From: Jeffrey Lewin <jclewin**At_Symbol_Here**MTU.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] EH&S photo safety tips?
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2013 09:09:30 -0500
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: CAEwQnqh3H6akBEjp9UJNdTOwU3T2C3z9wN+g+Gi2RoeA+CACnw**At_Symbol_Here**

Since I also wear the hat of Departmental webmaster, as well as the one making those scrolling TV picture collages, I end up doing this routinely. The problem I have is with photo shoots, sometimes set up by the Marketing Department, sometime set up by the lab. More than once I've been sent after the fact (what used to be contact sheets, but now electric pages) reams of pictures only to tell the poor photographer that we can't use them because nobody is wearing safety glasses. Unfortunately, what often happens is that a "hazard analysis" indicates they aren't needed...or because they are posing for the photos they think "there's no "real" hazards so why wear them." The important point I try to make, and I'm aware this has been discussed at our University level safety committee, is that it is PERCEPTION not the real hazards. Having spent many years in amateur theatre I try to remind them that "props" are just as important as the actors/models. Yes, if they are looking into a microscope they probably can get away with no eye protection. But if they are pretending to pipette, even if it is just fake and water, they need look like they are protecting themselves.

Lab photos should be routine, but as mentioned above, other situations might also need the appropriate PPE. When another unit on campus put up their new website I was asked to take a look at it since some of our faculty are co-members. One comment I had was that they had a bunch of boat pictures (the unit focuses on research on the Great Lakes). In several of them people were not wearing life jackets. Those pictures were replaced and the director of that unit has since sent out reminders for photoshoots (as well as beef up the rules of when life jackets are required to be worn).

Jeff Lewin
Biological Sciences
Michigan Tech University

On Tue, Dec 10, 2013 at 10:07 PM, Lee Latimer <lhlatimer**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
We routinely had problems with photographers in laboratories who didn't want subjects wearing safety glasses for esthetic reasons in the pictures. Some of our scientists, chemists, stood firm but the biologists were weak. This was especially true for Annual Report photos, where you could tell the chemist in the pictures. Hold the line!

Lee Latimer

On 12/10/13 5:30 PM, "Peter Zavon" <pzavon**At_Symbol_Here**ROCHESTER.RR.COM> wrote:

Laurence Doemeny said, in part:
Someone (e.g., safety officer and lab manager) should accompany the photographer during these sessions.

I agree but would add to the end of that sentence, "…to point out problematic circumstances as the photos are composed"

No guideline short enough for a photographer to read and internalize, who is primarily interested in getting a good shot, is going to be able to cover the variety of situations found in all the lab and non-lab areas of any campus. Point them out as you go and you may eventually have some educated photographers.

Now if you want to put together multiple, narrower guidelines that can be referred to for specific projects, that might work. Write one for chemistry labs, one for physics labs, one for engineering labs, one for ceramics studios, one for theatre activities, one for sculpting, one for painting and silk screening, one for grounds maintenance, one for sports activity, one for machine ships, etc.

Peter Zavon, CIH
Penfield, NY


From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL..EDU] On Behalf Of Laurence Doemeny
Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 2:28 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] EH&S photo safety tips?

Issues I observed in photos include: Lab clutter, improper use of electrical and extension cords, unlabeled reagent containers, tripping hazards, improper clothing, food and beverage in the lab.

The people taking the photos should follow the rules for all occupants of the lab.

Someone (e.g., safety officer and lab manager) should accompany the photographer during these sessions.

From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL..EDU] On Behalf Of Kim Gates
Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 10:56 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] EH&S photo safety tips?

Have any of you ever put together "photo safety tips"? Our communication office has taken some publicity type photos and they don't always show the best lab safety practices. I've been asked to put together a guideline for them to use during these photo sessions in labs and non-lab areas on campus.

I know there's always feedback on other photos/video that make this list - mostly about PPE. I thought an easy to follow guide might help the photographer.


Kim Gates
Laboratory Safety Specialist
Environmental Health & Safety
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-6200
FAX: 631-632-9683
EH&S Web site:

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