A laboratory worker received burns to the face and chest while carrying chemicals from one area of the laboratory to another. The worker placed unsealed centrifuge tubes filled with phenol-chloroform into a Styrofoam centrifuge tube shipping container. The Styrofoam broke and the phenol-chloroform splashed onto the worker’s face and dripped down the chest. The worker immediately flushed the area with a drench hose, but still suffered from second-degree burns to the face, chest and abdomen. Fortunately, the worker was wearing chemical splash goggles and did not receive burns to the eyes.
- Appropriate eye and face protection helped to minimize the chemical burn.
- Wear a closed lab coat when working with hazardous materials.
- Use a plastic centrifuge rack instead of a Styrofoam packing container, particularly when transporting chemicals.