That’s _precisely_ the information one needs to know before pushing the button! Good for you.
In our new winery building, there are a series of buttons on the wall – one is an emergency purge button. But there are other buttons that do other things to the ventilation and lighting system and we worked hard to make sure they were all marked. Some of the winery staff thought it was ridiculous. But when I asked the project manager what the buttons did and she wasn’t entirely certain, I had good support for good labeling.
It reminds us to be sure we’re communicating clearly, doesn’t it? Making assumptions about what a “panic button” might do could have serious unintended consequences.
This conversation has prompted me to re-label all of ours. They came labeled "panic button," which seems like a ridiculous label for a red button in a hallway. For a time, we were told they actually turned off the fume hoods, which was simply false, but the rationale was that would be a good thing to do in a case of a fume hood fire and were labeled as such.
Having verified that they do in fact crank up the fume hoods (which are for the most part of a two-stage VAV design), they now bear the following legend:
"PURGE BUTTON: In case of chemical spill or release, press to maximize laboratory exhaust ventilation." No guarantee that pressing it will solve your particular problem, but at least it's truth in labeling.
Donald Abramowitz, CIH
Environmental Health & Safety Officer
Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr, PA
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