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...

PPE and COVID-19: Seriously, Is It That Hard to Wear a Mask?

PPE and COVID-19: Seriously, Is It That Hard to Wear a Mask?

In every lab, there are some people who just don't want to wear PPE. You’ve heard it before: “It takes too long.” “I can’t work with that stuff on.” The Laboratory Safety Institute decided to compile a list of these objections, from the common: “We’ve never had an...

COVID-19 Precautions—Have We Gone Too Far?

COVID-19 Precautions—Have We Gone Too Far?

Someone is coming up the stairs toward me. Even though we’re both wearing masks, I hold my breath, do-si-do sideways and squeeze past him while being careful to avoid contact with the railing. Am I a little paranoid? Perhaps. Or maybe COVID-19 is pushing us all closer...

Blind Spots: Hiding in Plain Sight in Your Lab

Blind Spots: Hiding in Plain Sight in Your Lab

No matter how good a detective you are, there are some things you simply can't see (with the unaided eye), such as: Bacteria Your forehead Your chin (unless you're this guy) Actually, life is full of blind spots, once you start looking for them. For starters, everyone...

Kids, Don’t Try This: Practicing Safe Science at Home

Kids, Don’t Try This: Practicing Safe Science at Home

As COVID-19 forces many science classes into the home, teachers and parents are left wondering, "How safe are home science experiments?" For three families in Bethesda, Maryland, the answer to that question, tragically, was "not safe enough." One year on New Year's...

LSI’s Guide to Teaching Science During the COVID-19 Shutdown

LSI’s Guide to Teaching Science During the COVID-19 Shutdown

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools, colleges and universities have been forced to make a breakneck switch to online instruction, which opens up its own Pandora's box of challenges: Where do I start with online science education? How does a remote class...

Lab Safety: Terrifying Statistics

Lab Safety: Terrifying Statistics

In the November 18 issue of the journal Nature, husband and wife team Dana Ménard and John Trant paint a troubling picture of lab safety in academia today. Despite advances in scientific knowledge, the article reveals, the level of safety in academic laboratories...