When felony charges were filed against the University of California and Professor Patrick Harran in the death of 23-year-old researcher Sheharbano (Sheri) Sangji last month from a chemical fire that took place in 2008, the three-year old case also reignited a controversy about the fact that Sangji wasn’t wearing a fire resistant lab coat. Some say that fact is overemphasized, but we at American Work Safety disagree.
It’s not only a blatant disregard for worker safety to not follow proper safety procedures for chemical handling, it was equally clear that the young woman was unfamiliar with procedure regarding a chemical fire. The 23-year-old ran about the lab frantically which only fed the flames that eventually burned nearly half her body, according to the LA Times. The injuries claimed her life 18 days later.
While there were other factors involved in the incident, clearly an inexpensive fire resistant coat would have slowed the flames and perhaps saved the young woman from a painful death. Moreover, proper training in the use of personal protective equipment and proper emergency procedure would have further protected a bright prospect. The cost? A couple hundred dollars maybe, but what is the loss to our society and the economic strength of our economy when someone of this caliber dies an unnecessary death? Far more. Read More→