We've experienced many uh-oh moments over the years. And learned from all of them.
One that stands out occurred a number of years ago when an ice storm knocked out power to the entire city, including our main campus. Fortunately we have back up battery power for our fire alarm systems, emergency lighting and our access control, which made it possible for researchers to check on things in the lab. What we didn't anticipate was that the batteries that controlled the doors allowing people to get out ran out of charge before the one controlling entry, so we ended up with some people trapped inside our Physics building.
Many moons later we have increased our emergency power generating capacity a thousand fold.
We live and learn.
Wayne Wood | Director, Environmental Health and Safety - Directeur, Sante´, securite´ et environnement| McGill University | 3610 rue McTavish Street, 4th floor | Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H3A 1Y2 | Tel: (514) 398-2391
From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
On Behalf Of Frankie Wood-Black
Sent: Wednesday, November 21, 2018 9:08 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Help for a Paper - Useful tips and hints for dealing with an Uh-Oh.
Folks - I have an idea for a paper that I think will be a good one for safety professionals dealing with Uh-ohs. For those that contribute, I will make sure that your name is listed as a co-author (unless you specify otherwise due to sanitization issues to get the information out). Here is the idea.
Most of us have encountered an un-oh along the way in our careers. and, even though we may have had a plan in place, something always occurs that we weren't expecting, or a problem needs to be addressed when the right equipment is not onsite or is unavailable at that instant. For example, during a spill event/flooding event, hydrocarbon was released into a dike. One could smell the VOCs, and although clean up efforts were underway with all the proper safety gear, the question of off-site impacts would be there due to the proximity of the neighbors. So, the solution at 3 am in the morning? We used some passive VOC IH monitors on trees at the edge of the property. We did an 8-hour exposure, to document the potential offsite impacts (the distance was far enough away that there was no detectable VOC at the locations), but it was worth the public relations effort.
Another example, related to a post hurricane response and land line phones. They became the only means of communication for several hours due to the loss of power and cell phone towers.
I am hoping that each of you has a snipet like this - that you might be able to contribute to a paper to help the next generation of safety and response folks as to what they may have in their creative tool bag, to handle a situation. The particulars of the event may not be relevant except to show how the potential solution worked - which may make it easier to communicate lessons learned.
Any contributors? I will be trying to write the paper over the December break.
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