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Ucdavis Sticky Story

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  • 1. New Approach for Teaching Laboratory Safety: Four-Year Text for Undergraduate Chemistry Robert H. Hill, Jr., Capt., U.S. Public Health Service (Retired), Atlanta, GA David C. Finster, Professor, Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH
  • 2. The Burning Sliver  Graduate student doing organic synthesis  Drying solvent by pressing Na through die to make wire  Cutting Na block, tiny sliver from cutting fell from knife  Landed on bare arm burning small cylindrical hole within seconds Sodium metal [Wikipedia Jan 31, 2010]
  • 3. Passion for Laboratory Safety  Incidents  Fires, runaway reactions, explosions  Chemical exposures, burns, cuts  Chemical spills  Experience  The Great Teacher  Tough way to learn safety  Better approach  Learning how to be safe  Taking steps to prevent incidents Kansas State U, 1899, Chemistry Lab Burned down 1901  Preparing for emergencies
  • 4. Chemical Enterprise Has Problem with Safety  Many chemists  Inadequate knowledge of safety; poor safety habits; negative/ambivalent attitude toward safety  Lack of safety education or learning/retention as a student?  Incidents with chemicals frequently happen as result of unrecognized or uncontrolled hazards  Public weary of chemists, chemical enterprise  Don’t trust us when we say everything is okay
  • 5. Current Laboratory Safety in Undergraduate Chemistry (?)  General/organic chemistry  Safety rules, basic PPE, safety equipment, lab waste, specific hazards in some lab texts  Academic effort in laboratory safety education  Inadequate, neglected part of chemistry educational process  Not principle-based approach  Non-continuous  Does not build strong safety culture
  • 6. Need More Laboratory Safety Education  Yes, it’s a big problem!  Safety professionals; industry managers; students; some educators  Producing new chemists without safety skills; inadequate safety education; safety culture weak or missing  No, present practice okay!  Many educators  No room in curriculum; not a priority; not my job; not interested; not really part of chemistry; inadequate information to teach
  • 7. Current Resources for Laboratory Safety  Reference – very good; not textbooks  Prudent Practices (NRC, June 2010, NAP)  Handbook of Chemical Health and Safety (RJ Alaimo, Ed, 2001, Oxford)  Bretherick’s Handbook of Reactive Chemical Hazards, 7th Edition (PG Urben, Ed, 2007, Elsevier)  Short booklets – very good; more rule- based; not designed for long-term use.  Safety in Academic Chemistry Laboratories (ACS CCS, 2007, ACS)  Working Safely with Chemicals in the Laboratory (CE Gorman, Ed, 1997, Genium)
  • 8. Incorporating Laboratory Safety in Chemistry Curricula  Laboratory safety – essential & integral part of all chemistry  Curricula should reflect importance of laboratory and chemical safety  Resources for teaching laboratory safety inadequate  New approach to incorporate safety into chemistry curricula – a new teaching resource
  • 9. Goal: Teaching Laboratory Safety in Undergraduate Chemistry  Chemists, lab workers need:  Fundamental knowledge of safety  Positive attitude, strong safety ethic  Strong safety culture  Learning fundamental knowledge of safety requires  Principle-based approach to teaching safety and related chemistry  Long-term reinforcement of safety  Presentation in all lab courses and sessions
  • 10. Building A Strong Safety Culture  Continuous, long-term reinforcement of safety  Builds safety knowledge and safety culture  Leadership dedicated to safety  Leads by example  Teaches safety “Example is the not the main  Practices safety thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”  Demands others follow Albert Schweitzer
  • 11. Incorporating Laboratory Safety in Chemistry Curricula  Textbook for undergraduates  Covers fundamental laboratory safety  Provides principle-based approach  Simple and easy to implement  Pre-lab assignments  On-line quizzing  Appropriate for introductory, intermediate, and advanced/research chemistry students
  • 12. Designed for Continuous Reinforcement of Safety  Pre-lab assignments: 70 sections in 8 chapters used over 4 years of study  Not designed as single course  Designed to build strong safety culture  Layered approach based on chemical knowledge of the audience  Introductory (22 sections)  Intermediate (19 sections)  Advanced (39 sections)
  • 13. Designed for Continuous Reinforcement of Safety  Some topics, subjects addressed 2-3 times at different levels, appropriate to the audience  Corrosives:  5.1.1 Corrosive Hazards in Introductory Chemistry  5.2.1 Corrosives in Advanced Laboratories  Green Chemistry:  1.1.2 What is Green Chemistry  1.2.1 Green Chemistry in Organic Chemistry  1.3.4 Green Chemistry – The Big Picture
  • 14. Designed for Principle-based Approach  Four Principles of Safety  RAMP for safety  Recognize hazards  Assess the risks of hazards  Minimize the risks of hazards  Prepare for emergencies
  • 15. Laboratory Safety for Chemistry Students  Principles, Ethics, Practices  8 Sections in 1 Chapter  Recognizing Hazards  29 Sections in 3 Chapters  Assessing Risks of Hazards  6 Sections in 1 Chapter  Minimizing Risks of Hazards  21 Sections in 2 Chapters  Preparing for Emergencies  6 Sections in 1 Chapter
  • 16. Laboratory Safety for Chemistry Students  All 70 Sections  Preview, Quote, Incident, Text, Questions  Well referenced – many website URLs  Many Sections  Chemical Connections, and/or Special Topics
  • 17. Laboratory Safety for Chemistry Students  Sample Incident  Sulfuric Acid Spill Four 2.5 L bottles of sulfuric acid were being carried down the hall by students. As one student turned to the other, the bottles banged together and broke. Both students fell on the slippery acid, and another bottle broke. Another person came to help and also slipped and fell. All three suffered serious burns from the sulfuric acid and cuts from the broken glass. What lessons can be learned from this incident?  Students must think about lessons learned  Why did this happen?  How could it have been prevented?
  • 18. Laboratory Safety for Chemistry Students  Chemical Connections - examples  Why does adding a concentrated strong acid to water cause a violent reaction?  Using bond energies to understand Heats of Reaction  Inhibiting peroxide formation  Radioactive decay, A first-order reaction  Oxygen concentrations in a laboratory with a spilled cryogen
  • 19. Laboratory Safety for Chemistry Students  Special Topics – examples  Chemical analysis of human specimens  Radon - A significant public health concern  Our understanding of a poison – A little on the cloudy side  A case study in risk management - The tragedy at Bhopal, India  Laser pointers
  • 20. Designed for Easy Implementation  Pre-lab assignments  70 Sections  Selected for each lab session to reflect needed safety information  Available electronically – useful for Introductory students  Quizzes using on-line system
  • 21. Laboratory Safety for Chemistry Students  New textbook on laboratory safety  Unique 4-year textbook for all students  New approach incorporates laboratory safety into curricula  Treats laboratory safety as a chemistry discipline  Provides easy way to teach laboratory safety to students, build safety skills in new chemists
  • 22. Impact of Teaching Laboratory Safety  Teaches future chemists to operate on safety principles  Continuous teaching builds strong safety culture, safety ethic  Integrating safety into work prevents incidents, injuries  Learning safety saves scientists from injury or worse  Won’t know when this happens  Remember when scientists make great discoveries, it could be because we taught them safety