Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2010 16:15:00 -0500
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: "Dr. Jay A. Young" <chemsafety**At_Symbol_Here**VERIZON.NET>
Subject: Re: Minor Chemical Incidents in Undergraduate Labs

Sorry, but there is no such thing as a "Minor Accident".
Al such incidents are major accidents predicting that they are coming.
Many people are unaware of the FIRST Principle of Safety: "All accidents predict their appearance.  The prediction ALWAYS comes in the form of a near miss or a minor accident."
In my experience near misses are much more common than minor accidents, so perhaps your minor accident is predicting that a major accident is coming very soon rather than several months from now.
If this is correct then if I were you, I'd get on the ball, right now, and make sure that the cause of your recent minor accident is absolutely eliminated.
Jay Young
----- Original Message -----
From: Mary Cavanaugh
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 4:09 PM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Minor Chemical Incidents in Undergraduate Labs

Hi all, I=92m looking for the collective opinion on something.

Would there be a valid purpose to investigating (as in an accident root-cause analysis) every incident in which an undergraduate college student (usually, but not always, freshmen non-chem majors) gets a minor injury during chemistry lab?  Or is this just =93the cost of doing business=94 and a normal part of teaching undergraduate students?

I am speaking strictly about minor incidents in which no medical attention is sought.  For example, a student leans on a lab counter and feels a stinging sensation, so it is assumed that s/he contacted some of the acid they were working with; or a few drops of acid or base get on their skin while transferring from a beaker, but is washed off before anything more than stinging or a little reddening of the skin occurs.

Mary M. Cavanaugh CIH

University Industrial Hygienist

Safety & Workers' Comp. Office

cavanaughmm**At_Symbol_Here**appstate . edu

(828) 262-6838 Direct

(828) 262-2936 Fax

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