Lessons Learned

Near-Miss: Transporting Large Dewars

In the process of transporting a full 230 Liter (L) round base liquid nitrogen (LN2) Dewar from the loading dock to its intended destination, one of the casters got caught by a door threshold, causing the Dewar to tip over, trapping the user underneath. Click here to read the full account of what happened and what factors were identified that contributed to this incident.

Lesson Learned: Electrical Near-Miss

Describe the incident:

An individual was removing unplugged equipment from a fish tank that was being disassembled. Please note there were no fish in the tank. It is believed that water from the filter being removed, spilled on a power strip that had other equipment plugged into it. The individual felt a tingling sensation in the hand and arm. The department noticed the power strip had arced. The power strip was not designed for wet environments and did not have ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection.

Lesson Learned: Formamide Spill

Incident description

EH&S received an on-call relating to a chemical spill. An individual was working on their research when they had to open a vial. The vial was more full than they had anticipated and a few drops (4-5) of the contents fell on their ankle. The contents of the spill were 80% formamide along with blue dye. The dye stains were visible on the site of the skin which was exposed to the drops. The exposed area was therefore washed for 15 minutes under water and the person was referred to medical services on campus.

Lesson Learned: Heavy Equipment Injures Foot

Incident description

An individual was assisting a researcher with setting up equipment for a research project. Part of this process involves counterbalancing the machine by selecting different weight combinations of steel plates and securing them to one side of the machine. The individual manually lifted a 45 lb. steel plate then carried it approximately 5.5 feet to the location it was to be mounted to the equipment. It is believed the individual was attempting to raise the weight to place it over the top of the mounting bolts to secure it to the machine.

Lessons Learned: Chemical Spill Gone Right

Incident Description

A research lab discovered liquid surrounding its 4L waste container while it was in secondary containment. They moved the container the sink and contacted EH&S for guidance. EH&S arrived and determined the bottle was safe to remove from secondary containment, which revealed a crack on the bottom of the waste container. The bottle was placed on an absorbent pad and the content of the secondary container were poured into a sound replacement container via funnel.