Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2010 07:35:12 -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: Fred Simmons <fred.simmons**At_Symbol_Here**SRS.GOV>
Subject: Re: Lab Coat Options
In-Reply-To: <45B73916-0363-43CF-87FC-5990F8D26931**At_Symbol_Here**>
I'm sure we all know that providing a safe and comfortable working 
environment is important, however as the saying goes "If you can't take 
the heat then......."
Also, a four letter word comes to mind; UCLA!  There has never been a 
better example of why PPE is so important.  I would work with that 
individual to try and find a solution, but if a reasonable one can't be 
found then he would be out of my lab.


From:   List Moderator 
To:     DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Date:   02/22/2010 03:46 PM
Subject:        Re: [DCHAS-L] Lab Coat Options
Sent by:        DCHAS-L Discussion List 

From: "Norwood, Brad" 
Date: February 22, 2010 1:41:52 PM EST
Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] Lab Coat Options

>There is possibility that the chemist is really uncomfortable by the 
temperatures even they are set to a ‘comfortable’ level for most.  There 
are some individuals that require lower temperatures or higher 
temperatures to be comfortable because of their individual body needs. 
Maybe HR could request the chemist to see the company doctor to determine 
of there is a medical condition underlying is causing him to be hot.  Of 
course confidentiality of any medical information is a must but maybe if 
anything is discovered or not , the doctor may have a recommendation to 
help the ‘overheated feeling’.  This also protects you and the company if 
he ended up being fired and had a condition that was later discovered, but 
the company did not rule that out before terminating him from the company.

In the litigious environment of the US, I think we’d be hard pressed to 
find anything that ‘trumps’ worker safety as being THE key responsibility 
of any company – and, as a previous poster mentioned, there is NO 
requirement for ‘reasonable accommodation’ for comfort.
I think to do anything more than to require the individual to comply with 
the most foundational, rudimentary requirement of ANY lab gives this one 
person too much power and ‘special treatment’. 
If working in the vicinity of stirrers, hotplates, GC ovens, etc. is 
causing this individual a problem (and six others do NOT have any 
complaints), then this individual chose unwisely in his profession.  He 
needs to re-think his priorities, and maybe go back to an academic 
Dr. Bradley K. Norwood
Laboratory Director
Arista Laboratories
1941 Reymet Road
Richmond, VA  23237
(804) 271-5572 ext. 307
(804) 641-4641 (cell)
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