Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] C&EN article on emergency decon
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2019 15:58:25 -0700
Reply-To: neal**At_Symbol_Here**CHEMICAL-SAFETY.COM
Message-ID: 017801d4f571$10f63ef0$32e2bcd0$**At_Symbol_Here**

How to effectively train people on motor-skill activity and how to decon are guaranteed to elicit a lot of response. The current thread is no exception.


First-responders are constrained to procedures and protocols which are authorized in their jurisdiction. As Ralph pointed out, it is worth understanding what your first-responders will do. BUT, their protocols need not be yours. I published a JCHAS article whose title implies my position -
N. Langerman and S. Sussman, ??Water, Water Everywhere ?? Is It Effective??? J. Chemical Health & Safety, Dec. 2006. Water, promptly and sufficiently applied is highly beneficial. Yes, there are more efficacious approaches, but they either have not been approved in USA (Diphoterin(TM)) or are too slow (C&EN citation).
Bottom line for us at the forefront of chemical handling - water, more water and then, even more water is the immediate, necessary response. We could go through all the what ifs, and I suspect I have heard most of them, but the water approach works.

How to train motor-skill activity

Having done too many years of chemical emergency response training, always with a hands-on component, I learned and adopted the military paradigm - you perform (fight) like you train. So, make your training as realistic as possible, maintaining safety. Spill clean up training should be done on real acids, bases, solvents. Colored water makes a great personal contamination medium. I finally got to the point that I would get my intended victim to come to work/school wearing a bathing suit with old, dispensable clothes over and a change of clothes. Contaminated clothing would be cut/torn off. After the training, I would present the victim with a gift card funded to more than replace the clothing.

The trainees appreciated the realism, and many were sobered by the implications of doing this incorrectly.

So, this discussion is great, but as many has said, the first-responder protocol will not change our procedures in the workplace.

BTW - Dry Decon is great for lab-scale spill response decontamination of the entry team!

Safety is the practice of fixed and unbendable principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times. Paraphrase of Everett Dirksen.
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