Department of Plant and Soil Sciences

Laboratory Safety Committee

Meeting Minutes

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Summer 2004 July 14, 2004



Attendees: John Frett, Caroline Golt, Jerry Hendricks, Teresa Holton, Kris Paul, Maria Pautler, Wally Pill, Leslie York-Hubbard (OHS)

The minutes were taken by Maria Pautler.

The meeting was called to order at 1:39 PM.


Jerry asked Leslie to speak with Cliff Keil in Entomology since the emergency cards for the entomology labs in Townsend still have not been posted.
Cliff Keil’s storage cabinet is still in the first floor Townsend Hall stairwell. This needs to be moved.
Teresa said that there is a meeting with Facilities on Friday, July 16 at 1:30 PM to address the safety needs of the greenhouse complex.
The security cameras issue is still up in the air since no standardized procedure for these yet exist.
Leslie spoke of the status of safety training via WebCT. Dr. Frett made comments in favor of it. Leslie asked him to e-mail his comments to Robin Elliott to show support for WebCT since support for the project has been waning. Leslie will talk to Robin to determine what faculty should do for Fall semester safety training.
Toby Pierce has put the project to back up all departmental files on the back burner.
Status of Spring Lab Inspections:
Overall comments:
Right-to-Know training generally remains out of date. Leslie suggested that lab personnel keep copies of the training certificates in their labs so they can easily refer to them and know when annual re-training is due.
The particulate matter coming through the ventilation system is still a building-wide problem and is still being dealt with.

Worrilow Hall:
a threshold on the floor needs to be replaced
labels on containers need to include the common chemical name
SOP for arsenic use is needed
unlabeled waste was found
the operation with nitrogen tanks was suspended until better bottles can be found
“ hot” labels are needed
Jerry would like to see each lab have an individual shut-off for gas lines.
105: satisfactory
There is a problem with ventilation back-gassing (smells in the afternoon).
grinder is noisy and has no guards but will soon be replaced
112: satisfactory
to have gas cylinder regulators “inspected” means for operators to look over them occasionally for proper functioning
There was a question about which materials in the lab require an SOP. Leslie said that the chemical hygiene committee is trying to define which materials are “highly toxic”, etc.
SOP for liquid nitrogen use is needed
microwave testing is no longer done
it was thought that GFI outlets were needed but that is not the case
syringes were not secured
some materials were not labeled
chemicals being stored need to be separated by hazard class
they are waiting on a second flammable cabinet
unlabeled waste was found
secondary containment was lacking
some chemicals were stacked too high for proper storage
There is a prominent ventilation problem.
a JHA is in progress
There was a question about regulators being inspected (see 125 above).
The prominent ventilation problem seems to be fixed, at least temporarily.
Leslie needs to send Jerry the inspection form
eyewash has not been inspected since 8/02
no first aid kit found
SOP/JHA was written by Caroline for use of the autoclave
door to this room will remain open
Townsend Hall:
149/150: temperature fluctuates; this has been reported to Julie Burton
151: there is no safety shower so the one in 150 needs to be used
Townsend Hall Building:
storage cabinet in the stairwell needs to be removed
one fire extinguisher card was filled up and a new one was not attached so it couldn’t be discerned whether or not the extinguisher underwent monthly inspection
one fire extinguisher card was filled up and a new one was not attached so it couldn’t be discerned whether or not the extinguisher underwent monthly inspection
ADA problems have not been all dealt with yet
exit lights are back on but the blue light is burned out
leak on the third floor is fixed
no first aid kit in the Farmhouse
Fisher Greenhouse:
many items, including chemical and biological inventories and JHA’s, are being worked on with areas being broken into five or six labs
electrical issues are being remedied – replacement of junction boxes and addition of GFI outlets
a fire extinguisher ignored by inspectors was found
the painted-over propane tank outside was relabeled
Worrilow Hall Building:
fume hoods are all working normally but Leslie will check on the status of the hood in 125
first floor ladies room sink leak had been fixed and the light lens replaced but Caroline said the sink is leaking again
Jerry asked if the lab self-inspections are worth doing because many times people do not closely scrutinize their own labs. Leslie stressed the importance of inspecting the labs four times per year and will bring it to the attention of the chemical hygiene committee to see if there are any suggestions for making the self-inspections more meaningful. The PLSC Safety Committee will not be asked to inspect labs four times per year.
Fire drills were practiced in Townsend Hall, Worrilow Hall, Fischer Greenhouse, and the Farmhouse on May 5, 2004. Everything was in compliance except for Cliff Keil’s storage cabinet needing to be removed from the first floor Townsend Hall stairwell and a chain lock needing to be removed from the front door of the Farmhouse. The following week, a real alarm sounded in Worrilow Hall and people vacated but did not always move at least 200 feet away from the building.

Leslie reviewed several accident reports including the cookie incident in Fischer Greenhouse (Teresa now keeps all food in her office) and the benches that fell in Fischer Greenhouse and caused a cut (the bench height has been lowered).
Kevin Eichinger has updated OHS’s request for chemical waste pick-up web page.
There have been four explosions on campus in the recent past resulting from mixtures of incompatible waste. No one was hurt but this rate of incidence concerns Leslie.
OHS is in the process of obtaining from the Just Right container company 2.5-gallon containers for many of the labs on campus for the safe accumulation of nitric acid waste. The containers automatically off-gas when the inside pressure reaches 5-6 psi.
John and Teresa spoke of finding debris from the 4th of July fireworks display on the grounds around the greenhouse complex and voiced concerns about unexploded fireworks injuring people. Leslie will pass this information on to Bernie Alexander.

Jerry thanked the PLSC Safety Committee members whose term has now ended and named those who will serve on the new academic year’s committee.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:45 PM.

Respectively submitted by Maria Pautler