From: "Stuart, Ralph" <Ralph.Stuart**At_Symbol_Here**KEENE.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Lab Ventilation
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2021 13:16:46 +0000
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU>
Message-ID: 24ACD997-45C6-4D7B-9B46-61B8195466D0**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <002c01d70aa8$a47232d0$ed569870$**At_Symbol_Here**>

> >If you accept the premise that work involving hazardous materials in a laboratory

In my mind, this is the crux of the issue. The acceptance of the premise about the use of ‰??hazardous materials‰?? varies by discipline, lab and lab worker.

For example, in my experience, many biologists do not believe that they work with chemicals, much less hazardous chemicals. So when they are involved in lab fit-up discussions, they may be satisfied with a single fume hood in the corner of the lab. They then find out that other people down the hall consider their bench top use of mercaptans a hazard. I have a memory fragment of a saying that the more one benefits from a risk, the harder it is to understand how other people perceive that risk. Unfortunately, I didn‰??t write down the precise quote or its source.

I do sympathize with lab designers and engineers who need to make working assumptions about what will be happening in the lab in order to do their work. But I know of lab buildings where design work occurs long before the occupants for the building have been identified. And even if the occupants are known, predicting the specifics of their science in 5 years is quite unreliable. On the other hand, if there was no human factors involved in laboratory work, there wouldn‰??t be a need for Environmental Health and Safety support for that work.

- Ralph

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


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