Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Meet the Lab Team!

Pictured from left to right:
Manuel Oropeza, Kathy Greilich, James Moore, Garrett Rowe

Don't take chances when it comes to lab safety!

From the first moment I stepped into my first chemistry laboratory setting as a sophomore in high school, lab safety dogma has been drilled into me daily. Safety glasses and a lab coat were mandatory apparel. Wear it or go home, there were no compromises.

Wearing a seatbelt can seem like an annoyance if you haven't been in an accident in fifteen years, just like wearing personal protective equipment can feel burdensome to the professional lab technician. An "I know what I'm doing" attitude can lull even the most intelligent chemist into complacence. One minor transgression without consequence gives way to more and more until all those safety rules that were once ingrained are nothing more than a soft whisper in the back of your mind. And just like that with not wearing a seatbelt, a split second is all it takes to be reminded of the error of your ways.

The result of that lapse could be as small as a minor burn, or as major as a loss of sight, or worse. Managers owe it to those in their employ to make safety a top priority, and technicians who are in the lab every day owe it to themselves and their loved ones to take the extra time and effort to ensure that when their workday has ended, they can hop in their vehicles and head home intact.

And since the hazards of the world don't end at 5PM, don't forget to wear that seatbelt.

-Garrett Rowe, Lab Manager

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