Accident in the laboratory

I had an accident in the laboratory some weeks ago.

To be admitted to a chemistry master you need to attend a course in research laboratories risks prevention. If you haven’t attended it, you must sign a document saying you’ll do it so you can get the master’s certificate.

When you think of it, it’s rather absurd they ask for you to attend the course before finishing the studies instead of before entering the laboratory. When you attend it you realise why it’s like this. In fact, the course is just a conference. A four-hour conference, long and boring, but still it’s only four hours. You’re not told anything you haven’t been told a thousand times in the degree training: emergency exits, showers, eyewash fountains, fireproof blankets, fire extinguishers, waste management, lab coat, glasses, gloves…

But there are far more dangerous things they don’t warn you about and this was my problem.

I was doing my round to pick up the people for lunch. I entered the laboratory of a girl who always smells like a Nenuco doll. She denies it and says it’s vanilla perfume. That’s the reason.

I sat next to her while she ended some analysis with the TOF. She told me to go for the mates in the other laboratory and come back in five minutes. Then the accident happened, when I stood up.

Imagine a considerably big table with a not less big instrument on it, and even heavier and more expensive (much more). And this instrument ionizes substances and analyse the ions by mass spectrometry using a magnetic field. Excellent stuff. Well, as I stood up I hit my knee against the table edge.

Yes, the mot dangerous thing in the laboratory is the furniture.

It was one of those gentle but just-at-the-spot hit. I fell to the ground thinking I would die young and handsome, which appeared like a funny comment to Nenuco, I don’t know why.

What I mean is that I’ve never seen anyone using fire extinguishers, showers and fireproof blankets, but these silly accidents happen now and then. It would we wise to add a warning to the risk prevention conference.


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