Department of Plant and Soil Sciences

Laboratory Safety Committee

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Fall 2011 September 26, 2011



Megan Patzoldt
Maria Pautler
Krista Murray - Department of Environmental Health and Safety (UD EHS)
Jane Frank - Department of Environmental Health and Safety (UD EHS)
Josh Lemonte
Jerry Hendricks
Caroline Golt

Missing : Sue Biddle (could not make this date).

1) Introductions were made: Not everyone had met Jane Frank and Krista Murray (reps from DEHS)

2) We then discussed minutes from last meeting on June 8, 2011.

Old Business

-One issue was storage of light bulbs... we discussed there was build-up in the greenhouse, and with the long bulbs with mercury, there is always a chance of them getting bumped and breaking. It is important to store them on the floor, out of the way so they cannot roll anywhere, or if they are meant for trash, have the custodians pick them up right away, or tell them where they will be stored.
- An off-shoot of this Maria suggested that when we post our minutes on the website, we also highlight specific issues (i.e. light bulbs); each quarter that we meet, right as the minutes are posted on our website, send a quick note to plsc-all and remind them to take a look at the minutes, as well as highlight a couple safety features that we discussed, and that all persons in our department should know right away (a sort of “hot topics”).
-We picked up discussion from last time on spill kits for potentially cleaning up spills on the walkway between Worrilow and Townsend to keep nasty chemicals, should they spill, from going down the storm drain. Jerry checked on it, and we can get them, but where should we put them? We decided we could put one right near the elevator in Worrilow and add a sign to either the front door of Worrilow or next to the storm drain. Krista said that even if the kit is hanging on the wall, we have to run it by her so she can ask the fire marshall about its location (so it’s not a fire hazard). We hope to have this spill kit picked up and in place by the time of our next meeting in the spring.
-fire drills were performed in 2011 for Townsend, Worrilow, Fischer and Farmhouse. It’s best to do them every summer ...slightly fewer people to deal with. We can start rotating the fire drills with other departments in CANR, as well. Rolf Joeger is Chair for ANSC and and Stacey Chirnside is for ENWE.
-emergency lighting in Worrilow? 112 in Wor does have lights, but it’s one of the rare rooms that has lights when we have a power failure. Kevin McSweeney did have recommendations for some flash lights to get for the labs. (Cheap fix); emergency flashlights that you can plug in and they come on when the lights go out - you can buy these at Home Depot, and it might be good to have one per lab. I will check on who should be purchasing these emergency lights.
-We then asked for a motion to approve the minutes, and they were approved.

3) Lab inspections were discussed: EHS did them over the summer, and some of them are still being written up ad sent to Krista. I currently have maybe 2/3’s of them in-hand. I will send a list of the ones that I have to Krista, and she will send me reports that I am still missing. At this point, Deb and I will get together, compile a list of all the out-standing issues in the labs (a lot of them are either training delinquencies or improper waste storage), and we will assign everyone on the committee 2-3 lab inspections each. They should be completed hopefully by the end of the semester.
- Important: Krista keeps a list of past issues in each lab that have not been addressed… let’s make sure these deficiencies have been addressed, before we close it out! She will be sending out an email to people regarding their “remaining” close-out items. For chronic problems that UD facilities need to fix, EHS can step in and encourage them! For example, chronic leaks in 302 and 306 WOR - Krista knows about these things and we will continue telling EHS about them.
- Also important is that many times with out-standing items, people don’t tell EHS that they have fixed it! They can go into EHS Assistant and indicate that they have fixed it, or they can write it on the report and send it back to Krista.


4) New Business

- Bicycles in the stairwells; this is on-going and a fire hazard; we need to keep an eye on it, and if they show up again, put up better placards and possibly call public safety, but we'd rather not resort to that.
- EHS Assistant request: a request was put in to Jane to make one more edit - to be able to manually enter a chemical into EHS Assistant. Currently you have to search for it, when you are adding chemicals to your inventory.
- EHS Assistant request: the committee indicated that when you've placed a chemical waste request for the first time, it’s best to just confirm that they have received it!
- Krista Murray announced that on September 29 (Thursday) from 12:05-12:55pm at 261 413 Academy St, there would be an Ergnomonics training (i.e. don't hurt your back while spending all day on your computer, etc!)
- Krista Murray announced that on October 10, there was going to be a reception for the department safety chairs; past Chairs were also recognized in UDaily.
- Jane Frank announced that there is a new person in the Chemical Specialist waste position - Mike Wayock; now they are looking for a senior tech position to fill his position.

5) The meeting was adjourned at 2:57pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Nicole Donofrio