The U.S. Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board yesterday released a new video, “After the Rainbow,” that features a student injured in a high school laboratory fire. Calais Weber was 15 years old when her teacher poured methanol on an open flame in front of students at her desk. An explosion and fire ensued, and Weber was burned over 40% of her body.
I haven’t tracked numbers, but in the few years I’ve been following chemical safety news, I feel like I’ve heard of a lot of alcohol fires in schools. I don’t know why people seem to discount the fire hazard of alcohols, but they do.
Weber has this message for students:
While it can seem daunting, it’s perfectly okay to speak up if you’re not feeling safe, to at least question. And if you’re given a piece of information on safety, read it.