I’m going to take a middle of the road stance here. I’ve seen the “PhD. Chemist who just graduated and forgets to wear gloves and goggles in the lab.” He also eats in the lab if I’m not looking.
The reason new chemists are told to wear gloves often (even for water lab work) is that they need to form the habit of using PPE. When they get to stage in which PPE is their responsibility, they should be trained to ask “Which PPE do I need?”
As for measuring water, remember PPE is not only to protect you from the sample, but to protest the sample from you. If you “pollute” the experiment, you change the results.
If budgetary restraints are the concern, I would make sure students bring gloves, but leave it up to them to determine whether gloves are necessary. If they show up without any PPE, they can’t very well consider what is necessary. Further, if they determine that gloves are not necessary, they should be able to defend that conclusion.
Goggles however, are about habit. There is very rarely a good reason Not to wear them.
This is just how I run my lab, and how I think about these things. My goal is to install a good PPE habit, not just impose rules. Rules without the habit are useless anyway.
Thank goodness for at least one person who knows how and when to use gloves properly. Too many so-called safety experts seem to think that when handling chemicals it is necessary to wear some kind of gloves.
Gloves are too clumsy to wear unless their use is absolutely necessary.
Kay Calhoun is EXACTLY RIGHT, bless your heart, Kay.
----- Original Message -----
From: Rita Kay Calhoun
Sent:< /b> Monday, March 08, 2010 2:20 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] GLOVES IN STUDENT LABS
& nbsp; Would one of you please explain to me the dermal hazard associated with determining the volume of a drop of water? Or perhaps the density of a saline solution? As I said in my original response there is guidance given to the students in their risk assessment. And if their assessment is inadequate, there is “You will wear gloves, period”. When students understand, they are much more likely to comply. When they see the rules as simply something People-in-Authority impose because they’re in authority and want control, the students try to get away with not complying. I do teach your children safety. I also try to teach them to think. The most important safety rule you can learn is to think. Everything else flows from that.
I am surprised to see there is even a discussion of whether to ask the students to wear gloves or not. That is probably why even the chemists who graduate with PhD in chemistry have hard time following those simple safety rules when they get a job in the industry.
As teaching profession, I would expect you to teach my child how to be safe in a lab as well as how to set up a reaction. It should be part of the teaching curriculum. I am pretty sure you are teaching them not to pour hazardous chemicals down the drain so the environment doesn't get hurt. Why would you question if it is necessary to teach them not to hurt themselves? Discussion of recovering the cost should be a separate issue.
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From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**list.uvm.edu] On Behalf Of Kennedy, Sheila
Sent: Friday, March 05, 2010 6:32 PM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] GLOVES IN STUDENT LABS
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 labs.
Do you provide/require gloves for student labs?
Sheila M. Kennedy, CHO
Chemistry & Biochemistry Teaching Laboratories
University of California, San Diego
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