These following incidents occurred when safe working practices were not followed.
The recent death of a research assistant at the University of California, Los Angeles from injuries obtained whilst working on a highly flammable chemical [Trager. R 2009]-. The university allowed researchers to continue their research during their break. Whilst using a syringe to withdraw some reagent, she accidently pulled the plunger all the way out which lead to allowing air to enter and cased a flash fire. The university was fined as the ...view middle of the document...
Firstly the researcher was not wearing correct PPE. Standard eye glasses do not offer sufficient eye protection as goggles do. She chose to not wear a lab coat which means that the fire caused second and third degree burns over 40% of her body. This damage could have been decreased if she had a lab coat as the flame would’ve destroyed the lab coat before her.
Secondly, she was not trained on using equipment and maybe did not recognise the COSHH hazard symbol that was probably written on the bottle. COSHH is the law that requires employers to control substances that are hazardous to health. This could have been avoided if she was properly trained on how to identify the correct hazard symbol and how to use them safely.
In January 2010, a graduate student within the chemistry lost 3 fingers, burns to his hands and eyes and suffered an eye injury after the chemical he was using exploded.
This could have been avoided by correct training on handling equipment safely
Trager. R (2009) UCLA lab assistant dies [Online] http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2009/January/23010903.asp
Vivian Yee (2011) Texas tech university laboratory explosion [Online] http://www.icheme.org/shop/lpb/2014/issue%20238/texas%20tech%20university%20laboratory%20explosion.aspx