Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2011 12:03:56 -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: Margaret Rakas <mrakas**At_Symbol_Here**SMITH.EDU>
Subject: Re: Recent Accidents in College Level and beyond Chemistry Lab
In-Reply-To: <CA600AC2.3E03%lhlatimer**At_Symbol_Here**>

Thanks to Ralph's ability to comb through and present a wide variety of chemical accidents from around the globe, we frequently have access to first reports about accidents in academic institutions.  However, it is relatively rare that these present the kind of information that would help improve chemical safety at other institutions, because chemical names are omitted or mangled, full details of the type of process occurring aren't included (may not be known at the time of publication), etc.  And follow-up disclosures frequently are quite difficult to find:  they either don't happen, aren't published (who really wants to read about yesterday's news, especially when it's the dry topic of a chemical accident that isn't otherwise sensational), or otherwise don't surface.  I am sure the incidents reported to C&E News are a small fraction of what has gone wrong in labs, although I am very grateful to the writers and editors for taking the time and space to make colleagues aware.
I have no desire to make any researcher, at any level or institution, 'look bad'.  I also understand the reluctance of the institution's PR and legal offices to release details that they feel compromise the institution.  But I would really hope the Councillors would discuss the implementation of an anonymous reporting system that would include the details, because for some incidents, that is the only way to understand you may have a problem at your own instititution--it just (luckily) hasn't happened yet.  I think it is also important to realize these academic chemical incidents don't just happen in chemical departments; biologists, neuroscientists, and engineers use hazardous materials above and beyond the standard corrosives and flammables, and those of us wh o work in academic safety need to know about incidents and near-misses in those areas as well, so we can warn our researchers.   
My personal opinion only, not legal or business advice, and may not represent the opinion of my employer or any group to which I belong..
>>> Lee Latimer <lhlatimer**At_Symbol_Here**MINDSPRING.COM> 8/4/2011 11:37 AM >>>
It is worth noting that this topic is the subject of the special discussion period at Council in Denver.  The discussion is open for any to attend though only Councilors can participate.   

Since many academics are Councilors, there should be some good contributions, though I expect the discussion to highlight the large difference in approaches by academic and industrial scientists attention/concern/training on safety and an instinctive safety culture before even crossing the lab threshold.


On 8/4/11 6:08 AM, "Mary Ellen A Scott" <mas35**At_Symbol_Here**C ASE.EDU> wrote:

For now, thank you Jay, Ralph, Lindsay and Jeff for all the incidents.  I will do my best to compile the Chem lab specific accidents for the group and our presentation.

On Thu, Aug 4, 2011 at 8:36 AM, Larson, Jay < Jay.Larson**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
Here's a list of fatalities :
Jay Larson, CIH
Safety and Occupational Health Manager
Depart ment of Energy
Office of Science
SC-31/GTN Building
1000 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20585-1290
W: 301-903-9869 <tel:301-903-9869>
jay.lar son**At_Symbol_Here**

From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of Lindsey Kayman
Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2011 8:21 PM
DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIS T.UVM.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Recent Accidents in College Level and beyond Chemistry Lab


Mary Ellen,


Check out the incidents on this page: ages/LaboratorySafetyIncidents.aspx




Lindsey Kayman, CIH, LEED AP (O+M)

On Wed, Aug 3, 2011 at 7:23 PM, Mary Ellen A Scott <mas35**At_Symbol_Here**ca> wrote:
Our department chair would like a survey of the most recent  (past 5 yrs) accidents in a college chemistry laboratory as part of a  presentation to the incoming chemistry graduate students.  Our students will both assist in teaching  the undergraduate labs and begin their  research.    I am aware of the tragic event regarding Sheri Sangi but not other accidents specific to a  Chemistry lab.  If you would are willing to share any that you know, I will compile the information and make it available to the DCHAS-L.
Thank you,
Mary Ellen
< /FONT>

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.