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Author: Subject: Chemistry and biology makerspace under construction!
DoctorOfPhilosophy
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cool.gif posted on 25-4-2016 at 09:37
Chemistry and biology makerspace under construction!


Hi everyone, haven't posted on this forum in ages.

I'm currently helping work on a chemistry and biology makerspace in Toronto Canada (NurdRage, you there?) Unfortunately, the biology aspect has gained a lot more interest than the chemistry, and that's what's keeping the space afloat. I want to make the chemistry part more prominent, but first we need a fume hood (more about that below.)

Here's what we already have:
-Corporation
-Commercial space
-About 20 people involved
-A number of people advising
-CL1 Biology laboratory with all the usual equipment
-General and organic chemistry glassware
-Contracts with chemical suppliers
-A good selection of reagents

Coming very soon:
-Eye wash station (unexpired)
-Precursor license for basic org. chems
-Regular waste pickup service
-Written policies and procedures

Here's what we need to get the chemistry ball rolling:
-Fume hood, ventilation fan, and stainless steel ductwork
-Proper acid base cabinet

Once all these basic things are in place, we will start doing public workshops and other outreach stuff.

Anyone in the Toronto area who's interested, speak to me! Any tips on where to get a cheap acid base cabinet or fume hood are greatly appreciated.
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Texium
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25-4-2016 at 10:23
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[*] posted on 25-4-2016 at 10:30


Sounds great! I visited a hackerspace in Austin a couple months ago, but unfortunately they were mostly electronics and mechanics. My home lab is much more well equipped than their chemistry corner is as far as reagents and general glassware go, however, they did have a couple of things that I don't (namely, a fumehood, a nice analytical balance, and a vacuum manifold). I decided that the membership dues weren't really worth it for using a space only marginally better than my own.

I figured I'd move the thread to Miscellaneous as it will get more attention here than it will in L&S issues.




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chemplayer...
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[*] posted on 25-4-2016 at 19:44


Interesting concept of a chemistry 'hackerspace'.

How does liability for all the different eventualities (cops come / place burns down / personal damage) etc. work? I presume there's a professional indemnity insurance on the overall facility but does that extend to the work that people are doing?

Do the insurance guys put any caveats on you in terms of governance and management of the space?




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[*] posted on 25-4-2016 at 19:58


Here there is no liability to the organization, which doesn't own the equipment or chemicals.

We did have an insurance agent here walking around and looking at stuff a couple of months back, but I never heard of there being any issues. I'd say that the welding equipment, power saws, concrete floors, etc. are actually more likely to cause serious injury than my 1L bottle of sulfuric acid. The most dangerous thing I keep on location is potassium dichromate, which is kept in a locked cabinet and never, ever dropped on the ground.

There are security cameras, and I don't let people use my jointware without supervision.

We are talking about putting in a bio lab also.

[Edited on 26-4-2016 by JJay]
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DoctorOfPhilosophy
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[*] posted on 25-4-2016 at 21:48


I've moved most of my stuff to the space so it's definitely better than my lab now, but I'm holding on to some things that are hazardous and unnecessary to store at the lab.

@chemplayer... here's how it works:
cops come => no problem, we obey the law here
place burns down => general insurance does cover that and similar stuff
personal damage [and someone sues us] => that's the toughest one - as long as we obey the law and do our due diligence that person is unlikely to win the lawsuit. It's works just the same way at any other lab:

-Physical safety measures are taken
-Regular inspection and verification by internal and third-party staff
-People receive incremental training and authorization to do certain things.
-Supervisors sign off on everything.
-Lots of written rules (most of them common sense to us) and paperwork
-Signs and visual cues everywhere
-Enforcement happens in practice (eg. locks on chemical cabinets)
-3 or 4 levels of concentric security

That's why universities don't get plagued with these types of lawsuits. There's no difference in the eyes of the law between our lab and university lab, as long as we do our due diligence. The terrible accident that happened to Sangji was partially because they didn't provide the correct fireproof safety clothing / apron, didn't verify her training or do refresher training, etc etc. Hopefully we can avoid these things, which seem kind of obvious [in hindsight]
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[*] posted on 26-4-2016 at 11:03


@DoctorOfPhilosophy

Are you familiar with Labconco? We are an established manufacturer of Fume Hoods and other ventilation products. I'm their technical sales representative for Ontario and the Eastern provinces based out of the GTA.

If you are looking for a Fume Hood and Acid Cabinet I could provide some guidance. Feel free to send me an email or PM me your contact information.

http://www.labconco.com/category/fume-hoods-enclosures-remot...

-Franco Pasqualini
fpasqualini@labconco.com
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DoctorOfPhilosophy
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[*] posted on 26-4-2016 at 12:23


Thanks for posting Franco, my school has your fume hood and I've seen your video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqU5bGP0i5I, it's freakin hilarious. I'll send you an email..
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[*] posted on 1-5-2016 at 05:50


Very interesting - thanks for the explanation.



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