Department of Occupational Health and Safety

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Department Plant & Soil Sciences
Academic Department of the Year
August 2004

The DOHS is happy to recognize Plant and Soil Science's Safety Committee and its Chair Jerry Hendricks for the Academic Safety Committee of the Year program for 2004. A gift certificate to Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant was presented to the Committee in appreciation of their efforts. The members of the Department of Occupational Health and Safety reviewed the reports submitted by all the safety committees and voted to choose Plant and Soil Sciences as the Academic winner.

The committee met all their requirements as set forth in University Policy 7-2. In addition some highlights from Jerry's report of the committee's activities are as follows. He summarized the five injuries they experienced over the past year and listed the actions taken to prevent future injuries. One prevention activity involved the development of a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for their autoclave and posting it on the unit. They facilitated training for the department in the following areas: Biosafety, Chemical Hygiene, Job Hazard Analysis, Lab Inspection, New Graduate Student Safety Orientation, Right to Know, and Waste Management. Several of their labs are using the Laboratory Management Program. Lastly, they have developed an extensive safety web site: Plant and Soil Sciences Laboratory Safety Committee and are active in physically posting safety information throughout the department as well.

Jerry in particular made a significant contribution to the safety program this past year by participating in the OHS Program Review held in December. He has spent countless hours reviewing self study documents, attending meetings and conducting follow up activities. We are very grateful for his dedication and willingness to perform this activity.

We are very fortunate to have a department so willing to perform proactive safety activities internally as well as for the University as a whole. This certainly could not have happened without the strong support of Dr. Don Sparks, the Department Chair as well as the faculty and lab workers. Thanks to everyone for their part in improving the safety of members of the University Community!