Note that a separate, but related, issue is raised below: use of contacts in labs... - Ralph From: "Peters, Joseph"
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 2008 10:59:21 -0500 Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Shorts and Skirts in Labs Larry, I manage a research facility that has both bench and pilot scale chemical process equipment as well as analytical laboratories. Our current clothing policy is as follows: 1. NO shorts or skirts are allowed when working in areas with hazardous materials or operations. 2. Pants: 100% cotton jeans or chinos. The feeling is that synthetics would potentially melt with exposure to high temperatures. Denim is also very durable and cut resistant. 3. Shirts: Long sleeved cotton blend with a collar. This gives some level of protection in the event of an accidental splash. The collar keeps us closer to the overall company policy of business casual. 4. Shoes: Steel toed safety. 5. Safety glasses with side shields. This policy was formally set during an EH&S audit of the facility several years ago. However, we have followed it since as far back as I can remember. Realize that this is basic protection. We have a full array of PPE that allows us to suit up thru Level B if necessary. This policy also applies to my co-ops from a local university. I tell them as we go through safety training that the last call I want to make is to a parent or significant other that they have been hurt. The long sleeves are a bit uncomfortable during the summer but people understand that it's for their own protection and also not an option. I have children that have gone thru college and one just about ready to go. They think, of course, that they are invincible, know everything and will not get hurt. I think each organization needs to set the dress policy that best fits the environment. However, asking the students to buy in is a non starter. They do not have the training or wisdom to make that decision. Joe My comment to anyone who questions the policy == From: Vaiju.Bagal**At_Symbol_Here**emdchemicals.com Date: Tue, 4 Nov 2008 10:59:21 -0500 Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Shorts and Skirts in Labs Hello Larry - This appears to be primarily an academic lab, but in our industrial chemical lab, there is no way that anyone is allowed to work with sandals, skirts, or shorts in the laboratory. Our safety manual and chemical hygiene plan state that is not allowed,. More significantly, experienced and educated lab personnel consider it common sense that one would not expose great lengths of skin in a chemical environment. This is a laboratory, not a kitchen. Of course, our workplace is not so casual as to let employees wear shorts in the office. However, women do wear capris and open toe sandals - in the office only. In Savannah here, it gets quite hot, so we do have a comparison to California. The students need to be aware that these are common expectations in the workplace. I have to say, I don't understand what's meant by "provocative or distracting clothing or make-up" and how that relates to laboratory safety. Vaiju Ujjvala (Vaiju) Bagal EMD Chemicals 110 EMD Blvd Savannah, GA 31407 Home: www.emdchemicals.com == Date: Tue, 4 Nov 2008 11:05:39 -0400 From: Ken Simolo Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Shorts and Skirts in Labs "* Contact lenses should not be worn in the lab since vapors can be trapped between the lens and the eye." Contrary to what I would have naively believed, I believe the data supports contact lenses being worn as actually being safer. We were always concerned about a splash or fumes getting under the lenses and so we had banned them. However, studies showed it was actually safer to use contact lenses so we lifted the ban years ago. If this is not correct, i would appreciate knowing. Ken === From: PhilF45**At_Symbol_Here**aol.com Date: Tue, 4 Nov 2008 13:03:22 EST Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Shorts and Skirts in Labs Suggest writing up accident reports for near accidents as well as accidents. A hole in fabric from a corrosive is a near accident. If the number of reports justifies it, institute a protective uniform policy (or perhaps a full length apron). Phil Flor
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