We'd like to thank our community over the concern of a minor chemical spill in one of our labs in the IGB research building on May 28th. We are taking this opportunity to relate the details of the event to give a clear understanding of what actually took place.
On the evening of May 28th, one of our researchers opened a supply cabinet containing flammable solvents, at which point a shelf bracket failed and several bottles fell and broke open, resulting in spilled chemicals. The person in question received very minor injuries, but did not need medical care. At no time was there any evidence of negligence, all safety precautions were followed at all times, and at no point was there serious danger. The chemicals were stored in an approved 3-year-old solvent cabinet, rated for far longer than 3 years.
Our safety officer and staff immediately appeared at the scene and took the appropriate steps to contain the situation. We are thankful to Bob Mann, IGB Occupational Safety Coordinator, Darci Edmonson, IGB Facilities Manager, and Courtney Evans, MMG Laboratory Supervisor, for their expert handling of the incident and for their dedication to the safety of the institute. We would also like to thank Jim Marriott from Division of Research Safety, and the members of the police and fire departments for their assistance. Although the incident was relatively minor, the efficient management and consideration displayed by all parties was highly appreciated, and helped move the incident towards a quick resolution.
The lab in question was closed for a portion of the following day while cleanup was completed, and was reopened later that day. The offices outside of the lab were fully open, as was the rest of the IGB, with all employees able to resume work without interruption the morning of May 29th. We will continue to advance life sciences research, adding to our recent successes in infant nutrition, new antibiotics for food safety, and furthering our understanding of bacterial behavior.