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Editor's Buzz - June 23/09

"Relatives of UCLA research assistant Sheri Sangji, who died of burns from a chemical explosion, say a state investigator ignored key information and seek harsher penalties for the university." LA Times, 6/22

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with Pam Ahlberg

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This tragic story brings up serious lab safety issues that all lab professionals need to think about. The family of the victim, who considers the investigation into the accident shoddy, says, "[It] does not address whether the equipment Sheri was using that day was appropriate for the experiment or whether it (hood, vacuum, inert gas) was properly functioning." The family is appealing the case, asking that the fine paid by UCLA be upgraded from $31,875 to four violations of "willful" and "repeat" status -- with penalties of up to $70,000 each.

Are higher fines the corrective action needed in this case? If not, what is?


Pam Ahlberg
Lab Manager Magazine