Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2010 22:09:24 -0400
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: ILPI <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Subject: Re: Emergency Action Plan for science labs
In-Reply-To: <BBFA6832756A874D89D201416246904006E7B7BA**At_Symbol_Here**>

Ooooh, ouch, I don't recommend letting someone from maintenance turn off science experiments no matter how good the documentation is.  Just one example - shutting down a vacuum line system could result in a pressure explosion or liquid oxygen condensation.  Someone's experiment that has been running for weeks could be ruined by a well-intentioned mis-step.  Expect severe pushback from your faculty and research staff on that.  I know I would firmly oppose it as a faculty member and would expect my chair to fight it, too.

That said, an emergency action plan that ensures the responsible emergency party for each lab/facility is notified would be a good one.   Most every university already has the emergency contact information for each lab posted by the doorways.   And many campuses already have email/phone/messaging broadcast systems for emergencies that can be targeted at subsets of the campus population.  Having someone assigned to ensuring that each lab's responsible party is contacted is a much better plan than trying to write up procedures for equipment or experiments that are way beyond the skill set of maintenance personnel and likely to be obsolete when needed.

Rob Toreki

On Jul 8, 2010, at 8:34 PM, Schmidt-Nebril, Kathleen wrote:

My university recently was hit with a four day power outage due to severe storms.  Our science building is recently new and has a back up generator however none of the main lab instruments or equipment were backed up to it. Hoods, lights and ventilation were.  In the end we are looking at a huge insurance claim and are now trying to prepare  an action plan for each of our labs in the event we go through something like this again.  I am the CHO for the department and was asked to put this together.  Does anyone know what OSHA standard, if any, I should be looking at for this?  They want to incorporate a "what to do" list for example if none of the scientists were around someone from maintenance could follow it to turn off sensitive equipment in our absence.  My thought on that is would we need to train and document  anyone who might have to respond and use our action list?   


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