From: Meg Osterby <megosterby**At_Symbol_Here**GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Experience with hood sash automatic closers?
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2020 13:59:30 -0500
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU>
Message-ID: CAFQuLpOhpHJRJ-oB6hkKpva=cNmQoFXzzYeE-nEvP0TzdGqgkQ**At_Symbol_Here**

When the building that housed my chemistry lab at the institution where I taught for 17 years was remodeled several years before I arrived on the scene, the new hoods were installed onto the old vents, and the first time a sash alarm went off, the building administrator had all the wiring to the alarms REMOVED without telling anyone. When I replaced him on his retirement, I was called into the lab by the insurance agent who was there to make sure all the safety systems were functional, and he wanted to know why he couldn't get the alarms to sound. I said what alarms?
Turned out that that same building admin had had the hood's power attached to the last light switch so if I
"forgot to turn the hoods off, like when I was evaporating a flammable solvent or had a flask of chlorine gas in the hood for the next day's lab, then a janitor or security guard could make the decision to turn them off without consulting me.

My point is, just because those designers and managers and administrative people are in charge of those labs and those hoods DOESN'T MEAN THEY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING. For your own and your colleagues' and students' safety, you had better find out. It's not that they're trying to do dumb things, it's that they don't know enough of the science to realize just how stupid they are being.

Try to be tactful though. That's not one of my strong suits, and it did eventually get me fired. I made it 17 years, probably some kind of record for telling it like it is without worrying about stepping on toes. I hope I'm a bit wiser today, but telling you all to watch your words and me remembering to might just be two different things.

Good luck. This stuff can be really dangerous if done incorrectly, so do try to find out. They need to know how to make it safe, and most of these folks don't come from science backgrounds. My dean had never taken a hard science course since physical science in the 9th grade. How was he qualified to supervise all the science courses?

Meg Osterby

Meg Osterby

On Tue, Jun 23, 2020, 9:38 AM Brown, Kimberly Jean <kimibush**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
[Cross posting to IH/Lab Safety and ACS DCHAS]
Hello all:

The architect and lab-planner consultants for an energy research building on our campus have recommended the installation of fume hoods with automatic sash closers. Being an energy-research facility, there is obviously a focus on efficiency and sustainability in the design, and this is one of the proposed ways of making the labs greener.

Having no first-hand experience with this these, our office is concerned about the practicality of these in devices in an academic laboratory setting. Does anyone have any hoods like this on their campus?

Kimi Brown, ARM, NRCC-CHO, CSP

(she, her, hers)

Sr. Lab Safety Specialist/Chemical Hygiene Officer

215-746-6549 (Office)

215-651-0557 (Mobile/text)

EHRS is continuing to provide essential services with limited on-campus staff. Those of us who are not on campus are working remotely to continue much of our normal operations.

Environmental Health and Radiation Safety

University of Pennsylvania

3160 Chestnut St., Suite 400

Philadelphia, PA 19104-6287

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