Twelve CASNR laboratories spotlighted in latest Texas Tech EH&S Safety Survey
Recently 62 laboratories within Texas Tech's College of Agriculture Sciences and Natural Resources were surveyed by Tech's Environmental Health and Safety Department. The surveys are conducted at least two times a year to ensure the labs are in compliance with university and federal guidelines for lab safety.
Twelve CASNR labs came back with outstanding results. "Within CASNR, we have a large diversity among research goals, and therefore, a large diversity in the types of labs that our students, faculty, and staff are working in, said CASNR Safety Coordinator Amy Parks. "To have 12 labs surveyed with no findings and the other 50 labs to have minor outages on the day of inspection that shows the dedication to safety among those working in the particular labs."
The laboratories receiving top honors were:
- Chance Brooks & Mark Miller (AFS)
- Brad Johnson (AFS)
- John McGlone (AFS)
- Leslie Thompson (AFS)
- Reynaldo Patino (NRM)
- Allison Pease (NRM)
- Noureddine Abidi (PSS)
- Jyotsna Sharma (PSS)
- Robert Wright (PSS)
Parks explained that during the Environmental Health and Safety Department surveys, labs are inspected in areas such as general lab safety, personal protection, work practices, chemical handling and storage safety, and biological safety as well as several other areas of interest.
The principal investigators within CASNR, along with their students and staff are responsible for implementing and maintaining safety standards consistent with university and federal guidelines as well as meet specific training requirements. In addition, it is their responsibility to maintain a safe work environment and ensure all biological, chemical, and occupation hazards are managed appropriately. Those working in the lab should be aware of these potential hazards and practice appropriate lab techniques as they are working.
During the most recent Environmental Health and Safety Department surveys, 12 CASNR labs had no findings on the day of the inspection. That means that these labs were in compliance and were not found to have any outages as related to the lab environment or those working in the labs. This is a very important piece in developing a strong safety culture within CASNR, Parks said.
Safety is not just a set of guidelines or a specific action, but a behavior which requires everyone to work together, Parks stressed. "Our goal is to reduce the number of findings on the next EH&S surveys by 50 percent," she said. "We have identified a couple of key areas that we will be focusing on in the upcoming months to help us reach our goal."
Looking ahead, Parks said she will be working to update the CASNR safety website to provide more information about these areas and how faculty and staff can enhance safety behaviors and awareness in the laboratory.
Written by Norman Martin
CONTACT: Michael Galyean, Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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