Date: Sun, 4 Sep 2011 05:24:40 +0000
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: "Chance, Brandon" <brandon.chance**At_Symbol_Here**QATAR.TAMU.EDU>
Subject: Re: Burka and safety
In-Reply-To: <0314C975188BB0459AE75B19EFBFEF5014425442E4**At_Symbol_Here**>


As the lab safety manager for Texas A&M University at Qatar, I feel uniquel
y qualified to answer this question as at least 50% of our female students 
wear either the Burka or Hijab. I will briefly outline the PPE requirements
 we use for Organic Chemistry Laboratory (which I also used to teach here) 

Basically, lab coats with elastic cuffs are required to secure loose sleeve
s from the abaya.  The Hijab or Burka is required to be securely tucked int
o the lab coat collar.  For those students that wear a Burka, we require th
em to wear a surgical mask in lieu of the facial covering (it basically cov
ers the same amount as the Burka).  Of course goggles and closed-toed shoes
 are required.  In the 5 years I have been here, this has been the standard
 policy and we have not had any negative feedback.  Thus far, we have not h
ad any students that insist on wearing the full face veil covering everythi
ng including their eyes.  Some wear this in the hallways, but have no probl
em removing it for lab courses (all of our courses are coeducational).

Another thing you may want to be aware of is male TAs or faculty responsibi
lities for the students.  I assume your lab instructors are trained to rend
er basic first aid or deal with chemical spills on a student.  Due to relig
ious sensitivities, if this is the case, it is a good idea for the instruct
or to ask for a female volunteer to act as a "helper" in emergencies as the
 male instructor will not be allowed to touch a conservative female muslim 
student.  It could be something as simple as the female volunteer applying 
a bandage or manning a  drench shower.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any other questions.


Brandon Chance

Safety and Environmental Compliance Manager
Office of Building Operations & HSSE
Texas A&M University at Qatar

PO Box 23874 | Doha, Qatar
TAMUQ Building Room 225E | Education City

(o) +974.4423.0495 | (m) +974.6668.3552 | SkypeIn USA 001.281.764.1776

It=92s Time For Texas A&M

From: "Yaeger, Mary Ann" >
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List >
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2011 10:27:35 -0400
To: >
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Burka and safety

Could others tell me how you deal with a student who wears a Burka taking a
n organic chemistry class, or any lab class for that matter?  We certainly 
don=92t want to discriminate religiously, so how do we deal with the safety
 issues of that.  Surprisingly this is the first time this situation has ar
isen for us.


MaryAnn Yaeger, MS
Supervisor of Laboratory Services,
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Wesley College
120 N. State Street
Dover DE 19901
Ph. 302-736-2389
Fax 302-736-2301

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