Date: Mon, 5 Sep 2011 14:30:43 -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: Doug Walters <waltersdb**At_Symbol_Here**EARTHLINK.NET>
Subject: Re: Burka and safety
In-Reply-To: <CA88E006.67DC%brandon.chance**At_Symbol_Here**>

Thanks for the real life knowledge.  Hope to see you again soon.
Best regards,
Doug Walters

On Sep 4, 2011, at 1:24 AM, Chance, Brandon wrote:

> MaryAnn,
> As the lab safety manager for Texas A&M University at Qatar, I feel 
uniquely 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) below.
> Basically, lab coats with elastic cuffs are required to secure loose 
sleeves from the abaya.  The Hijab or Burka is required to be securely 
tucked into the lab coat collar.  For those students that wear a Burka, 
we require them to wear a surgical mask in lieu of the facial covering 
(it basically covers 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 had any students that insist on wearing 
the full face veil covering everything including their eyes.  Some wear 
this in the hallways, but have no problem 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 
responsibilities for the students.  I assume your lab instructors are 
trained to render basic first aid or deal with chemical spills on a 
student.  Due to religious sensitivities, if this is the case, it is a 
good idea for the instructor 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 
> Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any other questions.
> Regards,
> 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 an 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 arisen for us.
> Thanks,
> MaryAnn
> 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

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.