doc or a senior grad student has each  

person in the lab respond to various scenarios, such as a small fire  
on a lab bench (grab the extinguisher), small fire in a hood  
(extinguisher), large hood fire (evacuate), the lab worker is on fire  

(safety shower), someone else in the lab is on fire (shower or  
extinguisher or fire blanket), etc. The goal being that if someone is  

on fire, he/she reflexively runs to the shower and dowses themselves.

$0.02 worth from someone who routinely handled the nastiest of the  
pyrophores (and was on fire a couple of times).

John Nail
Professor of Chemistry
Oklahoma City University
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