Department of Plant and Soil Sciences

Laboratory Safety Committee

Meeting Minutes

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Spring 2002 March 6, 2002



Attendees: Jerry Hendricks (chair), Kurt Williamson, Yan Jin, Maria Pautler, Caroline Golt, Cindy Barnett and sitting in for Robin Elliott (OHS) was Joe Miller. Bob Carroll arrived late.

The minutes were taken by Cindy Barnett.

The meeting was called to order at 1:35 PM.

Introduction of all new members to one another.

Old Business

Regarding the walkway coming down between Townsend Hall and Worrilow Hall. The demolition has been rescheduled to occur during spring break. The walkway will not be replaced - it will be bricked in. In Worrilow hall, next to the elevators there will eventually be a lounge area. Steelcase has been contacted about the furniture. The decision to not replace the walkway was made by Facilities.

GFI outlets: All labs should and will be checked. The college is picking up the cost ($25 per outlet) to replace any outlets needed. All should eventually be labeled "GFI Protected".

The cut-off date for the winter lab self inspections has passed. Four labs still need to be completed.

Lab Management Program - the program will have listings of all the chemicals in the labs as well as all the equipment. There are still some "bugs" in the program and it has been turned over to MIS people to fix.

On Jan. 9th a Biohazardous Waste meeting was held. Attendance consisted of 9 people from Plant & Soil Sciences and 10 from Animal Science. This meeting was videotaped. Everyone must be trained in properly packaging waste concerning the autoclave in Worrilow 307.

New Business

There is a new monthly poster program. In addition to the laminated posters hung on the safety corner bulletin board, OHS is sending an electronic poster that will replace our current bathroom poster program.

One accident to report. John Frett, while in Costa Rica, slipped on a rock while crossing a stream. He was on university business, so covered under University insurance policy, and a report has been submitted. He had to wear a leg brace for approximately 1 month.

Our Safety committee usually changes it members in September. Spring is an unfortunate time to add new members since we have to perform the spring lab inspections.

We have a brand new lab inspection guide to follow. There have been a few additions and a copy of the last inspection will be given to everyone to follow and also to check to see that the necessary corrections have been made. There is also a guideline to go along with the inspections. The following were assigned:

Leslie York-Hubbard is conducting the inspections for Lab #s 110, 112, 201/204 & 208 Worrilow.

Yan Jin will be conducting the inspections for labs 212 and 307 (autoclave).

Maria Pautler will be conducting the inspections for labs 214/215 & 216.

Caroline Golt will be conducting the inspections for labs 101/104 & 125.

Bob Carroll will be conducting the inspections for labs 105 & 302.

Jerry Hendricks will be conducting the inspections for labs 205 & 304.

Kurt Williamson will be conducting the inspections for labs 210 & 306.

David McNear will be conducting the inspections for labs 150 & 151 Townsend.

All inspections should be completed by the spring break (next month).

OHS Announcements by Joe Miller

Joe wanted to make sure everyone saw the posters for Michael Blayney, Dartmouth college, lecture to be held Tuesday, March 19 in room 131 Sharp lab - topic "Dimethylmercury and Death of Karen Wetterhahn." He encourages everyone to attend his talk.

Robin Elliott is currently working on a Disaster Plan for the college due to the tragedy of Sept. 11th.

New policy on passenger vans - an email was sent out to the college employees. Only 9 passengers in a 15-person van and if there is luggage - you need to substitute people for luggage.

Also, currently working on a program to report "near misses". This is just as valuable as keeping tract of and actual accidents. We may be able to learn and prevent certain accidents from happening. There was a program on this on Feb. 22.

MSDA software program. Leslie York-Hubbard currently has access to this program and we are working on getting everyone access. It is still not known if this program will be linked in with the Lab Management Program.

All MSDS paper copies need to still be filed in the labs (this still needs to be completed even when the electronic forms are available to use).

Reviewed precautions with mail and the terrorist/Anthrax situation. The university was visited by a couple of federal agencies concerning university security. There are regulations in place for all radioactive materials, controlled substances and needles/syringes. Labs are open and people can walk in and out freely. The policy on lab doors is to have them closed when someone in the lab due to fire and ventilation purposes. When no one is in the lab the doors must be shut and locked.

Joe read the "Biological Inventory Form". Joe also shared a story with us about a professor at the Univ. of Iowa who had Anthrax in his lab. He actually had the military (with weapons) on campus and around his lab for protection. He since has claimed it was not worth it and no longer has the Anthrax there.

Dr. Carroll questioned about his hundreds of plant pathogens in his lab - if he needed inventory of all. The answer was YES. Joe indicated that there is an example of the Inventory Sheet on the webpage and all need to be listed. It may be possible to hire student to complete the data entry.

Jerry reviewed the first part of the meeting with Bob Carroll.


The meeting adjourned at 2:15 PM.


Respectfully submitted,


Cindy Barnett