Kathmandu Institute of Applied Sciences (KIAS), with support from Uniglobe SS/College, Kathmandu, successfully organized a much-needed workshop on “Chemical Laboratory Safety” on Saturday, September 2nd 2017. The workshop started with a welcome note by Dr. Bhanu B. Neupane from Central Department of Chemistry, Tribhuvan University (TU). The program then gained pace with presentations and experiences on lab safety in Nepal by Dr. Nootan Bhattrai from same department and Mr. Krishna P. Kandel, Birendra Multiple Campus, TU, Chitwan, followed by a discussion session where researchers and concerned individuals from different governing bodies shared their remarks. While Dr. Deepak K. Khadka, Director of Research, University Grants Commission (UGC), familiarized the audience about various roles that UGC could play on implementing safety protocols and services it provides for safety trainings and related programs. Mr. Lekh Nath Kandel, Director of Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology, highlighted on the code of conduct on lab safety which was prepared in 2045 B.S. Other guests who put forward their opinions on lab safety were Dr. Niranjan Parajuli from NIST, Khusibu, Dr. Swagat Shrestha from HISAN, Dr. Bhim Kafle from Kathmandu University, Mr. Prajwal Rajbhandari from RIBB, and Dr. Amar P. Yadav from Nepal Chemical Society.
Participants and representatives from various institutions/ organizations commented on the currently neglected condition of lab safety in Nepal and emphasized the necessity for lots of improvements including the formation of different modules on lab safety, proper engineering of lab, appropriate management of chemical wastes and government policy. To provide a better context for the workshop, the next session was focused on a visit to the labs at Uniglobe SS/College where the participants assessed the safety measures of the lab with the help of a questionnaire and group discussion came up with appropriate suggestions.
In the concluding session Dr. Basant Giri from Center for Analytical Sciences, Kathmandu Institute of Applied Sciences, answered various queries raised by the participants and urged to knock at the policy-making level to improve the lab safety. He made the hall awaken by sharing his own lab experience during his research period and re-emphasized on the necessity to minimize the hazards caused by different chemicals. The program was concluded with certificate distribution to the participants.
By Shiva Oli, JR Ghimire & JP Paudel