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zxc Vol 3 Issue #6 JUNE, 2011

Risk Management has MOVED

For the last several years Environmental Health & Safety has taken over the operations of insurance and risk management, but as of June 1st Risk Management has moved. The office of Risk Management is now part of the Department of Strategic Security & Safety.

Many of you know our Risk Manager, Eutopia Johnson, who started with KSU in November. Well, she is still here at KSU only she is now located in building 14 Office Annex rm 104. You can still reach her at 678-797-2460 or via email.

Please keep in mind that only the Risk Manager portion of EHS has moved. For all other Environmental Health and/or Safety concerns please feel free to contact our office at 770-499-3321 or via email.

The staff at EHS would like to thank Eutopia for all of her hard work in her role as Risk Manager. We look forward to offering our continued support, however possible, to both Eutopia and the rest of the staff in the SSS department.


Required Reporting and Training

The Board of Regents Business Procedures Manual Section 20.4.7 RTK Chemical Inventories Report states:  This report is a complete chemical inventory from each USG institution.

Submit to: Environmental Health and Safety Program Manager, Facilities via mail, fax or email.

Submission Date (s): Semi-annually, January 1st and July 1st.

At KSU, we have chosen to use the Chematix chemical inventory system to keep up with all of the chemicals and products that we use.  Twice a year the Principal Investigator or Supervisor is responsible for updating or reconciling his/her inventory.  This year, the reconciliation is due by June 24th so that the report can be prepared and sent to BOR by June 30th.  

Any chemical or product that presents a physical, environmental or health hazard should be listed in the inventory.  We employ MSDSonline to ensure that we have all of the material safety data sheets (MSDSs) available for anyone to view whenever necessary. 

All faculty and staff are required to have initial RTK training as well as annual refreshers.  You can access the basic training online and the chemical specific training or visit our web site to access both.

Please email Vanessa Biggers, Chemical Safety Manager, or call 678-797-2415 if you need help completing your inventory.  We will be happy to assist you with this important task. 



EHS - General

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

Campus Emergency

Dial - 6666


Executive Director

Mr. Gerald Donaldson, REM

Chemical Safety Manager

Ms. Vanessa Biggers

Environmental Manager

Mr. Stephen Ndiritu, MS

Operations Coordinator


Administrative Associate

Ms. Natalie Higgins, BS

Student Assistant

Ms. Leslie Davis

Student Assistant

Miss Brittany Rhoades

Work Study

Mr. David Harrell





Environmental Health & Safety department strives to provide employees with a safe work environment, develop a safety consciousness amongst employees and others engaged in work for KSU to reduce hazards associated with its operations. EHS has achieved a high level of success while working within this framework and listed below are areas in which significant contributions and/or recognition has been ascertained;

  • DOAS acknowledgement for Best Work Practices for 15% reduction in Worker’s Compensations Claims 2005-2010
  • Recognized by the Board of Regents for Outstanding EHS Operations- EPA Audit March 2011
  • Stephen Ndiritu, Environmental Manager, passing the Certified Industrial Hygiene (CIH) comprehensive examination (there are only 6 CIHs in the USG).
  • $110,000 reduction in DOAS insurance premiums FY12
  • Vanessa Biggers, Chemical Safety Manager, has earned the status of Advanced Leader Bronze, and Advanced Communicator Silver (Toastmasters)
  • Recognized for Indoor  Environmental Quality  project in Prillaman Hall at the National Certified Industrial Hygienist Conference in Portland, OR
  • Vanessa Biggers, Chemical Safety Manager, will be serving as Kennesaw State University Staff Senate Executive Board Treasurer from July 2011 - June 2012.

The success of the University's environmental health and safety efforts depend on all of us working together and accepting personal responsibility for our safety and the safety of those with whom we work. No job is so important and no service so urgent that we cannot take time to perform our work safely.  The spirit of cooperation among all EHS staff members involved in day-to-day operations illustrates our continued commitment to providing the highest level of service and regulatory guidance to the campus community at large.

See you around campus!
Gerald C. Donaldson, REM
Executive Director-EHS



What Would You Do if You Saw a Tornado Approaching?

In the last couple of months we have witnessed, with horror, the devastating destruction and loss of life violent weather phenomenon such as tornadoes can unleash on a community. There is little to nothing we can do to stop natural disasters from happening. However, with proper disaster preparedness and response, we can minimize the impact of such disasters, particularly loss of lives.
A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. The whirling wind can reach speeds of 250 miles per hour or more. Tornadoes are among the most unpredictable of weather phenomena and can occur almost anywhere in the world. Damage paths of a tornado can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. In the United States, an average tornado is around 500 feet (150 m) across, and stays on the ground for 5 miles (8 km). According to FEMA, tornadoes can occur in any state in the US but are more frequent in Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest. Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., but they can occur at any time of the day and any time of the year.
Most tornadoes do not result in death and the majority of those that do claim only a few lives. In the United States, tornadoes kill an average of 60 people each year and injure about 20 times as many people. Improved forecasting and early warning systems have resulted in a significant drop in tornadoe related death tolls over the years, despite increasing populations in tornado-prone areas. However, the recent tornado outbreaks have been an exemption to this widely held view. The April 27 tornado outbreak was among the most prolific and destructive tornado days in United States history. At least 344 people are estimated to have lost their lives as a result of the outbreak.

How can you protect yourself?

The National Weather Service and the American Red Cross have developed a joint guideline on Tornado safety. According to the joint statement:

  • Preparedness and quick action when conditions are right for tornadoes to develop - like during a severe thunderstorm warning or tornado watch is very critical.
  • Preparedness begins by identifying a safe location well in advance of any severe weather and having a way to get weather alerts wherever you are, such as from a NOAA weather radio.
  • When a watch or warning is broadcast, you should already have a plan on what to do and where to go. You should take action immediately and never wait until you actually see a tornado.
  • When a tornado warning is issued, immediate action is required.
  • The best options are to go to an underground shelter, basement or safe room.
  • If no underground shelter or safe room is available, the safest alternative is a small windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building, such as an interior bathroom.
  • If you are a resident of mobile homes you should go to the nearest sturdy building or shelter if a tornado threatens.
  • If you are caught outdoors, you should seek shelter in a basement, shelter or sturdy building. If you cannot quickly walk to a shelter:
  • Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter.
  • If flying debris occurs while you are driving, pull over and park. Now you have the following options as a last resort:
    • Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, covering with your hands and a blanket if possible.
    • If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.
  • Your choice should be driven by your specific circumstances.
  • If you find yourself outside or in a car with a tornado approaching and you are unable to get to a safe shelter, you are at risk from a number of things outside your control, such as the strength and path of the tornado and debris from your surroundings. This is the case whether you stay in your car or seek shelter in a depression or ditch, both of which are considered last resort options that provide little protection. The safest place to be is in an underground shelter, basement or safe room.



EHS Would like to remind you the hot

summer sun can be DANGEROUS.





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