Lessons Learned: Safety at UNM

Incidents at UNM:

Improper Cleanup of Rubbing Alcohol Could Have Been Explosive

Poor Ventilation and Inhalation of Gases and Fumes

Creation of Bromine Gas Leads to Injuries

Broken Shipping Container Leads to Triethylamine Exposure

UV Light Exposure Almost Leads to Severe Eye Injury

Liquid Nitrogen Without Oxygen Sensor Near Miss

Improper Bio-Safety Cabinet Lifting Leads to Injury

Misuse of PPE Causes Severe Eye Injury

Rushing for Unloading Equipment Leads to Wrist Injury

Hand Slip Leads to Ladder Fall

What we learned:

  1. Always make sure that containers are properly labeled and sealed; if you're unsure, open the container under a Fume Hood to mitigate risk, or check the seals to make sure nothing is leaking. 
  2. Train employees on proper PPE usage; the more protected they are, the less likely severe damage will occur if something does go wrong.
  3. Make sure you check what chemicals you are combining; sometimes even the smallest reaction between two chemicals can be fatal. 

Remember, if you experience a near miss (aka a time when something bad could have happened but didn't), or if incident does occur, report it at our Accident, Incident, Spill Reporting, and Near Miss FormStack!