HAPS Leadership (#22): Safety Committee

140319 (1) Safety firstSafety First!  As educators, we want our students to learn and grow within a safe environment.  The HAPS Safety Committee takes this charge very seriously and has created a plethora of resources to aid you in providing the best environment for your students.  Karen McMahon is the interim Chair of the Committee, having helped create many of the resources of this group.

Spotlight on Safety has a series of features on safety basics (equipment, practices) that every lab which teaches A&P should have.

Karen McMahon, Chair
Karen McMahon, Chair

There are also articles on Gloves and Protective Eyewear, as well as information about the revised standard about safe exposure to such chemicals as benzene.

The HAPS Safety Guidelines cover all aspects of lab safety from the safe storage of chemicals to protective wear to safety contracts.  This is an invaluable resource for those concerned about the safety of our students in the laboratory.  Safety Cases studies are a fantastic resource in the members’ only section of the website.

HAPS has opened the Safety Survey for you to share your thoughts and concerns.  The Safety Committee created the survey – first – to remind members that lab safety should be foremost in all of our preparations for lab.  Secondly, it allows our committee to find out what type of lab accidents are most common in the A&P lab and see if the incidence and type of lab injuries can be correlated/prevented with certain practices.  The Safety Survey in on the HAPS website and will be open through April 1st.

A safe student is a better student!
A safe student is a better student!

The Safety Committee will publish the results of this survey in a poster at the Jacksonville Annual Meeting.  Come chat with us about lab safety.

Campus Safety

A little bit after noon on January 22, 2013 my phone began to nearly erupt out of my pocket as I taught class at Lone Star College-University Park. Even though I was teaching class the ridiculous amount of vibrations coming from my left hip forced me to take a look. The text message read “Shooter at Lone Star College – North Harris – seek shelter.” LSC-North Harris is my former campus, and I had signed up for emergencies alerts. The rest of the story made national new, so I’ll spare the details. Bottom line, NOT a mass shooting, just a fight that resulted in a gun being pulled. This guy even managed to shoot himself.

This of course sparked the age old gun debate, especially since Texas legislators currently have a bill proposing guns be allowed on campuses.

Until…..around 11am on Tuesday April 9th, when my phone erupted again. This time it was a stabbing at another sister campus, Lone Star College – CyFair. The suspect was stabbing people randomly, and claimed 14 victims. THIS was a PLANNED MASS ATTACK, and it did not involve a gun.

How does this relate to us, science teachers? It is possible that a student could obtain a scalpel or other sharp instrument from our laboratories. So, keep them locked, its good protocol.

As a member of the HAPS Board, this leaves me thinking, maybe we should update our safety statements at http://www.hapsweb.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=338 to include such topics.

Just remember to be aware of your surroundings and let fight or flight do it’s job if you are in danger.