From: Samuella B Sigmann <sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**APPSTATE.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Facial hair and fire?
Date: January 25, 2013 2:05:21 PM EST
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <CAOYSQ4_OyHZM_tuGcgKejgP0itJHTYnjv0GFo-uSm5LvrMa02A**At_Symbol_Here**>

Everyone - Thanks for all the input on this topic. Ken is correct, I do know this person well and actually like him very much. For the rest of the listserve, here is some background on me. I am actually a faculty member in the chemistry department and the CHO for the department. We have a very proactive Chair and for the most part, very responsive faculty. Our department worked very hard to promote a high standard of chemical hygiene and for the most part done this from within the department. This particular faculty member is a "rebel" and while he does realize the implications of his actions, he resists authority in general (not just on safety issues). This is just his nature, not a bad fellow.

Heavy handedness will not work well with this person, so we will have to present this to him in a very logical way. I think that Ken has it right in laying it out as he suggested. I will compile all of the listserve responses and give them to our chair along with my recommendation. As Monona mentioned this length of hair is also a "catch" hazard and, in fact, he has had his beard pulled into a vacuum pump. Her comment about vanity could be correct, but it could also be that the more we push on this being a hazard, the more he will push back just on general principles to buck authority. These types of personalities often get to a point where they can't back down gracefully and have to maintain their stance "on principle".

Those of us in the world of academia know that things can rarely be fixed by decree. Since there is seldom a clear line of authority and even less enforcement capability, we must always find the one way that will make the most sense to the parties involved and reduce the risk to an acceptable level. Protecting people from themselves is the hardest thing to do.

Thanks again to everyone! I definately don't want to be highlighted in the Chemical Safety Headlines on our listserve so I will be working to resolve this for sure.

On 1/25/2013 8:27 AM, Ken Kretchman wrote:
Not to prolong this but I think only Sammye knows this person. I would not jump to question his character as he may be one of those who really wants the students to
retain the concept with something memorable (if not well advised). I like to think the best of people as a starting point.. I might like to do the following if this came up here..

1. are you serious ? if yes..
2. Why do you want to do it this way ?
3. Is there already a video or demonstration that makes the point ? (I wish I had time to surf the net for the multitude of really great demonstrations properly and safely conducted among the many that are not ) If no..
4. If you want to make this point with this demo it can't be done here or in any way condoned by the university .. you are only your own..

In addition and in response to Patty's point, many of us have a Chemistry Safety Committee. I would use this opportunity to discuss with them the request and then discuss demonstrations in a larger context. For this one I would expect (am sure) the committee would ask that he find a different approach. It is much more effective to hear this from ones's peers than the "central safety office" that researchers often feel is risk adverse.

As Patty says a good opportunity to discuss demonstrations in general ...


Ken Kretchman, CIH, CSP Director, Environmental Health and Safety
Campus Box 8007 / 2620 Wolf Village Way / Raleigh North Carolina 27695-8007
Email: Ken_Kretchman**At_Symbol_Here** / Phone: (919).515.6860 / Fax: (919).515.6307

On Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 7:01 AM, Olinger, Patricia L <patty.olinger**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
I like your idea Ken! This discussion does bring up a question about class room demonstrations and EHS sign off. I know that we don't have this but probably a very good idea. Especially with flammable liquids and beards.

Sammye, If you have a EHS committee that could handle a question that also has faculty on it I would bring it to the committee. Also, ask Risk Management or the Professors Chair or Dean for sign-off. One of our roles in EHS is to bring issues forward to management that does have more clout to say no. If they still allow it, they have at least been informed. Keep your documentation.


Patty Olinger, RBP
Director EHSO
Emory University
1762 Clifton Rd., Suite1200
Atlanta, GA 30322

From: Samuella B Sigmann <sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**APPSTATE.EDU>
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Date: Thursday, January 24, 2013 8:56 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Facial hair and fire?

Hey Ken - Funny that you should suggest trying it out at home - That's what I told him, but I did not think about filming it! I did tell him that I would visit him in the hospital. It actually might produce a video that we could see on Tosh.O!

Also not surprising that I cannot get him to protect his eyes.


On 1/24/2013 3:50 PM, Ken Kretchman wrote:
Hi Sammye,

You could forward him to Fire Protection to get a hot work permit. Just kidding although ours would not issue since this would not pass the common sense test and fire marshals are pretty serious about their jobs. Perhaps more helpful .. this surely falls into the category of an experiment that could make an interesting point but is not appropriate for demonstration on state property. If he was motivated, he could perform it at home in his backyard (with absolutely no request from the university to do so - (he's on his own) and video it, then show it to the class. Lots of demonstrations done by video these days.

Thanks for keeping things interesting..


Ken Kretchman, CIH, CSP Director, Environmental Health and Safety
Campus Box 8007 / 2620 Wolf Village Way / Raleigh North Carolina 27695-8007

On Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 3:08 PM, Samuella B. Sigmann <sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
All - Please let me know if anyone out there has had any any experience with this situation.

I have a PI who has a full beard (we are talking ZZ Top style beard here). He is insistent on doing demos with flames - including fire eating. Don't ask me what chemical principal that is demonstrating. Yesterday he asked me what I thought about doing the classic "money burning" demo where you dip a dollar in a 50/50 isopropanol/water mixture that shows how evaporation cools the money and prevents the alcohol from burning it, only he wants to use his beard instead of the money. I am not sure if he was serious or just trying to get a response out of me.

Anyone have any suggestions on how to prevent this fellow from burning his face off? In general, I would like to tell him that if the beard stays, he cannot work with flames. Is that an option? It is so long that he can actually tie it up and fold it in on itself, but it is still hanging pretty low and could easily catch on fire with a Bunsen burner.




Don?t always believe what you think.

Samuella B. Sigmann, NRCC-CHO

Lecturer/Safety Committee Chair

A. R. Smith Department of Chemistry

Appalachian State University

525 Rivers Street

Boone, NC 28608

Phone: 828 262 2755

Fax: 828 262 6558

Email: sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**

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