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.


  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.

  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.

  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.

    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.

  4. UCLA does seem a lot safer.

  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.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20