From: Ben Ruekberg <bruekberg**At_Symbol_Here**CHM.URI.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] "Read the SDS"
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2018 07:29:16 -0400
Reply-To: bruekberg**At_Symbol_Here**CHM.URI.EDU
Message-ID: 004701d3d188$59a77320$0cf65960$**At_Symbol_Here**

In a manner similar to Dr. Stepenuck's, when I was in charge of an advanced
chemistry laboratory, where students chose their own syntheses, the students
were required to submit an experiment proposal to be approved before they
could perform their experiments. This proposal was to include a section
where for each chemical (including intermediates and products) the students
were required to list physical properties, solubilities, HAZARDS and
PRECAUTIONS. It took a while for some of the students to catch on to this
requirement, but I did manage to convince one student not to make a powerful


-----Original Message-----
From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety
[mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU] On Behalf Of Stephen Stepenuck
Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 10:53 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] "Read the SDS"

Having been similarly frustrated at receiving photocopies of the
[M]SDS stapled to the back of lab reports, I finally had to forbid that in
favor of a summary in their own words up front in each lab report relative
to the principal [3new2] hazards in that day1s work. The only way I could
see to get them to do the risk assessment was to set time aside for that up
front in each lab, since too many would not do it before then. That means
having resources available in or from the lab?much easier these days. No
solution was to be prepared or instrument cranked up until an acceptable
summary was shown to and approved by the instructor. I had to explicitly
forbid the 3I1ll make up the solutions while you look up the hazards2 team
approach, while acknowledging its efficiency.

The most powerful tactic I found was a live session up front with
each lab section, asking 3What [bad] could happen?2 then helping them
through an assessment such that 3nothing2 critical was overlooked. Holding
their toes to the fire like that before they could start the day's work
seemed to actually get them thinking about the possibilities. As we all
know, somehow getting them to realize that 3it CAN happen?to ME2 is much of
the battle. If we can get them there, then you1re working together, no
pious platitudes like you mentioned being necessary.

How one might accomplish such in a university setting with green
grad students as lab instructors is beyond my ken. Worse?as has finally
been recognized and publicized?the real problem behind what you have
described is the faculty.
As many in Ireland say as they hang up the phone: 3God bless!2


Stephen J. Stepenuck, Ph.D.
Emeritus professor of chemistry
Keene State College
Keene NH 03435-2001

Ralph wrote:

>I'm a little frustrated after reviewing yet another teaching lab
>procedure that barely mentions any safety aspects of the work being
>described, but include the equivalent of "of course, everyone who does
>this should read the SDS". Advice this generic feels like a CYA
>disclaimer rather than anything designed to be helpful for the reader.
>While I recognize that a complete documented risk assessment is necessary
>for many lab situations, I wonder if anyone has developed guidance for
>how one can convert "read the SDS" to decisions about how much
>ventilation is needed, personal protective equipment requirements, etc.
>for fairly simple chemistries being offered to beginning chemists?
>Thanks for any thoughts on this.
>- Ralph
>Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
>Environmental Safety Manager
>Keene State College
>603 358-2859
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