Montana State University

Safety and Risk Management

Montana State University
P.O. Box 170510
Bozeman, MT 59717-0510

Tel: (406) 994-2711
Fax: (406) 994-7040

Physical Address:
1160 Research Drive
Bozeman, MT 59718

Chris Catlett, Interim Director

(406) 994-4146
christopher.catlett@montana.edu

Related News

4/28/15 - Worker dies in an oven
A worker died in a commercial oven in a Bumble Bee tuna factory when Lock-Out Tag-Out procedures were not followed. Two managers were successfully prosecuted for violating OSHA rules that caused the death. Read the brief.


4/16/2015 - University of Utah chemical explosion
Chemicals exploded in a storage cabinet in the chemistry building on the University of Utah campus. No major injuries occured, as no one was present in the prep room where the explosion occured. Further investigation is taking place to identify the root cause. Read the brief.


2/26/2015 - Update on Waste Explosion at Texas Tech
Texas Tech releases the cause and lessons learned from the explosion in a chemistry lab caused by a TA failing to segregate waste streams. Read the brief.


2/17/2015 - Lab Worker Burned with Trifluoroacetic Acid
Researcher who was burned when trifluoroacetic acid ran down her arm gives a unique perspective of a lucky, but yet injured individual.


2/12/2015 - Kidde Recalls Fire Extinguishers
Fire Extinguisher manufacturer, Kidde, recalls nearly 5 Million fire extinguishers due to a faulty valve component. Please check here to see if yours is one of the 31 models recalled.


2/2/2015 - Waste Chemical Explosion at Texas Tech.
A recent University lab explosion involving incorrectly mixed waste chemicals. The "fume hood destroyed - shrapnel out ot 15 feet."
More here.


11/12/2014 - Graduate Student Burned by Acid in a Lab at Norwestern University.
A Graduate Student at Northwestern University suffered a chemical burn from Triflic Acid. He was not wearing a lab coat and tells a story of his experience, including what would have better prepared him for this event.
Watch the 4.5 minute video here.


10/22/2014 - Update on Chemical Explosion at University of Rochester.
This occurred in the Chemistry Department. It involved a 4 liter amber colored glass bottle which was rinsed with a mixture of acetone and ethanol. The bottle was then used to collect 50% nitric acid waste. There seems to be conflicting accounts regarding how much residual solvent was left in the bottle. Apparently the procedure was to collect the rinsate in an organic waste container, then allow the contents to fully evaporate to remove any residue. It sounds like that procedure was not followed, and 100 ml of 50% nitric acid was added to the bottle which was still contaminated with acetone/ethanol rinsate. The cap was then put in place and tightened. After a few minutes, one of the students heard the bottle hissing and he approached the bottle to adjust the cap, at which point it exploded injuring him and two other students in the lab. Thankfully, none of the injuries were serious. Needless to say, the Department is rewriting their procedure to ensure this sort of thing doesn’t happen again. The use of plastic waste collection bottles for nitric acid (which has a tendency to react with just about everything) has been recommended, as well.

Brad Miller, CHMM
Manager, Environmental Compliance
Environmental Health and Safety
University of Rochester


10/18/2014 - Chemical Explosion at University of Rochester. A chemical explosion occured in a chemcial lab when three students were mixing three chemicals including hydro choleric and nitric acid.


10/2/2014 - Update on the Ebola Outbreak. Look here for an announcement containing information and resources relating to Ebola.


7/30/2014 - Update on the Explosion Injures University of Minnesota Graduate Assistant in a chemistry lab explosion. The Graduate Student reached into the fume hood with no PPE donned. See more at: The Safety Zone.


6/20/2014 - Update on the UCLA Sheri Sangji fatality case. Principal Investigator Patrick Harran has reached an agreement to pay a $10,000 fine and numerous hours of community service. Read more here.


6/19/2014 - Explosion Injures University of Minnesota Graduate Assistant in a chemistry lab explosion. The Graduate Student was working in a fume hood on an experiment when an explosion occured sending him to the hospital and into surgery. See more at: The Safety Zone.
The fumehood after the explosion.  Credit: University of Minnesota


2/17/2014 - Yoke Snaphooks Recall: Particular Fall Protection Yoke Snaphook manufactured by MSA potentially lacks a critical rivet. If you use MSA Yoke Snaphooks, please contact our office (994-1675). Information may be found at: Yoke Recall Website.
Snaphook image


12/15/2013 - Stopping the Rainbow Demonstrations: Rainbow demonstrations with flammable solventshave numerous risks, and the Amercian Chemical Society announces its release to end the demonstrations and injuries. Read more here. Additionally, another incident occurred in the New York City School District with the same experiment.


11/20/2013 - SRM Winter Advisory: Safety and Risk Management releases an annual winter advisory for the upcoming season. See the advisory here.


11/19/2013 - Viking Refrigerator Recall: Product potentially catches fire. See more information on the CPSC website.