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Vol 1 Issue #13 February, 2010

Top Environmental Issues of the Decade, 2000-2009

The environment tends to be something that we do not often think about in everyday thought. It does however affect many aspects of our lives. This can range from natural disasters such as floods, which we have all recently seen the effects of, to simple climate changes. For a few moments of interesting and educational reading please visit and see what Larry West has to say about the environment in the 21st century.





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

Environmental Manager

Mr. Stephen Ndiritu, MS

Operations Coordinator

Mr. Lionel Elder

Administrative Associate

Ms. Tami Talton

Student Assistant

Ms. Leslie Burch

Student Assistant

Miss Kimberly Helms

Student Assistant

Ms. Hollie Means



Automobile Refueling Fire Hazard

The Petroleum Equipment Institute has launched a public information program, "STOP THE STATIC CAMPAIGN," to increase awareness of fires that result from static electricity while refueling. While filling up their vehicles with gasoline, many motorists return to their cars for various reasons. When they slide out of the car a static charge is generated. Then, when they touch the nozzle, a spark can ignite the fuel vapors around the nozzle.

The Institute has documented more than 150 incidents of static ignition at the fuel pump nationwide. With an estimated 18 billion refuelings a year, it is estimated that there are hundreds of unreported incidents. All motorists should be aware of the potential that re-entering their car will create static electricity that can cause a fire. If you absolutely have to get in your vehicle while the gas is pumping, make sure you get out, close the door touching the metal, before you pull the nozzle out. This way the static from your body will be discharged before you ever remove the nozzle. Please share this information with ALL your colleagues, family and friends, especially those who have kids in the car with them while pumping gas.

Please consider the following safety tips:

  • Do not allow children to refuel a vehicle or container
  • Do not have unsupervised children in the vehicle
  • Refuel vehicles slowly until you have at least one fourth to one half tank full
  • Refuel all containers slowly
  • Keep the nozzle in contact with the container or vehicle at all times during refueling
  • Each time you exit the vehicle or approach the fuel dispensing pump, discharge your static by touching the metal parts of the car or pump (away from the nozzle area)
  • Do not use the auto-latch feature of a nozzle if available. Stay there with your hand on the nozzle
  • Do not get back in the vehicle during refueling

You can find out more information by going to once here, click in the center of the screen where it says "Stop Static".

See you around campus!rerfueling

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





Accident Investigation

Good accident/incident investigation must be an essential part ofany safety/risk management program. The unexpected actions of people, equipment, supplies, or surroundings cause most accidents.  Accident investigations determine how and why these unexpected actions occur.  They should be conducted with accident prevention in mind, not to place blame.  A detailed investigation of most accidents will normally reveal two causes of accidents: surface causes and root causes.

  • Surface causes are the hazardous conditions or unsafe work practices that directly or indirectly contribute to the accident.
  • Root causes are the system weaknesses or failures (policies/procedures/practices) that allow the existence of hazardous conditions and unsafe work practices.

An employee slips and falls due to oil on the floor; the oil is the surface cause.  The root cause may be a leaky forklift hydraulic line due to lack of maintenance.  The key word here is “Details.”  A good investigator will gather as many details as possible, as soon as safely possible.  You want to record your details before something changes or gets moved.

Priorities for incident investigation:

  • The first concern is the injured party.  If they need extrication from a piece of equipment, do not be concerned about saving “evidence”.  Get the person out and then to treatment.  Report the injury according to your agency’s procedures.
  • Second, secure the accident scene.  The area should remain intact until the investigation is complete.  Keep other employees and/or spectators away from the area, especially if there is blood or other bodily fluids.
  • Identify any witnesses.  Even if what they saw was minimal, take their statement.  Many witnesses think they didn’t see much, but when all statements are assembled the puzzle comes together.  Obtain statements immediately. Don’t wait until the end of the shift! Witnesses should be kept separated until they write their statement.  If witnesses “compare” notes, their observations can be affected, like reporting things they didn’t really see.  Ask them to give as much detail as possible.
  • Document.  If you can get access to a camera, now is a good time to take pictures.  The first two should both be at different angles and from a distance of about 20 to 30 feet away and then come in for detailed photos. It is better to have too many than not enough.  Determine the chain of events that lead to the incident.  Determine the “Root Cause”.  Complete the report write up.

THE PAYOFF - developing “Corrective Actions” that will prevent future similar incidents.  Communicate your findings to your entire organization.  In this day and age there is simply no reason to repeat the same mistakes.

If you have any questions or need any further information please contact Karmen Binion at 678-797-2460.

DOAS Risk Management Services Division Loss Control Office





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