Oh, my! Yes, color blindness is a safety issue in the lab and lots of other place. We color code with red to indicate danger, and with green to indicate safety, yet red-green color blindness is one of the most common types. If you haven't noticed, traffic lights are all standardized with red on top and green on bottom, or with red to the left and green to the right, so those who can't perceive the color have a fighting chance (in good visibility conditions) of seeing the location. I don't imagine that works very well in heavy snow.
Peter Zavon, CIH
From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU] On Behalf Of Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety
Sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2017 1:39 PM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Color-blindness as a lab safety concern?
Color-blindness as a lab safety concern?
This week's C&EN includes a Newscripts column about new eyeglasses for color-blind people that enhance color perception.
I was struck by these comments by a materials science graduate student who tried the glasses:
'Primary colors seemed more their color,' [Patrick] Stanley reports of his time wearing the glasses. 'Labels and boxes caught my attention more'and I guess the point of a hazardous label is to catch my attention.' He also could tell the difference between red and green LEDs and felt more adept at color-matching tasks such as tracing gas lines and reading graphs. 'I found myself being quicker in making color assertions,' he says.
I'd never considered before whether color-blindness might be a lab safety concern. What do you think? Are there labs in which eyeglasses such as these might be helpful to ensure safety? (Combined with appropriate safety glasses or goggles, of course!)
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