Universities and emergency responders

Female Science Professor posted today about an incident at her university. A colleague spilled acid on his clothes. Per FSP:

He knew what to do: He immediately removed removed his lab coat, pants, socks, and shoes. He washed off his legs and feet, even though he didn’t think the acids got to his skin. He called the appropriate emergency number and closed the lab.

But the emergency response left a little to be desired:

…the most disturbing thing was that paramedics working within the call range of a major research university festooned with labs containing dangerous materials not only had no idea what to do, but didn’t even seem to know how to get the information quickly. When told the best course of action by my colleague and me, they ignored us and made more phone calls.

What have other universities done to try to work ahead and prepare local first responders for what they might find and how to handle research lab incidents?

Author: Jyllian Kemsley

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1 Comment

  1. Just one more example of why lab researchers need to be more aware of what they’re doing, people on the outside are quite often useless.

    Then again, sometimes people on the inside are useless, and evacuate the Baylor science building to have a hazmat team clean up isoamyl nitrile (or in scarier terms, isobutyl cyanide) instead of using a paper towel.