EHS Says Welcome Back
The staff here at EHS would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and welcome you all back to another promising semester at KSU. Remember to stay warm, stay safe, and stay healthy.
From your friends at EHS.
2012 Health & Safety Training
Starting this month, EHS will be rolling an aggressive environmental health and safety training initiative to ensure that all KSU employees working with certain hazards are well informed about job hazards and are knowledgeable on how to perform their jobs safely. The training initiative is an enhancement of our existing safety
program and will involve a mix of both computer-based learning, classroom sessions and, in some instances, hands-on training and evaluation. Employees, in designated departments will be required to complete certain courses appropriate to their job duties. The courses being offered include:
- Asbestos Awareness
- Back Safety
- Bloodborne Pathogens
- Chemical Handling Safety
- Compressed Gases: Safe handling
- Confined Space Entry
- Electrical Safety
- Fire Safety
- Forklift Safety
- Grounds keeping Safety
- Hazard Communication
- Hearing Protection
- Heat Stress
- Lab Safety
- Machine Guarding
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Use of Fire Extinguisher
- Golf and Utility Cart Safety
- Defensive Driving Safety
The web-based training is delivered through our online safety training portal which can be accessed through the EHS website. Be on the lookout for email notifications requiring you to log-in to the online training portal to take the training. Once you log-in, you will see a listing of all courses assigned to you. You are required to take all the courses listed in your account within the specified period of time. Classroom training will be scheduled through the Center for University Learning. To attend any of the classroom courses, please register online at: https://computertrain.kennesaw.edu when the course is announced. If you have any questions regarding safety training, please contact Stephen Ndiritu at 678-797-2410.
Welcome To the Team
EHS would like to give a shout out to the newest member of our team. Michael Morales has joined EHS in the position of Work Study Student Assistant.
Michael is a Junior here at KSU, and is currently focused on receiving his Bachelor's Degree in Business Management.
We would like to wish Michael the best of luck on his scholastic ventures while we welcome him into the family here at EHS.
New EPA Rule Aims to Strengthen Chemical Reporting
In an effort to better identify risks to public health and the environment, EPA recently published the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) Rule that will require chemical manufacturers to report more information about their chemicals.
The rule requires more frequent reporting of critical information on chemicals and requires the submission of new and updated information relating to potential chemical exposures, current production volume, manufacturing site-related data and processing and use-related data for a larger number of chemicals. According to EPA, this information will help the agency better identify and manage risks associated with chemicals.
This new rule provides aide to us in our ongoing quest to ensure that our students, faculty and staff have access to the most relevant information available. Chemical Safety is a core value that the campus community has embraced. Chemical related information is available via MSDS forms. A link to these forms, for materials used at Kennesaw State University (KSU), is available on our website. Please contact EHS if you have any questions regarding chemical safety or any other compliance matter.
See you around campus!
Gerald C. Donaldson, REM
As universities grow, it is inevitable that new programs are started or expanded. One such area is the area of biohazardous research. Biohazardous research is research that deals with materials of biological origin that have the capacity to produce hazardous effects on humans or animals. Biohazards can be bacterial, viral, parasitic or fungal. There are advantages to studying these structures in an effort to understand and possibly eliminate human illness and disease. In order to do so, the researcher must understand the risk and take precautions to protect himself and his environment.
The Centers for Disease Control define biohazard materials as “infectious agents or hazardous biologic materials that present a risk or potential risk to the health of humans, animals, or the environment. The risk can be direct through infection or indirect through damage to the environment. Biohazardous materials include certain types of recombinant DNA, organisms and viruses infectious to humans, animals, or plants (e.g., parasites, viruses, bacteria, fungi, prions, and rickettsia), and biologically active agents (e.g., toxins, allergens, and venoms) that can cause disease in other living organisms or cause significant impact to the environment or community.”
There are 4 levels of safety in the biological world. The risk is greater as the number increases. Therefore, biosafety level 1 (BSL1) is appropriate for work with organisms that are not known to cause diseases. Biosafety level 2 (BLS2) represents work with organisms which cause a modest risk, such as the virus that causes the common cold. Biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) is the designation for work with organisms which cause serious disease but for which vaccines or antibiotics are available, such as rabies or Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Biosafety level 4 (BSL4) is reserved for work with organisms that pose a high risk of transmission of life-threatening disease and for which no vaccines or antibiotics are available.
Currently, KSU conducts research requiring a BSL2. Perhaps one day a higher level of research will be conducted which will require even more safety precautions. EHS is working to be in a position to assist in that transition if and when it occurs. If you have questions or comments, please contact Chemical Safety Manager, Vanessa Biggers via email or by phone at 678-797-2415.
Mold and Your Health
Mold can be found anywhere where moisture is present. It can be found on surfaces and in the air either indoors or outdoors. It is important to learn what mold is, where mold can be found, its harmful effects to your health, and how to prevent exposure to mold for the sake of the health of our campus community.
Mold is a fungus that can be found in the air or on surfaces indoors and outdoors. Mold grows best in warm, damp, humid, and moist conditions and spreads throughout our environment by reproducing spores. Mold can enter into homes and buildings through open doorways, windows, vents, heating/air conditioning systems, and can be carried indoors by attaching itself to your clothing, shoes, bags, and pets. Mold can also be found around areas where there have been issues with flooding and leaks.
Exposure to mold (damp, warm, and moist environments) can cause many health issues, especially to those who are sensitive to molds, which include: individuals with allergies/asthma, compromised immune systems, and chronic/obstructive lung disease. For these people, mold can cause skin and eye irritation, nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing, and wheezing.
To prevent these health effects and the production of mold, follow these steps:
- Keep humidity levels in your home between 40% - 60%. Use an air-conditioner, dehumidifier, and ventilation systems especially during damp and humid months and in damp areas (such as the basement) in your house or building.
- Be sure your home has enough ventilation. Utilize exhaust fans that vent outside your building or house.
- Promptly fix any leaky roofs, walls, or plumbing in your home or building.
- Clean up and dry your home thoroughly (within 24-48 hours) after flooding.
- Remove and replace any carpet and upholstery that has been damaged by water and cannot be dried promptly.
- If you spot small areas of mold on surfaces in your home or building, please remove with EPA-approved cleaning products/mold removal and inhibiting products.
For further information regarding mold please visit the CDC and EPA websites. You can also feel free to email EHS or call 770-499-3321 if you have any further questions or concerns
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Safety Tips for Winter Driving
During the winter months we can experience a variety of adverse weather conditions including snow, ice, sleet, rain, and fog. The best tips for driving in these conditions are to:
- Avoid getting out on the road in these conditions if at all possible. If you have no other choice but to travel in such conditions allow yourself extra time to get to your destination.
- Wait until snow plows or sanding trucks have completed their work on the roadways. If raining wait until the rain has slowed down or stopped and wait until any fog has lifted/cleared.
- Get familiar with your car and how it handles in icy conditions, snow, rain, fog, or sleet. Familiarize yourself with the gauges, instrument panel, and inspection/maintenance schedule of your vehicle to make sure it is working properly before driving in such conditions.
Please visit the National Safety Council (NSC) website for any additional tips on driving in snow, ice, sleet, rain, or fog. Make sure to plan your commutes and prepare for any weather events or conditions by tuning in to your local news stations or by visiting http://www.weather.com/ . For any additional questions or concerns, please email EHS or call us at 770-499-3321.