250447 Safety in Academic Laboratories A Perspective from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 8:30 AM

Cheryl MacKenzie, MS, Human Factors , Investigations-Denver, The US Chemical Safety Board, Washington, DC
Since 2001, the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has gathered information on 118 different university laboratory incidents that resulted in 87 evacuations, 96 injuries, and one death. These incidents include a UCLA graduate student who was fatally burned while working with t-butyl lithium in 2008, a Texas Tech University (TTU) graduate student severely injured while working with a newly synthesized energetic compound in January 2010, 4 people who were injured in a June 2010 explosion involving hydrogen at the University of Missouri, and a June 2010 chemical fire at Southern Illinois University that resulted in approximately one million dollars in damage.

In an effort to understand the chemical safety risks associated with academic laboratory research, the CSB has conducted an assessment of the TTU incident, and has gathered evidentiary facts on a number of additional recent incidents. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss the potential safety deficiencies within the academic work environment, not just at TTU, but at similar research institutions on a national level. The presentation will highlight several safety lessons to minimize or eliminate these safety hazards and promote discussion on future areas of study to improve safety within all academic laboratory workplaces.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate an understanding of hazards present in university laboratories and the safety policies in place to prevent incidents from occurring

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I investigated, researched and formulated the research product I am presenting.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.