Thursday, April 14, 2011

New poll: post-UCLA academic chemical safety

Quick poll: has academic chemical safety improved since the UCLA/Sangji incident? You can comment if you wish; people (other than me) will be reading.

5 comments:

  1. I don't think things are more safe, people just do a lot more to cover their asses. More safety training documentation, more safety seminars and certifications, etc.

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  2. UCLA seems a lot safer. Although I only deal with Manamohan, who is in charge of chemical safety for everyone outside of the chemistry department. He's a tough guy to sneak anything past.

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  3. CJ: Here's the link to the follow-up on the recent accidental death of an undergrad in the machine shop at Yale Chemistry.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/14/michele-dufault-mourned-a_n_849013.html

    I'm disturbed by the fact that the victim was working (alone) in a machine shop at 2:30 AM. During grad school, it was common for me and other group members to be working in lab after midnight. Although the Department tried to promote a buddy system for late-night workers, it was not unusual for entire floors to be occupied by one researcher after 9 PM. In retrospect, it may not have been necessary to work all of those late nights. Anyway, the loss of enthusiastic researchers is always tragic, especially when accidental deaths could have been prevented.

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  4. UCLA does seem a lot safer.

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  5. One of the things we chemists do is say, "Look! It's not so bad," to the public that sometimes we get a little too non-chalant with our work.

    There is no reason for any undergraduate to be working in lab by themselves anyway, let alone at 2:30 in the morning. I personally feel that no graduate students should be alone in lab either.

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