Texas Tech University

Lessons Learned

Incidents at TTU

Exposure Occurs During Use of Inoperable Fume Hood - Sept 2023

Microwaved Media Bottle Becomes Projectile - Jan 2023

Proactive Monitoring in Research Lab Prevents Incident During Carbon Monoxide Leak - Sept 2022

Salvage Drum Delivered and Opened, Creating Chemical Exposure - June 2022

UTV Overturns During Routine Travel, Student Pinned and Concussed - Feb 2022

Rotary Evaporator Malfunction, Change of Routine Leads to Damaged Fume Hood - March 2021

Household Equipment in a Laboratory May Not Be the Best Choice - August 2020

Failure to Follow Spill Procedures Leads to Acute Chemical Exposure and Hospitalization - March 2018

Failure to Properly Clean Equipment Allows for Buildup of Energetic Materials Leading to Detonation - January 2018

Failure to Identify Underground Gas Line Causes Gas Leak and Near Miss Explosion - November 2016

Oversight In Transcription Of Written Procedures Causes Explosion– March 2016

Safety Issues of Hotplate HeatingControls - April 2015

Failure to Segregate Waste Streams Mixes Nitric Acid and Organic Solvent Causes Waste Bottle to Explode From Pressure Buildup;
Written Procedures Did Not Reflect Current Procedures
- February 2015

Failure To Properly Label Laboratory Produced Nanomaterials Results In Spontaneous Combustion Fire- July 2014

Not Wearing Safety Glass Could Have Cost Student Her/His Sight– June 2012

Failure to label a waste stream mixes sulfur and an oxidizer, sets fire to waste bucket; fire threatens other chemicals during cleanup– March 2012

Improper handling of nitric acid waste damages a cabinet and scatters glass shards throughout laboratory– October 2011

Incidents at Other Institutions

Condenser Failure Results in Fire - June 2022 - fire resulting from inappropriate condenser selection.

Vacuum Pump Explosion in Chemistry Building - August 2020 - build up of flammable vapors causes vacuum pump explosion

University of Hawaii researcher loses arm in lab explosion – March 2016 – explosion occurred while making cell growth media – cause still unknown

Employee killed in magnetic lab accident at Florida State University – October 2015 – Glenn Nix died while working on the MagLab magnet construction project

Employees injured in accident at Los Alamos National Labs – May 2015 – incident at electrical substation of neutron science center resulted in burn center treatment for one individual and shorter hospital treatment for several more

Glass Reactor Over-pressurization Causes Serious Injury to Grad Student Researcher– October 2011

Ethanol Fire Burns Researcher– July 2011 – likely because ethanol was used too close to a Bunsen burner

Chemical Safety Board Recommendations

Related Links for Lessons Learned at Other Institutions