Report on U Hawaii explosion delayed until the end of June
May24

Report on U Hawaii explosion delayed until the end of June

From the University of Hawaii, the latest on one of the investigations into the March explosion that caused a postdoctoral researcher to lose one of her arms: The independent investigation into the March 16, 2016 explosion in a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa laboratory is now expected to be complete by end of June 2016. The University of California Center for Laboratory Safety, retained by UH to conduct the investigation, has arranged to test certain materials. The final completion of the investigation report is dependent on the testing and the test results. The investigation was originally to be completed by the end of April, then the University of Hawaii said late...

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“Safety Begins in the Classroom” videos now available from #ACSSanDiego
May19

“Safety Begins in the Classroom” videos now available from #ACSSanDiego

ACS has now posted videos from the National Meeting held in March in San Diego, including those from the Division of Chemical Health & Safety’s session on “Safety Begins in the Classroom: Demonstrations, Awareness & Pre-Lab Planning”: “Wild, wild west to GHS: Reflections on my first year as a general chemistry laboratory coordinator,” by Rebecca Sansom & Matthew B. Allen of Brigham Young University “Chemical demonstrations: The good, the bad, the ugly,” by David A. Katz, self-described “chemist, educator, expert demonstrator, science communicator, and consultant” “Development of demonstrations – a collaborative project between the safety office and teaching assistants,” by Debbie Decker & Joshua Greenfield of the University of California, Davis The division already posted slides from this and other sessions at the...

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Videos on nitric acid waste and vented caps
May18

Videos on nitric acid waste and vented caps

Northwestern University’s Office for Research Safety has two new videos available: One is about nitric acid and what happens when it’s mixed with organic materials, and the other is about using vented caps. vimeo Video | w=640 h=360 Nitric Acid Waste from ORS Safety Training on Vimeo. vimeo Video | w=640 h=360 Vented Caps from ORS Safety Training on Vimeo. My spreadsheet of safety videos is available here. As always, please let me know if I should add...

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Process safety newsletters
May17

Process safety newsletters

From AIChE’s Center for Chemical Process Safety, the “Process Safety Beacons” so far this year: Hydrate Hazards – “When a hydrate forms it can plug piping, instrument connections, valves, and other equipment causing process upsets which may be hazardous. … Clearing a blockage from hydrate formation could be a routine or non-routine work activity that is hazardous if not done properly.” Still Overflowing Tanks! – “With all of the complex operations going on in many process facilities, it is surprising that putting more material into a tank than will fit is a frequent contributor to major incidents.” Safety Device or Control Device? – “Supervisors decided that the operator could be given other work to do while the tank was filling since there was a high level shutdown. No management of change review was done. A device that was intended to be a second layer of protection became the primary control. When the high level instrument failed, there was nobody in the area and the spill was actually larger.” Plugged Flame Arrester Causes Explosion – “The flame arrester on an oil tank was corroded and plugged with deposits. This resulted in the tank ‘breathing’ through a sample hatch at the tank rather than through the flame arrester as intended. When it was hot, during the day, vapors would exit the tank through the hatch.” More Repeat Incidents! – “If you use any hazardous materials, or if your process operates at hazardous conditions, you should understand what incidents have happened in the past with the materials and process conditions in your...

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“Applying a lab safety culture to nanotechnology” webinar
May12

“Applying a lab safety culture to nanotechnology” webinar

The U.S. National Nanotechnology Coordination Office is launching what it’s calling the “NanoEHS Webinar Series.” The first one is “Applying a Lab Safety Culture to Nanotechnology: Educating the Next Generation of Nanoscientists”. It will be held on Wednesday, May 18, starting at 11 AM Pacific/2 PM Eastern. Here’s the description: The first webinar will discuss how an effective culture of safety in the research laboratory facilitates safe and responsible nanomaterial research and supports the [National Nanotechnology Initiative] goal of responsible development. Other major goals of this webinar are to build awareness of existing information resources; facilitate safe nanotechnology practices within the overall lab safety culture; engage industry in the discussion by sharing practices and expectations; and ensure that safety training in academia is viewed as an important job skill. Who: Speakers at the event will include: Moderator • Charles L. Geraci, Jr. – Associate Director for Nanotechnology and co-manager of the Nanotechnology Research Center at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Panelists • Keith J. Watson – Vice President of Core Research and Development at Dow Chemical Company • Larry Gibbs – Associate Vice Provost for Environmental Health and Safety at Stanford University • Craig Merlic – Associate Professor of Chemistry and Executive Director for the UCLA Center for Laboratory Safety • Lori Seiler – Associate Director for Global R&D EHS at Dow Chemical Company Register for the webinar...

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