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Beryl Lieff Benderly

New Emphasis on Lab Safety Following Explosions at University of Florida

Following three safety incidents — including explosions in October 2011 and January 2012 that occurred in the same laboratory — the chemistry department at the University of Florida is placing new emphasis on safety, reports the Alligator, an independent, student-run newspaper affiliated with the university.

“We’re trying to change the culture so people will take safety as seriously here as they do in an industrial lab.  Where we’ve fallen down is really stressing the importance that safety is everybody’s responsibility, all day, every day,” says department chair Daniel Talham, quoted in the article.

Among the steps taken is organizing a committee including people representing the departments of chemistry and chemical engineering and the office of environmental health and safety to review potentially hazardous experiments.