We implemented a lab coat requirement several years ago in undergraduate teaching. Students are required to purchase their coats, stocked by the bookstore.
Those students who complete chemistry coursework and don't wish to keep their coats, we have a relationship with the bookstore for laundering and re-selling coats at a significant discount. If a coat gets soiled from wear, students launder their own coats.
If the coat becomes contaminated, it's disposed as haz waste and a replacement coat provided. If students are not properly attired in the required PPE, they don't get in to lab.
In research labs, PIs purchase coats for their lab workers. We have a contract laundry service to launder coats. I thought about renting coats at the beginning
of this requirement, but it would have quickly turned into a full-time job. I have better things to do than manage laundry. The cost for laundry is less than a dollar per coat.
Personally, I wouldn't want to be wearing a coat that someone else has been wearing without laundering it first. Our TAs wear a certain type of coat. They get
that coat at the beginning of the quarter, wear it for the quarter, and then the coats are laundered at the end of the quarter to be re-issued.
Debbie M. Decker, CCHO, ACS Fellow
Past Chair, Division of Chemical Health and Safety
Councilor and Programming Co-Chair
University of California, Davis
Birkett's hypothesis: "Any chemical reaction
that proceeds smoothly under normal conditions,
can proceed violently in the presence of an idiot."
From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
On Behalf Of Shannon Nephew
Sent: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 11:09 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Lab Coat Use
We have recently implemented a lab coat policy and provide coats to our laboratories for student, faculty and research use. There have been some concerns about cold and flu season and students wearing the coats that students in labs before
them have been sneezing or coughing into. Typically, we have the coats picked up at the end of the semester and cleaned by our vendor (they are rental coats). Faculty have mentioned getting the coats cleaned every other week, but this could be costly.
Does anyone else have alternative ways of handling this situation?
Thank you for any insight and ideas.
Shannon C. Nephew MS, NRCC-CHO, NASP-CSM
Science Programs and Facilities Support Professional
Hudson Hall Building Manager
317 Hudson Hall
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901
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