RE: Clothing etiquette for the bench tech.

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From:"Garza-Williams, Sara" <> (by way of Histonet)
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All I can say is "I respect your opinion but I don't think you need to
include the USA in all this, when in truth I do agree with you. Secondly,
I'm a reasonable person who understand the concept of laboratory safety as
well as you do"  Also, "I'm not afraid or bothered by the rules of OSHA.
I'm talking about using common sense along with those rules."  And by the
way my office is NOT in the laboratory and I'm having a cup tea while I'm
typing this..

Oooh I might even take a second to check my makeup....

-----Original Message-----
From: R.Wadley
Sent: Monday, May 15, 2000 8:32 PM
Subject: Re: Clothing etiquette for the bench tech.

        Dear Sara,

        I don't wish to offend, but please remind me never to work in the USA.
Infection control & personal safety appears to be slack with a capital S.
I agree your inspector seems to have been a right pratt BUT:

        I've worked in several hospitals & research labs here in Australia, &
although there are still significant variations to the practice the
following generally applies:

        Lab coats to be worn at all times within the lab.  In fact lab
coats are
being phased out, more correctly you should be wearing a laboratory gown
with long sleaves & elastised wrists (no dipping sleaves in water baths or
knocking over beakers).  The gown should come down to about the knees if
not longer & should be splash resistant/non absorbant.  If you leave the
lab the gown DOES NOT leave with you.  This can be a hassle if your just
going across the corridor, in theory you have a gown in every room.

        Enclosed shoes to be worn at all times within the lab.  I prefer
uppers & non-slip acid/solvent resistant soles.  I get to claim these on as
an expense on my tax return.

        No food or drink to eaten within the lab, nor stored in the lab. 
no makeup to be applied in the lab.

        Increasingly eye protection & gloves are to be worn at ALL times. 

        Has anybody actually read any MSDS sheets?  Everything in the lab
some sort of hazard.  Some of those hazards carry severe consequences.  If
you fail to protect yourself & your clothes then you take those hazards
home to your friends, partners, children & pets.  I agree that sectioning
(& some other procedures) with gloves on is a right royal pain, & it seems
absurd to file blocks with gloves on.  But who can guarentee anything it
truly 100% safe with 0% risk.

        Technically, sitting here typing this out I should be wearing gown,
gloves, glasses etc, I'm in a lab, but this end of the lab is my office.
However, for inspection purposes I would technically infringing the rules
and be in deep doo doo if I was caught drinking my coffee.  Safety can be a
pain, if you've never bothered before, but, once you get into the routine
its not too much of a hassle.  Except for the idiots who wear their gowns &
gloves into the tea room of course.

        When I handle client samples I always wear a gown (OK a coat, the
aren't here yet) & gloves, I have no idea what I'm dealing with so I don't
take stupid chances, not with the cells, not with whatever they might have
been treated with.

        Health & Safety can be a pain, but there are very important reasons
why we
should all swallow this bitter pill & take some responsibility for
ourselves & those around us.


        Rob W.

At 11:49 05/15/2000 -0600, you wrote:
>You're still steaming??? Well, I don't blame you.  I haven't read anyof the
>otherposts replying to yours, so forgive if I'm repeating what someone else
>may have said,but....
>I reallly believe the regulatory agencies are way out of line.  Yes, we all
>want lab safety, but not to the point of being under the Gestapo type
>scrutiny so many inspectors have.  I'm with you.  How can they even pretend
>to think your blocks are infectious?????  After being properly fixed and
>processed, nothing is living anymore.  This, IMO, shows the inadequacy of
>the knowledge and experience inspectors have and it really fries me that
>those idiots have such power over labs and how they function.  I'm
>interested in starting a grass roots revolt agains OSHA, CAP, FDA,etc. for
>the way they manage their inspections.  IMO, they're by idiots.  Anyone
>want to join?
>At 10:43 PM 05/13/2000 -0500, Garza-Williams, Sara wrote:
>>Please, please I need the your help regarding my argument to a CAP
>>inspector (lab general).
>>She gave me a huge "Ding" regarding the fact that our techs were not
>>wearing lab coats(in the cutting and staining area), they do wear gloves.
>>She also justified her point by indicating because the techs were wearing
>>jeans it was "unprofessional".  Of course, I could hardly contain myself
>>and had try very hard to control myself from stating what I really wanted
>>to say...

R. Wadley, B.App.Sc. M.L.S, Grad.Dip.Sc.MM
Laboratory Manager
Cellular Analysis Facility
School of Microbiology & Immunology
UNSW, New South Wales, Australia, 2052
Ph (BH)         +61 (2) 9385 3517
Ph (AH) +61 (2) 9564 0570
Fax     +61 (2) 9385 1591
Mobile  0411 874 470

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