Department of Plant and Soil Sciences

Laboratory Safety Committee

Meeting Minutes

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Robin Elliott Announcements

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Summer 2002 June 18, 2002



Attendees: Jerry Hendricks (Chair), Maria Pautler, Bob Carroll, Robin Elliot (OHS).

Absent: Cindy Barnett (excused), Kurt Williamson (excused), David McNear, Caroline Golt.

The minutes were taken by Maria Pautler.

The meeting was called to order at 1:10 PM.


Old Business

The walkway connecting Worrilow and Townsend halls has been removed. Julie Burton is researching furniture to go in the new alcoves on the second and third floors. The internal glass doors will be removed. On the first floor of Townsend, the internal glass doors will be relocated to be flush with the perpendicular hallway, creating a waiting room for the Chair's office. For safety, the sidewalk between the two buildings will be replaced with pavers. Investigations are ongoing regarding a walkway canopy cover between the two buildings.

GFI outlets have been installed at every lab outlet within six feet of water in Worrilow, except two outlets in an Animal and Food Sciences lab, per the lab personnel. This would involve moving too much equipment and personnel are aware to keep water away.

The Lab Management program is still not fully operational. Currently, the Chemical Distribution portion is off-line. Robin reported that more time should be able to be devoted to this project now.

All but two Spring safety inspections were completed (150 and 151 Townsend). The usual delinquencies of having no Job Hazard Analysis and out-of-date inventories were reported. The ductwork was recently cleaned in Worrilow, per Julie Burton, because dust was evident in 101 and 216 Worrilow, based on the inspection reports.

All in Worrilow Hall:

Room 105 - flammable storage taken care of

Room 112 - gas cylinders need to be stored differently

Room 125 - fume hood is no longer used for storage

Room 201/204 - storage by hazard remedied

Room 205 - there is no emergency posting, chemical inventory, MSDSs or spill kit. Since this room shares supplies with Rooms 201/204 the same chemical inventory can be present in all rooms, but MSDSs must also be present in 205

Room 208 - improper flammable storage and storage in hood

Room 302 - tripping hazards due to crowded aisles; hood overdue for inspection

Rooms 304/306 - no spill kit

Room 307 - no emergency posting, no spill kit


New Business

There was one accident reported since the last Safety Committee meeting. Nicole McCafferty cut her finger while replacing Ag Shed grinder blades. She was treated at Christiana Care. Maria Pautler investigated the accident for reporting purposes. Robin suggested ways to prevent future incidents (signage, possibly wearing Kevlar gloves).


OHS Announcements by Robin Elliott

Robin reported on an incident at the University of Nebraska where a student lost two fingers in a lab explosion. He sued, saying that the accident was due to lack of training. The University ultimately was found not at fault but we need to be aware of the liability of supervisors to employees and students.

City water supply sampling was done in March for Worrilow and Townsend Halls. Copper levels were high in initial samples but decrease to below detection limits once the water is run. Lead levels and pH were satisfactory.

New chemical spill kits are available for purchase from OHS.

The right-to-know manuals have been slightly revised to include a reproductive health section.

New lab inspection forms are available. Jerry confirmed that we used these forms for the Spring inspections.

Robin reported on an incident where biological materials were improperly packaged and exploded inside a FedEx truck.

For people with biological materials in their labs, an inventory must be created. A memo to department chairs should be coming via the Provost's office and the Dean's office regarding forms and procedures.

As of July 1, 2002, OHS will report to Assistant Vice-President of Facilities Bob Stozek. OHS was formerly reporting to Executive Vice President Dave Hollowell but he has recently taken on treasurer duties.

The next meeting is scheduled for September 11, 2002 at 1:00 PM in 156 Townsend Hall.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:00 PM.


Respectfully submitted,

Maria Pautler