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UCLA Faces Fines, Citations For Unreported 2007 Lab Accident

UCLA's campus (Photo by legge e mare via Flickr)
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Details are just now coming to light about a November 2007 incident in a UCLA lab when a "graduate student was seriously injured," according to the LA Times. In response to the findings of the previously unreported fiery incident, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has fined the university $23,900.This accident, discovered by Cal/OSHA in September, precedes a similar fatal accident by a full year; in November 2008 UCLA staff research assistant Sheharbano "Sheri" Sangji "suffered burns that took her life and prompted a campuswide review of lab safety."

UCLA's labs are now the target of much scrutiny by Cal/OSHA, who have cited the campus for "inadequate safety training" as well as infractions pertaining to "safety gear [and] the storage of chemicals and inspections." Both the 2007 and 2008 accidents involved lab workers who were not wearing appropriate protective lab coats. UCLA largely disputes Cal/OSHA's findings, though they did pay the $31,000 fine with which they were charged following Sangji's fatal accident.