(97e) Incorporating Safety into the Undergraduate Laboratory and Capstone Design Course

Weimer, A. W., University of Colorado at Boulder

Safety training is an integral part of laboratory experimentation and chemical processing, and is a requirement of ABET.  The challenge is to make safety an interesting aspect within the laboratory and classroom environments and to engage students.   In addition to reviewing the Bhopal disaster and safe laboratory practices, it is important to provide classroom workshop type discussions where students can think and interact about “worst case scenarios” and “how to prevent them from ever happening” for specific processes and also as a requirement for their chemical capstone design project processes.   Discussions should include current event safety incidents and also differences between voluntary and involuntary risk, and planned, fugitive, and emergency emissions.  Laboratory experimentation should always include completing a pre-startup checklist before any experiments are carried out.  Further, the safety program in research laboratories should be a shared responsibility with different safety responsibilities done by different researchers.  This presentation will provide some useful examples and practices for the classroom and laboratory that the author has found to be valuable.