Date: Mon, 8 Mar 2010 16:13:59 -0500
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Don't forget the classic tiny puddle of water on the desktop that is not really water but the deliquesced remains of an NaOH pellet from yesterday's experiment.  "My, this feels warm and soapy, ow, ow , ow, gaaaaaahhhhh!"

There are plenty of reasons to wear PPE when you "aren't doing anything" in the laboratory.  While in my experience it is less of an issue with gloves, it is an absolute must for eye protection - if you are in the lab, you wear eye protection (correctly), period even when you aren't doing anything.

I point to the student mentioned in paragraph 3 of this incident,: ety/explosion.html   He was my student in the previous semester and he made sure to thank me for training him properly.   I have plenty of other serious examples I won't elaborate on here.  Suffice it to say that safety culture is what PPE enforcement is all about.  That means a hazard assessment of the entire laboratory, not just the particular experiment that day.

That said, as long as gloves, like eye protection or any form of PPE, are *required* under a clear and defined set of circumstances, how they are paid for is No Big Deal.  Just be sure that no student forgoes PPE because of cost concerns by the student, the department, or the administration.

The final comment/scenario I'll add here is the 'ole run it by the lawyers one.  If Something Happened in the lab (even something that didn't involve gloves, but called into question the overall safety program/attitude) and the plaintiff's attorney were to ask  "Why weren't gloves available?  What?  But, a pair of gloves costs 10 cents, and you wouldn't even pay 10 cents to protect the students?", how do you think that kind of grandstanding would fly with a jury regardless of whether they were "really" necessary?

Rob Toreki

On Mar 8, 2010, at 3:24 PM, Andrew Gross wrote:

(snip)I started to pass out.  Turns out the label on the chloroform squirt
bottle wore off and and someone removed it from the fume hood making
WATER!!!! Accidents happen and incorrect lableing is one of them.  I
should have been wearing gloves but I said...what is the hazard.  I am
an experienced chemist, I can make my own calls on safety in those
regards...and even I made the wrong call.  Students should be taught
what I disregarded, once they have their own lab they can disregard
safety on their own discression and experience.


From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of
Kennedy, Sheila
Sent: Friday, March 05, 2010 6:32 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU

As the staff of the Chemistry & Biochemistry Teaching Labs, we have been
asked to propose ideas for saving money, as budgets are only getting tighter
over the next few years. One idea proposed is that we stop providing gloves
ad lib. to students, but have them buy & bring their own. We currently
supply either nitrile or PVC examination (thin, single-use) gloves in our

Do you provide/require gloves for student labs?


Sheila M. Kennedy, CHO
Safety Coordinator
Chemistry & Biochemistry Teaching Laboratories
University of California, San Diego
(858) 534-0221

Safety Emporium - Lab & Safety Supplies featuring brand names
you know and trust.  Visit us at
esales**At_Symbol_Here**  or toll-free: (866) 326-5412
Fax: (856) 553-6154, PO Box 1003, Blackwood, NJ 08012

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