Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2010 12:49:23 -0500
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From: List Moderator <ecgrants**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>

From: "Tsiakals, Nicholas John" <tsiakals**At_Symbol_Here**>
Date: March 9, 2010 12:11:05 PM EST

Risk assessment is key - true - but risk assessment extends beyond the immediate activity.  And indeed, the rule-based approach is less winsome than the rationale-based approach.  I say do both - have the rule but give the rationale.  The rationale is the vehicle by which the organization=92s rule becomes the individual=92s own rule.


Most labs I=92ve seen manage their PPE by activity, rather than by geography.  =93When I do something hazardous, I=92ll put on the gear.=94  Seems sensible.  But it=92s much less reliable.  For one thing, hazard identification is not a 100% kind of thing.  And what is your neighbor doing?  How confident are you that your neighbor - or you! - have cleaned up all residues, spills, etc.


In my view this comes down to identifying a lab as a hazardous workplace, as opposed to office location or living space (think: the =93indentured service=94 of many grad students).  You don=92t wear gloves in your living room - and most don=92t mind eating there either.  So the loss of appreciation of commonplace hazards is a real problem among the lab denizens.




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