Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Lab worker dies in explosion at Texas A&M - Qatar

A lab worker at Texas A&M University at Qatar died last week after an incident in the engineering building, according to a statement by Mark Weichold, dean and CEO of the school. 
Some sort of explosion in the lab killed petroleum engineering lab technician Hassan Kamal Hussein, who is survived by his wife and four daughters, reported the Daily Q, a student publication at Northwestern University in Qatar.
Condolences to the labmates and family of Mr. Hussein.  

8 comments:

  1. Texas A&M is trying to expand in the Missile East. I heard from good sources that their delegation was recently in Israel talking to a whole bunch of people about setting up a branch of their university. I guess Qatar wasn't doing it for them, but they didn't have much competition there. I doubt the other universities in Israel will be too pleased by this. Probably a degree from the Weizmann is worth more than one from A&M anyways. Expect more accidents when they set up shop; Israeli academia is at least a decade (or a few) behind the States in safety practices.

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    1. That's scary, considering academia in the US is several decades behind industry in safety practices!

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    2. Well, to be fair, at least I didn't see them venting separatory funnels beside the sink and smoking at the same time, so it seems like the 50s and 60s have been successfully left behind.

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  2. Academia is not behind industry in safety, it is just an environment where lawsuits are less prevalent so unneeded excessive regulations do not show up as often.

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  3. ...until someone gets blown up working on 10 g scale with explosives or finds out exactly how pyrophoric t-BuLi really is. They didn't need those fingers or their lives, anyway.

    Your comment sounds like what academics used to say about waste disposal too, until people realized they didn't care whether it was the dry cleaner or university whose chlorinated hydrocarbons were in their water.

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  4. yeah, because some additional rule would prevent an idiot from deciding to put a 10 g primary explosve in a mortar. Guess what, making that much was already against a rule. Same with t-BuLi, no amount of excess regulations would have said "don't yank the plunger all the way out of the syringe".

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  5. Industry changed because they got sued and regulated; without those "excess regulations" lots of people got hurt and killed (not all of whom were stupid or happened to work there). Guess what happened - your boss actually pays attention to what you do, and employers actually train (sometimes), because looking bad and getting your company sued can actually be career-limiting.

    I think history has pretty well shown that "let the good times roll" is not a sufficient safety policy. People can circumvent almost any set of rules you set up if they wish, but if the bar to stupidity is low or nonexistent, well, then you're going to get lots of stupidity, probably with collateral damage.

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  6. Accident or other mishap occur if proper safety is not provided in the workplace. It is essential to give health and safety training and tools to avoid such type of incident in future.

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