Learning from oil spill disasters
Jul22

Learning from oil spill disasters

In last week’s issue of C&EN, I had  a story that looked  back at the Exxon Valdez and Deepwater Horizon oil spills, with an eye toward lessons learned for addressing future spills. I focused on the environmental clean-up, not on the process safety problems that led to the incidents, but there was one talk from the University of New Hampshire Oil Spill Response Forum held last fall that I wanted to flag here. The speaker was...

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DuPont named severe violator by OSHA
Jul10

DuPont named severe violator by OSHA

The Department of Labor announced yesterday that the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has placed DuPont in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, following a 2014 methyl mercaptan leak that killed four workers and injured a fifth at a DuPont plant in La Porte, Texas. In May, 2015, OSHA cited DuPont for 14 safety violations and proposed fines totaling $99,000. The citations were for: 29 CPR 191...

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“I was blinded by a school science experiment”
Jun23

“I was blinded by a school science experiment”

Via @adchempages, a personal story of the repercussions of being blinded by a school science experiment, by Meredith Plumb: Throughout my childhood, I had 20:20 vision. But two weeks before my 12th birthday, in my first year of secondary school in Cheshire, my teacher asked me to conduct a science experiment, and gave me a pestle and mortar. I was told to measure three kinds of powder: black, orange and white. I did as I was told, but...

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Lesson learned: Eye protection
Jun04

Lesson learned: Eye protection

From the University of California, Berkeley, a lesson learned about wearing eye protection: A graduate student researcher was working at a laboratory bench synthesizing approximately one gram of diazonium perchlorate crystals. The student was transferring synthesized perchlorate using a metal spatula when the material exploded, sending porcelain fragments into his face. The fragments shattered the lenses of his eyeglasses and...

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Three Florida students burned in flame test demo
May28

Three Florida students burned in flame test demo

Via the Tallahassee Democrat, an incident from last week: A chemistry experiment gone wrong injured three Lincoln High School students Friday morning. Leon County Emergency Medical Services responded to the call, along with the Tallahassee Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Office. Two students were admitted to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital with burns suffered during the incident, and another student was released to parental...

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Harran still complying with proescution agreement in #SheriSangji case
May21

Harran still complying with proescution agreement in #SheriSangji case

Patrick Harran has a court date today to check in with a judge regarding his agreement with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. Harran was to pay a fine and complete community service in exchange for the DA eventually dropping charges of four felony violations of the state labor code. The case arose from a 2008 fire in his lab that led to the death of researcher Sheharbano (Sheri) Sangji. Harran had paid the fine...

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