Picking up the thread of cryogen demo safety again...
Handling cryogens bare handed sure sounds risky doesn't it,
irresponsible, cavalier even? Taking responsibility for the safety of
others is a serious thing. In taking on that responsibility one also
takes on liability. The greater the responsibility and the higher up in
the chain of responsibility, the greater the liability becomes. So it is
not only expected, but necessary for ACS to discourage handling cryogens
However, no safety program is complete without a risk management
component. In the demonstrations we did, there was a very strong
emphasis on teaching and part of that was on managing risk. Rather than
keep the participants (yes they were not simply spectators) at a
distance and tell them 'don't touch" we did a pretty thorough discussion
on what the hazards were, what caused the liquid nitrogen to be
hazardous and how the hazards could be mitigated. Letting a small drop
of lN2 roll around in your hand briefly involves minimal risk while
driving home the points that A) it will bite you if you aren't careful,
and B) that understanding the basis for the risk can allow you to deal
with the material without harm.
On 23/9/16 5:04 AM, Stuart, Ralph wrote:
>> I cannot, in good conscience, recommend putting your hand into a fire or into liquid nitrogen for "demonstration" purposes. Doing so invites the potential for injury and I have seen impressionable youth try to imitate such actions without the proper understanding of the principles involved.
> I think that this is a significant challenge for many "exocharmic" chemical demonstrations; while they can attract the attention of people who don't understand them, they also model behaviors that don't scale or transfer well into other settings. They also don't represent the scientific approach of planning the work and understanding risks before proceeding with the physical process. That's one reason that I think the new NFPA 45 standard's requirement for a briefing for the audience of the hazards of the demonstration makes sense.
> We expect this briefing of commercial airplane flight, which has a lower incident rate than chemical demonstrations...
> - Ralph
> Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
> Chemical Hygiene Officer
> Keene State College
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This e-mail is from DCHAS-L, the e-mail list of the ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety.
For more information about the list, contact the Divisional secretary at secretary**At_Symbol_Here**dchas.org
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