Date: Mon, 10 Aug 2009 14:50:07 -0400
Reply-To: "Wawzyniecki Jr, Stefan" <stefan.w**At_Symbol_Here**UCONN.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Wawzyniecki Jr, Stefan" <stefan.w**At_Symbol_Here**UCONN.EDU>
Subject: Re: Final thoughts on UCLA fatal accident.
In-Reply-To: <36E70157-7A97-4308-B94D-65BCDD9A63EC**At_Symbol_Here**>

Prompted by the posting below, I'd like to get views on the existence and u
se of fire extinguishers in labs.  

By providing extinguishers in labs, one assumes there may be need for a res
earcher to use it.  However, how many universities can document that resear
chers are trained in their use?

We had a situation where a senior researcher extinguished a small fire in a
 lab, but OSHA happened to investigate, and faulted the university for not 
providing training.  

Also, our fire department is in the process of REMOVING extinguishers from 
labs under the explanation that evacuation and pulling the alarm is the pre
ferred procedure.   Limited resources to perform routine extinguisher check
s in addition to training are reasons given as well.

Anyone else seeing this on their campus?

-S. Wawzyniecki, CIH, CHMM
 EH & S

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of Li
st Moderator
Sent: Monday, August 10, 2009 2:32 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] 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't 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 'I will  
not set myself on fire' in their lab notebooks - there should be 'fire  
drills' 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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