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In this analysis, I will be writing about a two case studies where one is concerned with the malpractice of procedure and the other with the malpractice of communication.
In a lab, all members were responsible for setting up the apparatus so anyone who noticed the benzene was running low would set up the distilling apparatus. This was very common and would be done several times a week. When Joe set up the apparatus he grabbed a narrow condensing unit even though the larger bore units were labelled “for benzene only” he left for lunch thinking other technicians would observe the operation as it was a common practice. While Joe went to lunch Sally noticed something happening with the operation so she went to take a closer look when the flask exploded. She suffered from lacerations across the face and several weeks after the explosion had lost partial vision of one of her eyes. Before setting up the apparatus Joe should have told to his colleague the procedure was taking place and made sure everyone who knew it was taking place had worn goggles, mask and lab coats. This indicates the importance of communicating safety precautions as injury to sally could have been completed prevented if she had worn protective goggles and mask.
The mistake led to decreased safety and productivity as the work place activity had to be halted. He should have handled and used the equipments properly as he grabbed the narrow unit instead of the large one which could have been the reason for the explosion using smaller condensing unit means higher pressures. This shows the importance of handling and using equipments properly so if he had used the large bore unit the accident could have been prevented. Joe could have set up the apparatus in an enclosed area with shielding to protect workers if any type of explosion or spillage were to occur but instead left the apparatus out in the open. This clearly indicates that Joe had not carried out a safety risk assessment as benzene is a highly flammable and volatile so during the risk assessment of distilling benzene involving heat a high likelihood of an explosion or fire occurring should have been a prominent hazards Joe should have carried out a precaution for.
Additionally the explosion indicates that Joe did not have measured but approximated the amount of Toluene which further proves that Joe did not carry out a evaluative risk assessment as Toluene is highly flammable and can catch on fire if open to flame or heat. This shows the negative effects of not handling chemicals properly and not carrying out a risk assessment as it led to a partial loss of vision to a co-worker.
I think it is important to follow procedure which can greatly impact the safety and hazard risk within the experiment as if not followed it can cause accident such as the explosion resulting in permanent injury to the worker. This shows that if all procedures such handling of equipments, chemicals are correctly practiced then the likelihood of dangerous events will drastically minimize. There should regular communication between co-workers and between large groups (meetings) to ensure safety measures are heard and carried out by all staff such as wearing protective mask to reduce chances of accidents happening.
A student heated mixture of chemical strongly without shaking instead of heating it gently. After he put the test tube under the nose of a girl next to him to smell the gas released. Both students were not wearing goggles. The hot chemical squirted out of the test tube and on the girls’ eyes and face. The girl was given medical treatment but the injuries were not permanent. She had to take sick leave for week. The staff member did give clear instructions as the student was not aware on the correct method to carry out the experiment and was not supported which caused the error in the method that led to the test tube to squirt chemicals. This also suggests the staff member did not give a physical demonstration of the experiment which meant some students could not clear up their confusion and lack of knowledge. If proper information, guidance and verbal advice were provided to the students the error would not have been made and overall lab safety would have increased.
The lack of communication between staff and overlooking of the importance of supervision also led to the injury suffered by the student as they were not wearing safety goggle whilst handling chemical and were not corrected. This indicates a risk assessment had not been carried out as simple precaution was not taken. If risk assessment had been carried out the squirting of liquid would have been a prominent hazard and precaution could have been come up such as using a transparent shield staff to protect handler from chemicals preventing the injury caused to the girl. Additionally the importance of following safety measures and communication to clear up misunderstanding should be conveyed regularly through group work and student meetings to reduce the likelihood of accidents occurring in the future is reduced.
I think communication should be clearly conveyed to all members to ensure everyone is aware on chemicals and instruction so they know what roles to carry out and the correct methods without causing harm. Effective communication should be used so all staff members know their role, ways to manage risk and have no misunderstanding leading to a smooth running efficient organization.
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