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CSB to hold webinar on lab accident findings

October 14, 2011
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laboratoryAnyone interested in learning the details of a college laboratory accident involving a high-energy metal compound can sign up for a free webinar being conducted by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) on Wednesday, Oct. 19.

The independent federal agency charged with investigating serious chemical accidents will release its final investigation into the January 7, 2010, accident that severely injured a graduate student at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. The accident occurred in the chemistry department during the handling of a high-energy metal compound, which suddenly detonated. According to the CSB, "The 2008 laboratory fire that resulted in the death of a staff research associate at UCLA highlighted the potential dangers that many chemical laboratory researchers face."

CSB Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso, Team Lead Cheryl MacKenzie and Investigator Mary Beth Mulcahy will participate in the webinar, which will include a detailed presentation of the case study, its key findings and formal safety recommendations.

The CSB’s case studies examine insufficient safety management accountability and oversight and a failure to document, track, and communicate the lessons from previous incidents. The CSB identifies the need for good practice guidance on hazard assessments and mitigation in academic research laboratories, and the limitations of using OSHA’s Laboratory Standard as guidance to mitigate physical hazards of chemicals in laboratories. The role of the grant funding body in influencing safety will also be highlighted.

The webinar will take place at 12:30 pm Eastern Daylight Time; 11:30 am Central Daylight Time; 10:30 am - Mountain Daylight Time; 9:30 am Pacific Daylight Time.

To register for the online event send an email to – a link and directions to access the webinar software will be sent to all participants. Attendees must register by Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 2 pm EDT.

The CSB has gathered preliminary data on over 120 laboratory incidents in recent history.

About the CSB

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating serious chemical accidents. The agency’s board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in safety management systems. The Board does not issue citations or fines but does make safety recommendations to companies, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA.

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