Incidents & Accidents

Case Studies


Texas Tech University Chemistry Lab Explosion

In 2010, an explosion severely injured a graduate student at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. The incident occurred in the chemistry department during the handling of a high-energy metal compound, which suddenly detonated. The Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released a study that involves an up-close, in-depth, and detailed examination of this accident.

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Guidelines for Writing an Effective Case Study

Case studies are an effective publication method used to document the facts and analysis of a specific observation or incident. The content and format of a case study can vary depending on several factors, including the purpose of the case study, the degree of analysis available at the time of the report, the derived lessons learned, and any recommendations. This commentary outlines the guidelines for writing an effective case study

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How to Improve Lab Safety: Lessons Learned


Tales of Lab Safety: How to Avoid Rookie Accidents

There is a learning curve with everything, but mistakes made in the lab can ruin your research and cause dangerous accidents. A lab fire at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2008 led to the death of researcher Sheharbano (Sheri) Sangji, shocking the chemistry and laboratory safety communities. This ACS Webinar details of the incident and its cultural and legal aftermath, along with other recent notable chemistry lab incidents and their common themes.


Key Lessons for Preventing Incidents from Flammable Chemicals in Educational Demonstrations

Three accidents involving methanol which injured children during lab demonstrations are examined by the CSB. All the incidents involved demonstrations of flames – usually with a color additive – using methanol as the flammable liquid. In all three cases there was a flash back to the methanol bulk containers, and fire engulfed members of the viewing audience who were not protected by any physical barriers.


Lessons Learned to Improve the Safety Program in Your Lab

Cases from U.S. Universities: Lessons Learned to Improve Safety in your Lab. Compiled by the UC Center for Laboratory Safety.

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