What Are the Chances?

What Are the Chances?

“What are the chances of that happening?” Each year, the National Safety Council attempts to answer that question with serious numbers. According to the latest report, your lifetime chances of getting killed in an airplane crash are actually 100,000 times less than...

What We Don’t Know About Lab Accidents in China

What We Don’t Know About Lab Accidents in China

Last year, every academic lab fatality that happened in the world happened in China, prompting concerns over the state of lab safety in the People’s Republic. The Laboratory Safety Institute’s memorial wall, a webpage that tracks lab deaths worldwide, lists three...

Guest Post From Arran Solomonsz, Ph.D.—What I Wish I Knew

Guest Post From Arran Solomonsz, Ph.D.—What I Wish I Knew

Flammable solvents and hot oil was always a combination that honestly scared me, but that was how I had been taught to perform reactions. As a keen cook, I knew never to put a hot pan of oil near water, yet in my former life as a chemist, that is precisely what I did...

Lessons from Tesla: What Lab Disasters Cost Science

Lessons from Tesla: What Lab Disasters Cost Science

“I am in too much grief to talk. What can I say? The work of half my lifetime, very nearly all my mechanical instruments and scientific apparatus, that it has taken years to perfect, swept away in a fire that lasted only an hour or two. How can I estimate the loss in...

Hazard Pictograms: Danger in the Eyes of the Beholder

Hazard Pictograms: Danger in the Eyes of the Beholder

Although the containers were clearly labeled “do not use for food,” and the product was dyed orange-pink as an additional danger flag, sadly, seed grain treated with methylmercury fungicide still made it onto the dinner tables of thousands of people. The official...

How Not To Be a Lab Safety Cop

How Not To Be a Lab Safety Cop

Those who make a career in safety have two basic choices: Be a transformational leader who builds organizational culture in which health, safety and the environment are an integral and important part of life for everyone. Be that person with a clipboard, always on the...