Department of Plant and Soil Sciences

Laboratory Safety Committee

Meeting Minutes

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Fall 2003 December 10, 2003



Attendees: Wallace Pill, Ted Peltier, Leslie York-Hubbard, Robin Elliott, Caroline Golt, Maria Pautler, Cindy Barnett and Jerry Hendricks.

The minutes were taken by Cindy Barnett.

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

Introductions and description of responsibilities were made to new/replacement committee members.
The mission of the safety committee is to carry out polices and act as a resource for everyone. Policies and most forms are available on the webpage. Responsibilities of the committee include investigating injuries and conducting lab inspections in the Spring. The committee meets 4 times a year and the next meeting will be scheduled for February 2004.

Old Business

Outstanding Items
There are several Entomology labs in Townsend with no emergency contact cards filled out. Dr. Kyle is the Entomology safety Chair and he is currently out of the country. Signs are being created by the lock shop to put up in 304 Worrilow for the tripping hazard. This has been reported to facilities. Activities in 304 Worrilow are going to stop at the end of December. We don’t know the long term future of the lab. The showers were not inspected and biological stickers are still needed for the hood. Lab 302 needs to have its showers inspected and also needs a sticker to designate it as a bio hood. Leslie will take a look at this. Lab 125 needs a hood sticker as well. The light outside the library is still out. The “owner” of the storage cabinet in the Townsend stairwell is still unknown. Caroline said that Bill Saylor has taken it over. It will have to be moved. There are no emergency cards in labs 216, 218 and 222. There is an emergency card in 221 but it’s not filled out. Ceiling tiles have yet to be fixed. Amy Broadhurst is putting in a request for a phone in 204. 216 Worrilow does not have a spill kit, Yan Jin is in the process of getting one. One spill kit per group is mandatory. The University policy states that litter can be used for various spills. $80.00 is the initial cost of a spill kit, but the replacements are free. They can be purchased using UDMART. Leslie recommended that you can make your own up if you would rather – just have one. Farmhouse – because of the threat of storm Isabel the leaks were all fixed. There is no evacuation plan in effect for the farmhouse or Worrilow. Technically by code, one is not required but we encourage one to be implemented.
The inspection cards for the fire extinguishers are full and the custodians stopped writing on them. Jerry has informed Bernie that new cards are needed. Bernie was also informed that the custodians never told anyone that the cards were all filled out. Robin said that they are now in the process of having the custodians fill out the cards and sending them to us. These cards are good for a couple of years. During the last power failure it was determined that the natural light in Worrilow is not enough – back up lights are needed. Caroline bought up the issue of the lack of the light and the stairway. The generator doesn’t kick on for a couple of minutes leaving the areas too dark.

New Business
New graduate training – 8 new students and 7 have completed the training. One graduate student from last year (Adam Welchel) is not in compliance – his wife just had a baby.

Workplace chemical list is completed.

The new greenhouse manager, Theresa Holton, now reports to Dr. Sparks so the greenhouses now falls under our committee. The greenhouse has since undergone several inspections, including one by Stephen McReynolds of the Delaware Dept. of Agriculture. He made several recommendations. 1). The chemical inventory was old and should be reduced. Notices were sent out to everyone to claim those they wanted saved. The rest has been disposed as waste. 2). All greenhouse personnel should receive Worker Protection Safety training. Susan Whitney agreed to provide it through her grad students. Currently no one is certified to apply pesticides, so Theresa has hired a contractor, Mike Leventry from Longwood Gardens to conduct IPM and to spray when necessary. Rodney Dempsey will be handling the spraying in the future. In an internal inspection, the old greenhouse was found to contain much flaking paint that was suspected to be lead based. The chipping paint is both exterior and interior. Sharon Sperber confirmed that the paint does contain lead. Obtained an initial estimate of at least $20,000 to have it repainted. Julie Burton has agreed to address the problem. Leslie bought up the fact that when debris falls onto peoples clothing or shoes they can bring this hazard home with them to their kids, pets, etc. No warning signs are posted and people are working in this area. Dr. Pill bought up the fact that the electrical boxes are rusted through and also are not GFI protected.

There are still a lot of bugs in the centralized chemical inventory system – still working on it.

This year we have had an unusual number or thefts – 2 laptops, 2 LCD projectors and 2 cameras. There have also been reported incidents of graffiti on employee’s belongings. Due to these incidents, digital video cameras are going to be considered for the hallways.

A new emergency plans needs to be developed. During the last storm we found out our current plan could use some revisions. During storm Isabel the plastic greenhouse collapsed.

Right-To-Know training: at first there were complaints that it was too easy – now there is concern about trick questions. We offer some first aid training at a reasonable cost.

Kathy Fleischut had a lower back injury. Over at the DBI office she was carrying 2 one gallon containers of punch for a meeting and her back gave out.

An Academic program Review was conducted the past few days to evaluate the campus safety program. Three University Safety Directors and two internal members, Jerry Hendricks and Philip Roche evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of the program. A report will be generated by the end of January. The committee received uniform praise of the safety program and of Robin’s leadership style.

A picture of the committee members was taken.

Meeting adjourned at 1:50 PM.

Respectively submitted by Cindy Barnett.