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SAFETY STORIES

 

The inspiration for this page: our early-1999 microwave explosion.  

microwave kablooie

 

THE INCIDENT

A frequent guest to our lab (and an otherwise great collaborator) was melting some agar in our laboratory microwave and apparently failed to loosen the top of the glass bottle sufficiently. Physical forces being what they are, pressure built up in the bottle until it exploded. The force of the explosion ripped the door off the microwave and sprayed glass fragments through four rooms. Fortunately, no one was in the immediate vicinity when the explosion occured and there were no injuries. Good guy that he is, our guest promptly bought the lab a bright shiny new microwave.

 

FORTUNATELY, this is the only Safety Story we have at the moment. However, we recently came across a well-documented story about an ultracentrifuge incident at MIT, in which the rotor failed at 55,000 rpm. Great pictures for all of you who always wondered what the inside of an ultracentrifuge looks like after a 20 lb titanium rotor breaks free of its spindle, and sobering stuff for anyone in charge of rotor/centrifuge maintenance.

 

Safety links


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