I teach the unit operations lab for chemical engineering. So most of my students have taken general and organic chemistry (although I am not sure what safety training they have for those courses). For my course, I have a safety manual that we go over the first day of lecture which also includes rules for being in the lab. The next week, they take a test over the manual and must not miss more than 2 questions or they have to retake it after going over what they missed. They can enter the lab after passing the test and after signing a sheet at the end of the safety manual stating they have read, understood, and agree to abide by the safety rules of the lab. The test and signature sheets I retain for my records.
On the first day of lab, they tour the lab so they know the location of safety shower, eyewash station, fire evac routes, etc. We also have several safety lectures including the NFPA and new GHS systems, SDS, many CSB videos, etc. At the end of the semester, they take a second safety test over what we have learned. I have to admit the question I am most disappointed with on this exam is one that has a map of the lab and asks them to circle and label the location of the safety eye wash and safety showers and most get a least one of them wrong. In future semesters, I’m going to make sure they realize the importance of knowing these locations.
I also have them answer what they learned about safety that they did not already know. A lot answer they did know how dangerous dust or compressed gas can be.
Sheila N. Baker
Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Missouri-Columbia
W2018 Lafferre Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
"My body may be confined to this chair and I may have to speak through a computer, but my mind is free" - Stephen Hawking
This topic probably has come up before, but I am interested in how other colleges & universities address UG lab safety training. This would not be for UGs in research labs, who may be getting a stipend or credit.
1. Do they attend the same training offered by EH&S for all lab workers?
2. Do their names get entered in the same database?
3. Does your institution offer a full day introductory lab safety seminar?
4. Does your institution offer a one credit course for UGs in lab safety?
Thanks for the responses. Let me know if you are a large school or small college- that may impact answers.
-Stefan Wawzyniecki, CIH, CHMM
University of Connecticut
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