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Vol 1 Issue #17 June, 2010

Upcoming EHS Training Classes

Storm Water Management--July 14th 2010 1:00 – 4:00

Please contact Lionel Elder for further information on locations and how to register.




Emergency Safety Shower and Eyewash Stations

When you think about working in a laboratory, studio or shop where chemical, biological or mechanical hazards are present, your thought process should take you to the thought of “What will happen if…”.  What will happen if my experiment blows up?  What will happen if I drop my paint and it splatters  in my face?  What will happen if a piece of metal or wood comes off of the saw and hits my eye or my coworker’s eyes?

The reason that you have emergency safety showers and eyewash stations in your laboratories and shop areas is to allow you to wash contaminants off your body and out of your eyes.  When you have been exposed to something, the first thing you think about is that you need to get this stuff off of you.  It seems simple.  But what if you go to the eyewash station and the water doesn’t come out? 

One of our responsibilities is to check emergency safety shower and eyewash stations around campus to ensure that they are working properly. An eyewash close to a sink is easy for the user to check and should be done once a week. Emergency shower/eyewash combinations are a little more difficult to check. Look for the tag attached to the pipe.  Please email us if there isn’t a tag or if the unit hasn’t been checked in the last year.

A properly operating emergency shower will have a flow rate of 20 gallons per minute at 30 pounds per square inch.  An eyewash should have a flow rate of 0.4 gallons per minute for 15 minutes at 30 pounds per square inch. That’s a lot of water, but that’s what it will take to minimize the damage should you ever come in contact with certain hazards in the workplace.

One more thing – if you are dowsed with a chemical and your clothes are soaked, you will need to remove them on the way to the shower.  Yell for help.  Someone will show up with a lab coat for you to put on after your shower or an extra pair of clothes that you have in your locker.  Throw modesty out of the window, because a few minutes in the shower in your skivvies could very easily make the difference between first, second and third degree burns! 

Please don’t hesitate to contact Vanessa Keel Biggers by email or phone at 678-797-2415 with questions or concerns about emergency safety showers and eyewash stations.




EHS&RM - General

Tel: 770-499-3321
Fax: 770-420-4363

Campus Emergency

Dial - 6666


Executive Director

Mr. Gerald Donaldson, REM

Risk Manager

Ms. Karmen Binion, MPA

Chemical Safety Manager

Ms. Vanessa Keel Biggers

Environmental Manager

Mr. Stephen Ndiritu, MS

Operations Coordinator

Mr. Lionel Elder

Administrative Associate

Ms. Mary Ann Smith

Student Assistant

Ms. Leslie Burch

Student Assistant

Miss Kimberly Helms

Work Study

Mr. David Harrell

Student Intern

Mr. Greg Windle


Guidance for Responding To

Unannounced Regulatory Inspections


Agents from government regulatory agencies may show up at your doorstep on campus without prior notification. Should inspectors from any local (Cobb County), state (GA-EPD, GA-DOL), or federal governmental agencies (EPA, Department of Transportation, Drug Enforcement Administration) appear in your department offices or laboratories and ask to conduct an inspection or review documents, please do the following:

  1. Be courteous.  Kennesaw State University fully cooperates with all regulatory officials while maintaining our rights to ensure inspections are lawful and to have agency officials accompanied by appropriate University representatives. Request that the inspectors refrain from conducting their inspection until you contact a University representative/official who can be present at the inspection.  You can politely state that you do not have authority to authorize an inspection and that you will contact the appropriate university officials who can provide the necessary consent. You won't be considered rude or uncooperative if you ask them to wait. Typically, someone will arrive to accompany the investigators within 15 to 30 minutes.  If there is break room or waiting area nearby, ask the inspectors to wait there, preferably accompanied by a department representative.
  2. Call the University EHS&RM office: (770) 499-3321, identify yourself and your location, and inform the attendant that inspectors from a regulatory agency (specify which one) are in your department and you are calling to request EHS&RM send a representative to accompany them on their inspection. 
  3. Refrain from answering any specific questions until someone from the Environmental Health, Safety & Risk Management office arrives.  Most important, do not speculate.  Be strictly factual in any information you provide.  It is acceptable to say that you do not know the answer to a question, but will forward it to the appropriate person for a response.
  4. If the inspectors are not willing to wait to begin the inspection or search, do the following:
  • Request identification from the inspectors or get their business cards.  Call the number on the card to verify that the person is an employee of the organization noted on the business card.
  • Alert someone in your department to call EHS&RM (contact numbers above) to inform them that the inspection is taking place without University officials present.
  • Ask if they will be conducting a general inspection or are responding to a specific issue.
  • Accompany them and take notes concerning what is searched or reviewed, and what is taken. 
  • Write down any questions that they ask, including searching for items that are not located. 
  • You have the right to speak or to not speak to the inspectors.  
  • Do not interfere with the search or inspection.  

