Our policy is to simply not travel in an elevator with liquid nitrogen. We tell personnel to place the container inside the elevator and place this sign on it facing the door:
http://www.drs.illinois.edu/site-documents/LiquidNitrogenSignElevator.pdf. We include this information in our cryogen guidance document:
Research Safety Professional
Division of Research Safety
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
We recently had an incident where a researcher was momentarily trapped in an elevator while transporting a 230 liter Dewar of liquid nitrogen. Thankfully the
researcher walked out of the elevator a few seconds later.
This incident raised a concern about the potential for asphyxiation if an entrapment occurred and the Dewar released nitrogen gas into the elevator cab (unlikely
but need to prepare). We have elevator rescue protocols in place but the response time depends on the time of day.
Has anyone addressed this type of concern?
Martin W. Bell, M.S. CIH CSP
Director, Environmental Compliance
Department of Environmental Health and Safety
400 North 31st Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Tel: 215.895.5892 | Fax: 215.895.5926
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