Our effort to make sure students have some hazard information under their belts before beginning took the form of requiring a table of materials in the pre-lab report that included a column for hazards (from the SDS, available through the university on-line database) and a column for quantity expected to be used. I added this last to emphasize that Risk is a product of hazard and exposure - if you're exposed to less, your risk is less, even though the hazard remains the same.
In our intro. O-CHEM class, this became a huge task for some experiments that had lots of possible unknowns and lots of reagents. The instructor is experimenting with providing the table as a template. In the early experiments, most or all of the information will be provided. Then the student takes over & provides more (or all) of the information, building competency, we hope.
This still doesn't address the question of interpreting the hazard information to decide about ventilation, PPE, etc., as most of those decisions are made for lower division undergrads.
Sheila M. Kennedy, C.H.O.
Safety Coordinator | Teaching Laboratories
Chemistry & Biochemistry |University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr. | La Jolla, CA 92093-0303
(858) 534 - 0221 | MC 0303 | YORK HALL 3150
Reading the SDS is never sufficient. Understanding it is key. So the instruction should be changed to "use the SDS to determine whether this material presents new or unusual hazards and what precautions should be taken" etc.
If you pair the "determine" with a control banding approach based on the hazard classification and risk/hazard phrases, that gives one a framework on what to do next. For example, if you have hazards in class 1 (the highest, versus NFPA where that's low) - then stop - do a full risk assessment etc.
BTW, the HSE has a a risk assessment wizard here: http://coshh-tool.hse.gov.uk
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On Apr 10, 2018, at 11:51 AM, Stuart, Ralph <Ralph.Stuart**At_Symbol_Here**KEENE.EDU> wrote:
I'm a little frustrated after reviewing yet another teaching lab procedure that barely mentions any safety aspects of the work being described, but include the equivalent of "of course, everyone who does this should read the SDS". Advice this generic feels like a CYA disclaimer rather than anything designed to be helpful for the reader.
While I recognize that a complete documented risk assessment is necessary for many lab situations, I wonder if anyone has developed guidance for how one can convert "read the SDS" to decisions about how much ventilation is needed, personal protective equipment requirements, etc. for fairly simple chemistries being offered to beginning chemists?
Thanks for any thoughts on this.
Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Environmental Safety Manager
Keene State College
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