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Ohio cites university in death

Experts say conditions that led to professor?s death exist at other schools

John Dudley Miller
The state of Ohio has issued seven citations to Cleveland State University (CSU) for unsafe electrical conditions in the lab where associate professor Tarun Mal died last August after plugging in a defective fluorescent light through a two-prong adapter plug that left the lamp ungrounded. Experts say that the conditions that led to Mal?s death were indeed unsafe, and some believe those problems are not uncommon at other American universities, suggesting other lab workers may also be at risk.Jim Kaufman, CEO of the Lab Safety Institute, told The Scientist that the problem that killed Mal -- using a two-prong adapter in a three-prong outlet -- is common. ?When you inspect labs,? he said, ?it?s not unusual to find anywhere from one to seven that way.?Jim Barnhardt, an economist at the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, told The Scientist that because deaths in labs aren?t tracked separately from...

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