Univ. of Hawaii Cited for Lab Safety After Explosion

The safety citations are a response to a lab explosion earlier this year.

State occupational safety officials found 15 lab safety violations at the University of Hawaii-Manoa as part of their investigation into an explosion on campus in March.

Each of the Occupational Safety and Health Office citations carries a maximum penalty of $7,700, although that figure will likely be reduced if the school addresses the violations, reports Hawaii News Now.

The investigation was sparked by a dangerous explosion on March 16 during an experiment that mixed compressed hydrogen, carbon dioxide and oxygen. Researcher Thea Ekins-Coward was injured in that explosion.

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Among other violations, state OSHA officials found the school failed to adequately train employees, didn’t have proper safety plans on file, didn’t follow its own safety procedures and blocked an exit route.

Now UH-Manoa administrators will meet with OSHA officials Sept. 30 and discuss next steps in the review process.

Since the explosion, UH-Manoa officials have said they’ve improved lab safety procedures on campus.

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