Date: Fri, 8 Jan 2010 16:08:29 -0600
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Benedict, Kathryn Grace" <katbene**At_Symbol_Here**ILLINOIS.EDU>
Subject: Re: Rec's for Spill Berms/Safety Showers?
In-Reply-To: <390C703D90CE97409F79127132E33D341F5EEC84FF**At_Symbol_Here**>

Your description of what happens is accurate, especially if you don't know 
where the water shut off valves are for each shower.  In most new labs that
 I've seen, the shutoff is in the ceiling above ceiling panels, usually wit
hin 5-10 feet of the showerhead. 

Some showers have a bar or pull that you can you can push up or pull on to 
stop the water flow, but sometimes they don't work... labeling the ceiling 
panels to ID location of shutoff valves may be of value. Also, having a lad
der on each floor or in the building is useful. Including these items in yo
ur annual shower flow / or lab inspection helps keep track of shutoff locat
ions and helps return the ladders that wander away.

You want to be able to quickly shut off safety showers if you have server r
ooms, NMR rooms or other equipment areas  that may use high voltage electri
city and have false bottom floors...think XRD units, lasers, GC/MS etc.

In labs with no floor drains you also want to increase vigilance about use 
of /placing plugged in or energized electrical appliances on the floor. In 
a past life, I was a first responder on  a hazmat call in a lab that had us
ed the safety shower correctly, but no floor drains so several inches of wa
ter in the lab and running down the hall. I was really glad we had electric
ians on the team (because they turned off power to the room) when I noticed
 the plugged in metal hairdryer on the floor next to a fume hood in the lab
. The hairdryer was sitting in about an inch of water. That got my attentio

I've seen energized hot plates (curing TLC plates), stir plates and a few o
ther interesting items plugged and in use on the floor. Sigh......


-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Ar
vedson, Steve
Sent: Friday, January 08, 2010 3:43 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Rec's for Spill Berms/Safety Showers?

In certain cases (contaminant not flammable/reactive/highly toxic in aeroso
l form) you can keep a shop vac nearby and have somebody start vacuuming up
 the water as it's being generated.  Then the shop vac can be decontaminate
d or just disposed of as is.

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Ma
rgaret Rakas
Sent: Friday, January 08, 2010 12:57 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Rec's for Spill Berms/Safety Showers?


You know the science building, lots of code-meeting safety show
ers, and of course there are no floor drains....

I can buy spill berms...but does anyone have any other/better responses to 
what to do when the shower is actually used (not just testing, we've got a 
device for that).  My understanding is a huge amount of water gushes out, f
or 15-20 minutes, and I'm assuming the potential for leaks in the floor bel
ow is another issue that needs to be dealt with.  Luckily, in my time here 
we've only had one occasion when the shower was needed, and that was in our
 'old' building, but--I'd rather plan ahead.  What DO you do with the water
 while you're waiting for the hazmat response/cleanup team to arrive?

So if anyone has a recommendation or a "this is what happened to us" story 
that I could learn from...

Many thanks,

Margaret A. Rakas, Ph.D.
Manager, Inventory & Regulatory Affairs
Clark Science Center
Smith College
Northampton, MA. 01063
p:  413-585-3877
f:   413-585-3786 

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