The chemistry teaching labs at my institution are capped at 24 – 50 sq ft per person in a 1200 sq ft lab. We don’t count the TA or a lab aide in that total. The Fire Marshal hasn’t made an issue of it so I’m keeping my mouth shut about it.
It’s in the 2016 California Fire Code, Table 1004.1.2, “Maximum Floor Area Allowances per Occupant” (Means of Egress, pg. 202) Your mileage may vary. I can’t cut and paste it but you can look at it here: https://ia801207.us.archive.org/3/items/gov.ca.bsc.title24.2016.09/gov.ca.bsc.2016.09_text.pdf
Hope this helps – 32 students is waaaay too many – from a safety standpoint and from an instructional standpoint.
Debbie M. Decker, CCHO, ACS Fellow
Past Chair, Division of Chemical Health and Safety
Councilor and Programming Co-Chair
University of California, Davis
Birkett's hypothesis: "Any chemical reaction
that proceeds smoothly under normal conditions,
can proceed violently in the presence of an idiot."
Currently the labs classes here are capped at 32. I know that the ACS recommends no more than 25. Are there any other sources I can quote as a draft a letter to our Dean to lower the cap in chem labs. We are a two year school so when I say that labs are capped at 32 that would be ONE pair of experienced eyes in the room. There are no TAs.
I am also looking into the square footage of the room
Right now I am working with groups of 4 so not all students are getting a true lab experience. Some are just watching
Pamela Auburn, PhD
Houston TX 77098
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