From: "Harrison, Paul" <pharriso**At_Symbol_Here**MCMASTER.CA>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Admissions Tours in the Laboratories
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 2021 18:03:01 +0000
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU>
Message-ID: YTBPR01MB2703D287DA80BA6092B5EDA0C8B39**At_Symbol_Here**YTBPR01MB2703.CANPRD01.PROD.OUTLOOK.COM

Maybe the legal landscape is different in Canada, but at McMaster we make a point of taking students and parents through the undergraduate labs during specific events like Open Houses.  Of course, everything is prepared to ensure safety.  Our administrators ensure us that insurance covers everyone on campus anywhere at any time (although only registered students are allowed into operating undergraduate labs, it turns out that everyone is insured, we checked because we were worried about students who withdraw from a course but keep doing the lab component so that they do not have to re-do all the labs in their next attempt!).

The positive side to this open view policy is that we are complimented by parents, and they tell us they are really relieved to see that their children will be operating in labs where everything can be done in hoods, there is plenty of space for 2 students per hood (currently down to 1 in covid!), where everyone wears goggles and lab coats, where there is no apparent chemical odour... and so on.

To me at least, I feel that the benefits outweigh the really low level of risks.  But if looking through a glass window works for you, then I am sure there is much less effort involved.


Paul Harrison, B.A. Hons. (Oxon), Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Associate Chair (Undergraduate)
Chemistry & Chemical Biology
Dept. of Chemistry & Chemical Biology
McMaster University
1280 Main St. West.
Hamilton, ON L8S 4M1
Map icon location: ABB-418
Phone icon phone: (905) 525-9140 x 27290
Envelope icon email: pharriso**At_Symbol_Here**

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From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU> on behalf of Yaritza Brinker <YBrinker**At_Symbol_Here**FELE.COM>
Sent: Thursday, February 4, 2021 11:37 AM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Admissions Tours in the Laboratories

I'm not currently in academia, but I know I was not allowed to enter the labs when I toured. Not even the gen chem one that was obviously empty at the time.


Thank you,


Yaritza Brinker



From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU> On Behalf Of Denise Beautreau
Sent: Thursday, February 4, 2021 11:06 AM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Admissions Tours in the Laboratories


** External Email **

Hi Shannon,

I see that you are at my alma mater. There has always been a policy of no entry to anyone that has not been trained into any of the teaching or research labs and all the institutions I have worked at. Admissions tours for undergraduates were never allowed into the lab spaces.  If anything, when I have been part of renovation projects, there have been design accommodations to allow for peeking in through doors with glass or larger windows so students and their families can get a better view. Now on the graduate side, things were slightly different with regards to access to research spaces. I know of some faculty that would allow potential students to tour their personal research space, some would even tour common spaces such as instrument rooms while others would not, and others that just did the peek in for all areas.. My experience with Admissions folks and the people in various departments has been mostly positive with adhering to these guidelines.  




On Thu, Feb 4, 2021 at 10:28 AM Shannon Nephew <millersc**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:

Hello Colleagues,


This issue has been discussed a few times in our Laboratory Chemical Hygiene Safety Meetings here on campus and our Committee easily reached a consensus regarding Admissions Tours coming through our laboratories and/or research spaces.


Our laboratories are accessed via a card swipe and students can only access the lab during their designated lab time (or a close window to that).  Some labs choose no student access and the instructors let them in at the start themselves. Our rule is that all student employees and faculty go through our annual safety training, and these student ambassadors from Admissions currently do not go through a safety training.


While meeting with my supervisor this morning, she and I thought it would be helpful to know how other campuses handle tours.   When I went on college tours with my daughter, we peeked in the window of the labs and the tour guide explained various things about them.  However, we did not usually enter the labs.  Does your institution allow tours into the labs themselves?


Thank you for any insight you can offer, it is much appreciated!





Chemical Hygiene Officer, Hudson Hall Science Complex Building Manager

Science Programs and Facilities Support Professional

Hudson Hall 317

101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901

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