University of Notre Dame
Flashpoint - Risk Management & Safety
February 2021

Flashpoint -

Risk Management & Safety's quarterly lab safety newsletter bringing you pertinent safety information to aid in keeping our campus safe. In this issue:
 ComplyND         Occupational Health Corner

Selecting the Right Gloves

Principal Investigators and laboratory supervisors are responsible for ensuring the proper glove selections have been made for the nature of the materials found and the work conducted in their laboratories. There are many types of gloves to choose from, all varying in construction material and thickness. Before performing a new task or procedure, or handling a new agent, a risk assessment must be performed to ensure the gloves used will protect against that specific chemical. For example, certain chemicals can easily penetrate gloves that work well for other chemicals. The chemical's physical and chemical properties (pH, toxicity, reactivity, permeability, temperature extremes, etc.) are all important factors to consider when selecting gloves. Section 8 of the material's Safety Data Sheet (SDS) will provide PPE and controls information recommended specifically for that material. RMS recommends reviewing several glove selection charts from different manufacturers to ensure you have accurate information. The glove selection chart from Ansell is a good place to start. If you are unsure if the gloves have the correct thickness, or dexterity desired, order a sample from the manufacturer for functionality.

Safety Alert

Chemical Release – Gainesville, GA - A liquid nitrogen leak at a northeast Georgia poultry plant killed six people and sent 11 others to the hospital, officials said. For more information, please read the complete story here. 

Safety Notice

Snow And Ice Awareness - Slips, trips, and falls are the largest cause of injury at the University, especially during winter weather. Having an awareness of hazardous conditions due to ice and snow remains key to prevention of an injury. For tips and products to reduce your risk, please read this notice.


As part of our efforts to address Adobe Flash issues with courses in ComplyND, Laboratory Safety Parts 1 through 3 have been updated with more current versions of each course. As part of these updates, you will notice that each course now has an embedded quiz; meaning external quizzes are no longer part of the course design. Additionally, the Laboratory Safety Part 3 course now includes supplemental materials that must be reviewed by a trainee prior to being able to successfully submit the assignment. 

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the complyND team by emailing

Occupational Health Corner 

Tips for Working in a Cold Environment
Working in a cold environment inside or outside during the winter months can pose health risks such as dehydration, numbness, shivering, frostbite, trench foot, and hypothermia. To combat these risks, we can implement controls such as
  •  Taking water breaks as needed in warm areas.
  •  Utilizing barricades to block the wind.  
  •  Scheduling outside work for the warmest part of the day. 
Ensuring proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is also important in preventing health risks associated with working in cold environments. Protective clothing should include at least three layers;
  • An inner layer of wool, silk or synthetic to wick moisture away from the body;
  • A middle layer of wool or synthetic to provide insulation when wet;
  • And an outer wind and rain protection layer that allows some ventilation.
Wearing a hat or hood can prevent the loss of up to 40% of body heat.
Insulated foot wear protect the feet.
Loose fitting clothing provides better ventilation to prevent overheating.
Also, consider keeping a change of clothing available in case work clothes become wet.
Utilize the Wind Chill Temperatures and Frostbite Guide below for guidance on preventing frostbite.
Flashpoint Risk Management & Safety
University of Notre Dame
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