Department of Plant and Soil Sciences

Laboratory Safety Committee

Meeting Minutes

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Spring 2005 March 16, 2005



Attendees: Caroline Golt, Jerry Hendricks, Maria Pautler, Robin Elliott (DOHS).

The minutes were taken by Maria Pautler.

The meeting was called to order at 1:38 PM.


This is the eighth consecutive PLSC safety committee quarter during which Cliff Keil’s storage cabinet remains in the first floor Townsend Hall stairway. Jerry had been told by Julie Burton that the cabinet would be removed by this meeting. Robin will e-mail the appropriate people about this.

There has been no movement on the old greenhouse renovations. Robin said that Bernie Alexander from DOHS called Rodney Dempsey this morning to schedule a walk-through.

Jerry Hendricks, Julie Burton, Toby Pierce, Mark Stallman, and the vendor representative met about building security cameras. These will be installed in Fischer Greenhouse, Townsend Hall, and Worrilow Hall. There will not be full coverage, just the entrance/exit spots.

Toby Pierce was going to start backing up files to a server for administrative assistants and chairs starting in January but has not done so yet.

Web CT training – The following PLSC individuals still have not completed the annual “Right-to-Know” (RTK) training (due in September 2004):

9 faculty

6 staff (needing RTK and chemical waste training)

3 graduate students

Jerry went to January’s PLSC faculty meeting with the intent of attending on a regular basis. After several announcements, he proposed that lab inspections be conducted by peer review, on a rotating basis. The faculty took the idea under review, but Dr. Sparks later reported that the proposal was rejected. Consequently, winter lab inspections wer not conducted. Dr. Sparks further asked that Jerry only attend the faculty meetings when the situation warrants.


The second departmental biosafety training took place on January 13, 2005 at the DBI. Krista Murray completed the PLSC biosafety audit and did not find major problems. Luisa Santamaria, Tom Sims, and several people from DBI need to take the training. A bioregistration form is due from Jeff Fuhrmann. A bioinventory is due from Blake Meyers.

Jerry will ask Dr. Sparks to invite Rodney Dempsey to join the PLSC safety committee so that there is a representative from the greenhouse complex.

The autoclave in 306 Worrilow Hall has been fixed. Some samples were autoclaved in 307 Worrilow improperly and ANSF’s Brian Ladman had to clean up. The committee recommends that all users have their own container(s) in which to autoclave. Caroline will provide Jerry with a catalog number for the containers she uses.

Little faculty participation on the safety committee and in the committee’s matters continues.

There were flammables found in a regular refrigerator in 106 Fischer Greenhouse. There is an ongoing problem with items being stored in the greenhouse with poor labeling, etc. Teresa Holton had sent an e-mail telling people to remove their items soon or they will be thrown out.

There is a shed near the Farmhouse and chemicals were left in there by former Entomology department workers. Jerry contacted DOHS and the chemicals were removed.

There will be a fire drill in the next few weeks. Jerry has asked for a few helpers to make sure people leave the buildings.

Assignment of Spring lab inspections:


101/104, 108/110, 208 assigned to Caroline

112, 210, 306 assigned to Maria

105, 125, 201/204 assigned to Jerry

205, 212 assigned to Dr. Fuhrmann

215, 302 assigned to Dr. Evans

304, 307 assigned to Jen Seiter


150, 151 assigned to Carrie McCool


Townsend Hall to Jerry

Worrilow Hall to Dr. Fuhrmann

Fisher Greenhouse to Dr. Evans

Wilson Farmhouse to Maria


On October 25, 2004, there was an accident where a PLSC lab worker’s fingertips of the left hand were crushed and cut. An investigation needs to be conducted

Krista Murray and Teresa Holton revised the greenhouse space request form so the greenhouse staff knows better what is being used in experiments. A biological inventory form should now be attached to the space request form.

There have been meetings with Provost following the radiation and biosafety committee reports. The Provost felt that the DOHS should inspect all labs on campus over a given year. Robin said that at this time the DOHS is not staffed to do so.

Fixing bugs in the Lab Management Program should happen soon. The DOHS is considering another software program for lab management.

The Provost has made a permanent commitment of funds to support the DOHS; however, there is still a funding shortfall. A flat fee charged to anyone who generates waste could be considered.

A “New Faculty Compliance Guide” has been created to give to new faculty at orientation. The guide includes items to be posted when a new lab is set up.         

Robin continues to hone the DOHS website. The Chemistry glass shop has a website that is now linked to the DOHS website.

Jerry distributed a stormwater program e-mail from Robin to all in PLSC.

In the DOHS, John Leeks replaced Ken Sharkey as Environmental Health and Safety technician. Murray Tate replaced Kevin Eichinger as Environmental Health Specialist. The Chemical Hygiene committee approved new definitions for carcinogens and highly toxic materials and defined the duties of a Chemical Hygiene Officer. The Right-to-Know guidelines book has been updated with minor revisions for fall semester distribution but Robin said that we should continue using the old books until the supply runs out.

Joe Miller and Robin are updating the respiratory policies and procedures.

Robin asked if the disaster plan is still on Jerry’s list of things to be addressed. Jerry will be asking departmental members for updates in the near future. The disaster template should appear as a web form soon and it will be accessible to update.

The next meeting is scheduled for June 15, 2005 at 1:30 PM in 156 Townsend Hall.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:45 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Maria Pautler