Every year we get an annual safety meeting from our EH&S department and they show us a bunch of instructional slides on how to handle various laboratory hazards around the campus. They always include a few chuckles, like the guy operating plugged-in powertools standing on a ladder immersed in a pool, the guy Lincoln welding the gas tank of a truck propped up on a couple of bricks..that sort of thing.
And of course we go down the list of hazards from the chemical to the radiological to the microbiological. My department is usually in full eyeroll mode most of the time because of a simple fact. You know what never happens on our campus (touch wood)? We never have a Ebola infected African green monkey head for the hills. Nary a hantavirus rodent plague. Maybe someone gets a little sloppy with some low grade radioactive material now and again but that's rare. We don't have people getting infected with various nasty viruses and virulent (hmm) strains of bacteria they work with.
But you know what does happen on our campus? Regularly? Like 2-3 times a year?
Some chemist blows up a hood, erupts a waste bottle, causes a fire in the lab bays or otherwise renders a building uninhabitable. In dramatic fashion.
Causing the Fire Department to have to respond and anyone working in the building to lose at least a day.
It is always the chemists.
I have never really understood why.