Please contact EHS&RM at (770) 499-3321 if you have any questions. Your attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.

See you around campus!

Gerald C. Donaldson, REM
Executive Director-EHSS&RM


Safety Issues while Working Outdoors

There are several factors to consider when working outdoors during the Georgia summers, such as heat stress, biological hazards, skin protection and visibility when working near roadways. Hot conditions put your body under a lot of stress; physical activity stresses the body even more. When heat is combined with physical activity, loss of fluids, fatigue, and other conditions can lead to a number of heat-related illnesses and injuries. Death is even possible.  Heat stress is commonly associated with warm weather. Be alert for conditions which could cause heat stress and take precautions. Adjusting to these factors and/or controlling them reduce the chance of heat stress. Six main factors are involved in causing heat stress:



Movement of Air

Radiant Temperature of the Surroundings


Physical Activity

Your body can adjust to working in a warm environment through a process known as "acclimatization." Keep in mind, though, even if you're already acclimatized, conditions can change which stress your body even more. Bright sunshine, high humidity, and sources of heat in the workplace can affect your body's ability to cool itself. If conditions change, make sure you re-acclimate yourself to the new conditions. Common-sense precautions, such as dressing properly for the job, include:

  • wearing lightweight clothing which allows moisture to evaporate quickly.

  • using extra caution if you are required to wear clothing on the job which limits evaporation--you could succumb to heat stress much more quickly.

There are a number of types of heat stress injuries. Some are annoying but not very serious. Others can quickly lead to life-threatening situations. Knowing what to look out for is important. This is especially true because the more serious heat stress conditions cause the victim to become disoriented and unaware of their condition. People who are overweight, physically unfit, suffer from heart conditions, drink too much alcohol or are not acclimated to the temperature are at greater risk of heat stress and should seek and follow medical advice. The major heat stress injuries and illnesses are: Heat Rash, Heat Cramps, Heat Syncope, Heat Exhaustion, and Heat Stroke.  See web links for more information.

Heat Stress Warning Signs - Warning signs of heat exhaustion are heavy perspiration, fatigue and weakness, muscle and body ache, headache, nausea, rapid heartbeat, confusion, loss of consciousness, and vomiting, with or without loss of consciousness.The Importance of Heat Stress Training - Education of employees is the most critical element in reducing heat stress-related accidents in the workplace. Many workers and supervisors feel the need to "get the job done" in the toughest situations. When they do not take into account the effects that heat stress can have on the body, dangerous events can take place.

Visibility – TRAFFIC – If your job takes you anywhere around traffic; visibility is crucial. Wear brightly colored clothes, preferably day-glow articles. Bright orange vests are very inexpensive and readily available. Day-glow hats and gloves are also good choices. 

Biological Hazards Mosquitoes, ticks, fire ants, snakes, and poisonous plants are other issues that must be addressed when working outdoors.  Most of us have some experience with these hazards; use that experience and take precautions.

And last, don't forget about protection from the sun itself. Skin Cancer is a growing concern in today's world, but is easily protected against. Apply a good sunscreen any time you are going to be exposed to the elements for a long period of time, even on cloudy days. This simple procedure can save a lot of grief as you get older. Also, don't forget your eyes. Wear adequate UV protection in the form of a quality pair of sunglasses. 

Thanks for your time.  Let’s work together to make Georgia a safer place to work. This article is courtesy of DOAS.  Contact Karmen Binion in EHS&RM by email or call (678) 797-2460 for additional information.


What Triggers Your Asthma?

Asthma is a serious, sometimes life-threatening respiratory disease that affects the quality of life for millions of Americans. Asthma has no cure but can be controlled through medical treatment and management of environmental triggers. Indoor and outdoor environmental factors can cause, trigger, or exacerbate asthma symptoms. According to EPA, Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors where indoor allergens and irritants can play a significant role in triggering asthma attacks. Learn more about environmental asthma triggers found in the indoor and outdoor environment and what you can do to reduce their impact. You might be surprised by the list of common factors and how simple it can be to eliminate them from your environment.


A comfortable workstation is a Happy Workstation

A note from your friends here at EHS&RM to let you know the components of a comfortable workstation. This will assist with your workstation posture.


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