Newsletter 2012

Vol. IV, Issue 1; March 2012

Factoring Safety into your Exercise Plan
Physical activity is any movement of the body or a part of the body caused by contractions of muscles. Exercise is a specific type of physical activity that is planned to improve or maintain aerobic condition, strength, balance or flexibility. In short, to improve both mental and physical health.

Criminal Charges Filed Against Principal Investigator in the UCLA Case
On December 27, 2011 the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against the University of California Regents and UCLA chemistry professor Patrick Harran for felony violations of California labor laws in the death of a 23-year-old, Sheharbano (Sheri) Sangji, chemistry research assistant. These charges were filed 3 days before the statute of limitation was set to expire. Harran and the UC Board of Regents will be arraigned March 2012.

Machine Tool Safety
It has been nearly one year since the academic community learned of the untimely death of a Yale undergraduate student. While working alone in a science laboratory shop one evening, the student was killed when her hair accidently became entangled in a lathe.

Does Tufts University have a Workplace Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (I2P2)?
Yes and No. Although it is not yet required by regulation, Tufts Environmental Health and Safety (TEHS) is drafting an I2P2 as part of our annual audit of the Tufts Workplace Safety and Health Program.

Old Laboratory Chemicals – A Hazardous Waste
In our laboratories we often come across a collection of old chemicals that have been saved and subsequently forgotten; sometimes as a result of a purge by a newly appointed Facility member, lab manager, the retirement of an academic, investigators saving chemicals due to replacement costs, or projects that have run their lifecycle that did not dispose of the chemicals in the end.

Chemical Management at Tufts: Less is Better
As a leading research university with an expanding research profile and capacity, Tufts institutional research dollars have increased by 80% in the last 10 years. Given Tufts academic strengths in science and engineering, chemicals are essential to research and teaching; and use has increased to support additional research.

Indoor Air Quality and the Limits of Testing
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) has been a topic that has been front and center in the news for nearly 2 decades. Modern construction techniques, as well as the concerns to make buildings much more energy efficient, has led to an increase in complaints of so called “sick buildings,” as well as advancements in the science of investigating and finding solutions for these issues.

External Radiation Dosimetry
Dosimetric methods are used to evaluate external radiation dose to assigned areas or individuals while handling radioactive materials or working with radiation producing machines. External dosimetry services are implemented by Radiation Safety staff, and exposure assessment is performed using dosimeters that are supplied and processed by an accredited outside vendor.

Shipping Lithium Batteries
When the Federal Aviation Administration fines an institution of higher education for improper shipping, people notice – especially if the fine exceeds $100, 000 and the institution is in Cambridge, MA. The package was discovered on a moving conveyor belt in the Medford, MA FedEx sorting facility.

Autoclaves and their use for Biohazardous Waste
Autoclaves are sealed containers that heat water vapor to high temperatures in order to sterilize objects that might harbor biological hazards. When used properly, an autoclave can purify a device or container of any biological contaminants such as bacteria, mold and viruses.


Vol. IV, Issue 2; October 2012

The Misunderstood (Fume) Hood
The origin of the fume hood is the fireplace of the Alchemists (600-1600AD).In the early 20th century, Thomas Edison used the natural draft caused by fire to exhaust the air contaminants from his experiments.

Satellite Accumulation Area (SAA) Hazardous Waste Containers
Satellite Accumulation Area (SAA) Hazardous Waste Containers must have only compatible chemicals in them to be secure, have secondary containers in the event of a spill, and be clearly labeled. Once full, containers must be moved to the Main Accumulation Area (MAA).

Equipment Hazard Clearance Tags
It is not uncommon for the Tufts Facilities Services Department to receive a request to repair, relocate, or dispose of equipment. While most equipment presents minimal hazards, some, especially those found in a laboratory or clinical setting often present a higher risk.

OSHA Revises the Hazard Communication Standard
OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), enacted in 1983, is often referred to as “the employee right to know” act. All employers that store and process hazardous chemicals in their workplace are required to have a hazard communication program, including container labels, material safety data sheets, and employee training.

The Effects of Laser Light on the Eye
Laser light of sufficient intensity and exposure time can cause irreversible damage to the eye. Laser effects are thermal or photochemical and dictated by the laser photon wavelength, exposure time and mode of operation (i.e. whether the laser is functioning in pulsed or continuous wave mode).

Sitting At Your Desk- Tips to a Healthy Workstation
A significant percentage of employees at Tufts may spend a large portion of their days sitting at the workstation they got when they first arrived at the University. One of my responsibilities in my position is to conduct New Employee Orientation on a by-weekly basis on the Medford Campus.

Protecting the Public Health at Tufts
For many students and some faculty and staff, Tufts University is a place to live. For these individuals, the term Tufts community means a place to sleep, eat, engage in recreational activities and in general be part of neighborhood.

Fire Safety at Tufts University: An Overview
In August 2012, I was honored to begin my new career as the next Fire Marshal/Fire Prevention Officer for Tufts University. In preparing a ‘game plan’ for (my vision) of the direction of the university’s fire safety program, I set out on a quest to learn: (a) where we (Tufts Fire Safety Office [FSO]) currently are in our programs and policies; (b) where we need to be – at a minimum (to satisfy mandates and standards); and (c) where we should strive to be – in terms of seeking excellence beyond ‘minimum requirements’ in the world of fire and life safety.

 

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