lab safety

Angeline Kantola kantola at u.washington.edu
Wed Jun 22 11:55:22 EST 1994


I've been following the thread about lab safety with interest, with
particular interest in peoples' thoughts about reporting violations. 
After I graduated from college, I worked as a tech in a clinical lab for a
year. The vast majority of what I did was assaying human plasma for
metabolites; I do not overestimate when I guess I encountered plasma from
10000 people. Using gloves, washing hands, and commen sense were given,
but there was a *lot* I didn't know, and didn't know to ask. For instance,
I didn't know til I almost left that a vaccine for hepatitis was even in
existance and that I could have got it for free as an employee of this
lab. When I started grad school I was required to sit in on a biosafety
lecture; I ticked off at least a dozen regulatory violations that were the
norm in my former workplace. (Needless to say, I got myself an HIV test
ASAP.)  

My supervisor was not stupid--I do not believe she didn't know what
regulations were in place--but she was a _slavedriver_ in more of a
literal sense than I care to recall and it's my belief that she just did
not care about worker safety as much as data. Now I'm gone and now I'm
wiser; now what do I do?  Continue to sit on it, or write to the H&S
people and suggest they inspect? 


Nice to see discussion picking up again,
AK



More information about the Womenbio mailing list