(339e) Department-Based Lab Safety | AIChE

(339e) Department-Based Lab Safety


Ford, L. P. - Presenter, University of Tulsa
Luks, C. P. - Presenter, University of Tulsa

Some universities are fortunate to have a Health, Safety, and Environment office on campus to help with lab inspections, safety training, and hazardous waste disposal, but many smaller schools do not have this institutional support. The University of Tulsa's HS&E officer is the VP for Human Resources and Risk Management and has a background in benefits, not safety. There is little university support for lab safety beyond inspection of fire extinguishers, a 3-hour safety training for faculty every three years, and a 2-hour lab safety video for students working in research labs. Our department has pulled resources from several different places to put together a safety program for our chemical engineering labs.

1. Basic safety training: the rules of lab and an overview of material safety data sheets. 2. Lab inspection: Students complete a 3-page lab inspection which covers housekeeping, safety equipment, fume hoods, and hazards of electricity, chemicals, and compressed gases. The students test the safety showers and eye washes ? the only time this equipment is tested. Obvious hazards, such as an electrical cord running through a sink, are planted around the lab by the faculty to overcome the hesitancy of students to report hazards. 3. SACHE certificate program: The students are required to complete the Safety in the Chemical Process Industries (Lab I) and Chemical Reactivity Hazards (Lab II) certificates offered by SACHE and AIChE. 4. Job safety analysis (JSA) form: Students complete a JSA as part of the prelab report for each experiment. This form is actually a university document. The form requires the students to list the potential hazards and preventative/remedial actions for each step of the lab procedure. Personal hazards (chemical contact) as well as equipment hazards (running a pump dry) must be included. 5. Material safety data sheets (MSDS): MSDS are required as part of the prelab report for all chemicals other than water and air. 6. Chemical Reactivity Worksheet: Students are required to consider the reactivity of all chemicals that they are mixing during labs in Lab II using the Chemical Reactivity Worksheet. 7. Chemical Process Safety by Crowl and Louvar: the prelab report must contain a statistical risk analysis to determine the probability of an equipment failure as describe by Crowl and Louvar.

Safety is emphasized throughout each lab in the prelab report, video, and formal or oral report. Through these materials the students learn to systematically apply personal and process safety.