RE: [Histonet] Alcohol lamps

From:"Mike Pence"

As the "safety Nazi" of our lab I wrote a policy that stated that there
was to be no eating, drinking, or smoking in the lab. I also put in this
policy that there was to be no open flames. This is best practice for
safety and a condition of employment in our lab. Even if you are a "old
timer" in the lab, times change and so does practices. You have to
change with the times or get out of the lab business!


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Kurtz,
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 9:59 AM
To: Rittman, Barry R; Peterson, Dan;
Subject: RE: [Histonet] Alcohol lamps

I agree with you to a certain extent.  Actually, you remind me of the
debate whether or not to let people carry concealed weapons.  Even
highly trained people are still able to have an ACCIDENT(S).  You will
never know when or where it will happen, what you do know is it will
happen.  The proof is the in the story about the fire in the Chicago lab
in 1971.  
The point is, if you get rid of them, it is one less accident waiting to
happen.  Although it may be a pain the butt, and we don't all agree,
that is the goal of the safety Nazi....right!?
Mathew P. Kurtz HT
P.S.  Hey Jasper!!!  


From: on behalf of Rittman,
Barry R
Sent: Mon 7/28/2008 2:49 PM
To: Peterson, Dan;
Subject: RE: [Histonet] Alcohol lamps

Like most things that are potentially dangerous, alcohol lamp may be a
hazard. It is however the person using the lamp that is often the
greatest hazard. I have seen a person stick them selves accidentally in
the hand with a pencil. Should we then ban all pointed objects from the
lab as they are potentially dangerous? I believe that if the individuals
using the lamps are trained and adhere to appropriate safety procedures
there is no problem. I do feel on the other hand, however that some of
the alcohol lamp designs are not as stable as they should be. This can
however be corrected by placing several small glass beads in the alcohol
reservoir to make them less likely to tip over. Barry


From: on behalf of Peterson,
Sent: Mon 7/28/2008 11:21 AM
Subject: [Histonet] Alcohol lamps

Fellow Histonetters,
I am in disagreement with our lab's Safety officer with regards to
alcohol lamps. We use them in our embedding area to keep our forceps
clean. The officer says that they're a fire hazard (even though we've
used them without incident for over 30 yrs). There are no flammable
reagents (other than the alcohol in the lamp) near the embedding area. I
know we could use the warming wells on the embedders, but try to find
more that 1 pair of forceps that you like, or better yet, try to find a
forceps that the tech before hasn't left paraffin all over it. (Yes, I
am a fussy old goat, 27 yrs of Histo, with my 1 favorite pair that
Petty issue? Are there others out there using lamps? I am willing to
change if necessary (or so ordered), but would like to hear from those
who do the work, not be told what to do by those who know nothing of the
work. Thanks in advance!!

Daniel R Peterson HT(ASCP)
Histopathology Section Head
Meriter Laboratories

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