From: Allen Niemi <anniemi**At_Symbol_Here**MTU.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Judge denies three Harran defense motions
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2013 09:18:55 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: CAN0bzO7deqKSUznGh4Xy49YFutczRf_FZnfupFUS+mBkp+xzzg**At_Symbol_Here**

At least with respect to the PPE aspect of this case OSHA, and I'm sure Cal-OSHA, is quite clear on the need for a PPE assessment, what constitutes a PPE assessment, what constitutes training, and how training is to be documented. I also do not believe that having done a procedure constitutes either mastery of the subject or evidence of training -- even if you managed to do the procedure without injury in the past. Lots of tasks are done incorrectly, even recklessly, without injury -- for a time. It may very well be that neither the PI or the deceased knew how to perform the procedure properly -- I see this often. In today's world of instant communication, that is no excuse. This was not a newly developed procedure and the hazards are certainly well understood in the "biz".

I couldn't agree more that it was a very sad case for everyone involved, especially since it was easily preventable with the knowledge, laws, and policies that were in place at the time.

On Wed, Aug 28, 2013 at 8:13 AM, Beth Welmaker <bwelmaker**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
I too am concerned about the documentation of training and it was pointed out to me that the student has documentation in her lab notebook of doing this experiment before. I realize this is not the documentation lawyers are looking for but it does cause me to reflect on how would my institute be able to document training on every protocol and procedure? And would one if my PIs feel a researcher in his lab required documented training on an experiment previously performed?

I feel the bigger issue is the flame retardant lab coat but I don't know if the university required them and the PI ignored the requirement? That could be deemed willful.

I think this is a terrible accident and the whole situation saddens me.

Beth Welmaker

Allen Niemi, PhD
Occupational Safety and Health Services
Room 322 Lakeshore Center
Michigan Technological University
Phone: 906-487-2118
Fax: 906-487-3048

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