From: Margaret Rakas <mrakas**At_Symbol_Here**SMITH.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Glove Box Injury
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 2021 09:29:51 -0500
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU>
Message-ID: CAAszpkzCkV2n+XM0wRkSvVodgJjWEdGmqZxhkTTj25=bAMZRaQ**At_Symbol_Here**

It IS possible to have fume hoods for people who are less likely to be the 'average male' height; when we built our (still feels like new) science building, our chemistry faculty realized that many of our students are shorter and have less 'reaching' capabilities. The "distillation racks" in the back of all hoods are moved several inches closer to the front of the hood. Downside is some space is lost; and these were custom hoods. I don't believe it's possible to retrofit....

I'm sure the grad student has already been advised to take frequent breaks, etc. It's too bad the project--or at least that part of it--can't be split among several students. It is amazing what graduate students are still expected to 'get through'-one of my friends developed a severe skin allergy to a chemical central to his work, even though he religiously wore gloves (and this was back in the late 80's). Luckily, he was finishing up by the time it got really bad. I hope this student is either close to finishing or her faculty advisor will work with her to guide her project where she does not need to spend that much time working in the glove box...


On Wed, Jan 27, 2021 at 9:02 AM Stuart, Ralph <Ralph.Stuart**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
This incident reminds me of a series of articles in JCHAS by EHS staff at Los Alamos National Laboratory related to the ergonomic and other challenges of glovebox use. See, for example,
Rotator cuff strength balance in glovebox workers

Gloveboxes are essential to the pharmaceutical, semi-conductor, nuclear, and biochemical industries. While gloveboxes serve as effective containment systems, they are often difficult to work in and present a number of ergonomic hazards. One such hazard is injury to the rotator cuff, a group of tendons and muscles in the shoulder, connecting the upper arm to the shoulder blade. Rotator cuff integrity is critical to shoulder health. This study compared the rotator cuff muscle strength ratios of glovebox workers to the healthy norm. Descriptive statistics were collected using a short questionnaire. Handheld dynamometry was used to quantify the ratio of forces produced for shoulder internal and external rotation. Results showed this population to have shoulder strength ratios significantly different from the healthy norm. Strength ratios were found to be a sound predictor of symptom incidence. The deviation from the normal ratio demonstrates the need for solutions designed to re!
duce the workload on the rotator cuff musculature in order to improve health and safety. Assessment of strength ratios can be used to screen for risk of symptom development. This increases technical knowledge and augments operational safety.

I also suspect that fume hoods create similar ergonomic challenges for people who use them for long stretches of time.

- Ralph

Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Environmental Safety Manager
Keene State College
603 358-2859


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Margaret A. Rakas, Ph.D.
Lab Safety & Compliance Director
Clark Science Center
413-585-3877 (p)

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