Physician Practice

Designed for safety: Safety showers and floods

Medical Environment Update, September 5, 2021

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Editor’s note: In this guest column, Dan Scungio, MT(ASCP), SLS, laboratory safety officer for multihospital system Sentara Healthcare in Virginia, and otherwise known as “Dan, the Lab Safety Man,” discusses the important issues that affect your job every day.
Whenever Jacob, a histology lab employee, poured waste chemicals into the large barrel in the lab’s central accumulation area, he always wore a face shield as well as a lab coat and gloves. He felt he was prepared because he knew this task had a high risk of splashing and potential chemical exposure. One day, when Jacob began to tip the waste jug toward the barrel, it slipped out of his hands and bounced against the funnel, splashing a mixture of xylene and other chemicals onto his shoulders and head. Although Jacob’s eyes were protected, he knew enough chemical had splashed onto his body that he needed to use the department’s emergency shower.

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