We have never had this situation in our labs, however, you never know when you may have to face a similar situation. So here I am rambling a reply because maybe someday, as an academic, I may have to deal with a similar situation.
What level course is this? Is it a freshman intro chemistry lab? A organic chem lab? What type of experiments will be performed. You would want to analyze the overall risk, and the per-experiment risk for the student, the rest of the class and the instructors & lab assistants.
For myself I would ask how is the oxygen delivered. There are small portable tanks that use a regulator that only delivers oxygen when the patient inhales. It also gives a beep warning when the patient doesn't inhale through the nose often enough (this assumes the student uses nasal cannulas). This system would limit the amount of oxygen being released into the surrounding room. If they use an "always on" cannula there will be oxygen leakage to the immediate environment…and if they use an always on mask, I assume there would be some leakage as the student moves/talks or makes facial expressions.
So…I would think it a must to consult the physician about exposure concerns and the medical supplies company about the oxygen delivery method (re: leakage).
Also, as someone else said, the nature of the illness that requires oxygen needs to be understood to better assess potential exposures. When considering toxic chemicals and exposure potential in the lab (or even in the hood), what routes of exposure are of concern for any toxic compounds? Anything that could be producing toxic fumes should be handled in the hood anyway.
Open flames, in most cases, can be replaced with hot plates/sand baths….will there be any heating of crucibles?
You need more info about the student's health issues and then proceed from there.
Hope I've offered a little help.
Chemical Hygiene Officer, Lab Coordinator, Lecturer
Department of Chemistry
WV Wesleyan College
Buckhannon, WV 26201
A college has a student with documented disabilities who will need to bring oxygen with her to class (and Lab!).
I got this from a colleague, and my first concern would be in a lab with open flames.
Have any academics had to work with this and how did you handle it?
Are there any specific OSHA regulations that they need to address?
Joe Crockett, for the Virginia Section ACS
Dr Joseph M Crockett
Professor of Chemistry and Chair
402 East College Street
Bridgewater, VA 22812
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