I'm in danger of losing my extremities.
0 comment Thursday, July 3, 2014 |
JaneB has an amusing post about the absurdity of Health & Safety sheeple.Which got me to thinking about all the completely non-nonsensical BS that goes on in our neck of the woods.What kills me is that I work in a brand-spanking-new building (so everything was built to current code) and the H & S goons stop by monthly with a giant bucket to make sure our safety showers all work.They all work, hence the need for a bucket -- there is no drain in the floor under ANY of them. In an open lab space, someone needing to use the safety showers (for the prescribed 10-15 minutes) would flood the entire floor. I get that you don't just want to wash nasty chemicals down the drain, but wouldn't it be a good idea to route the safety shower drain (if you had one in the first place) to some kind of containment tank...so that the nasty chemicals don't just spread all over the floor?? Just sayin'.Also, not a H & S issue, but another laboratory design flaw - I would like to have words with the dude who decided that the ONLY thermostat for the entire lab space (open lab which occupies 1/2 a floor) should be located in the side room that houses at least a dozen -80C freezers. This is good for the freezers. They generate a lot of heat, and above a certain threshold temperature they just can't cope and they shut off. That would be bad. We want to keep our freezers happy, so it's important to adequately air condition that room.But it can be a real problem if the only thermostat for the entire lab space, which controls the A/C output for the entire lab space is located in a room that is always needing to be cooled. It means that the rest of the lab, where people actually work, is kept at an arctic setting all day long.The week after we moved into our shiny new lab I had several reagents fall out of solution because it got too cold.And even now, years later, most of us run space heaters under our desks in order to avoid hypothermia. I keep several extra layers of clothes in the lab so that I can change out of skimpy-athletic-wear-required-to-survive-while-biking-to-work-in-Subtropical-City-in-July, and into several layers of performance fleece. Yeah, in July.I know it's not July right now but think about the absurdity of our institution's carbon footprint for just a minute. Cool building to uncomfortably frigid temperatures in the summer year-round so that people who actually need to work in the building must augment the temperature in the opposite direction using another non-energy-efficient mechanism, in effect, spending lots and lots of energy to just cancel each other out.And now they're asking us to "carefully consider your at-work energy expenditure and make efforts to reduce it so as to save energy costs during these financially trying times". This makes me giggle maniacally because apparently the original building plans called for thermostats in each independent space (our laboratory is definitely independent from the -80C freezer room), but they scrapped all but the absolutely necessary thermostats in order to cut building costs. Did they really think that the cost of installing several thermostats would not be recovered in a few years (hell, a few months) of operation?