Texas Tech University

Safety Plan

Department Chair's Statement

Texas Tech University's Department of Industrial, Manufacturing, and Systems Engineering is committed to promoting a safe and secure environment for students, faculty, and staff. Our effectiveness in providing this environment depends on the involvement of our faculty, staff, and students in identifying risks and aiding in developing plans and programs to minimize or eliminate these risks. This policy is in accordance with general safety Operating Procedures (OPs) of Texas Tech University. University general safety OPs have been identified and referenced in this policy. This policy will be reviewed and changes implemented, if necessary, in March of even−numbered years.

To create a safe environment, we believe the following guiding principles are essential:

  • Proactive safety−related risk identification, assessment and management, as well as safety risk elimination, reduction, avoidance, and mitigation, are of the highest priority to individuals, departments, and the university.
  • Policies and programs related to safety will be comprehensive, coordinated, and integrated into all aspects of our program.
  • Timely and effective responses to safety−related incidents are a key objective. Conditions or incidents will be thoroughly investigated and reviewed, with remediation as a primary objective.

The department technician (Safety Coordinator) has responsibility for managing this program, and is a member of our Safety and Security Committee (SSC). This committee has primary responsibility to prevent and control the impact of accidents and incidents involving faculty, staff, students, and the environment.

All department employees (faculty, staff, teaching assistants, research assistants, and student assistants) have the responsibility to assure compliance with our policies and procedures. This includes promoting sound practices and good housekeeping, developing safe habits, being familiar with hazards present in their work area, following all procedures and rules, and contacting their supervisor or SSC members whenever a potential hazard is recognized.

With full cooperation at every level, the department can continue to maintain a safe and healthy work environment while minimizing injury and illness to employees, students, and faculty.

Bryan A. Norman, Ph.D. Professor and Department Chair Department of Industrial, Manufacturing, and Systems Engineering Texas Tech University


This manual provides guidance on safety in the conduct of coursework and research in the Department of Industrial identify risks Engineering. It applies equally to academic staff, technical, and other non−teaching staff, research workers, and students. It also applies to persons who are not members of the University, but who are present with permission in the rooms or laboratories of the Department of Industrial identify risks Engineering.

It is the policy of the Department of Industrial identify risks Engineering, as far as is reasonably practical, to:

  • Provide a safe place of work for staff and students
  • Ensure the health and safety of all employees about the use, handling, storage, and transport of articles and substances
  • Provide and environment which safeguards the welfare of employees and students
  • Provide training, instructions, information, and supervision as necessary
  • Promote the personal responsibility by all employees to avoid and prevent health hazards and injuries to themselves and others who may be affected by their acts or omissions
  • Ensure that staff and students are aware of their obligation to cooperate with department and university policies

To achieve this, we must ensure, as far as is reasonably practical, that:

  • Work is carried out under relevant legislation and University policy
  • Personal protective equipment is available and used when required
  • Risk assessments are carried out for all hazardous work
  • Training has been provided to all employees
  • Accidents and dangerous events are reported, investigated, and action taken to prevent recurrence
  • Inspections of the building are carried out regularly

Department Head Duties & Responsibilities

  • Advise staff of existence of any potential hazards to health and safety
  • Provide staff in the department with proper training and written instructions on proper safety procedures
  • Ensure use of appropriate personal protective equipment
  • Ensure staff and students follow the set rules, policies, and procedures
  • Introduce and maintain systems and measures to identify, monitor, and control risks
  • Keep appropriate records to show compliance with required regulations
  • Provide proper supervision of all staff and students

Safety Office Duties & Responsibilities

  • Main communication link between the department and TTU's Environmental, Safety, & Health (EH&S) office
  • Inspect the workplace
  • Circulate the material received from EH&S
  • Respond to reports of unsafe conditions
  • Ensure deficiencies are corrected
  • Ensure the SSC is informed, if needed, to investigate accidents or unsafe conditions
  • Accompany staff from EH&S during their site visits
  • Keep Department Chair informed of all issues
  • Workers Compensation Accident Information − forward to EH&S
  • Ensure staff in the department receive any needed information about:
    • Fire Safety
    • Chemical Safety
    • Mandatory Training
    • Biohazard Safety
    • Radiation Safety
  • Manage all documentation related to environmental, safety, and health issues

Instructor Duties & Responsibilities

  • Safety practices of subordinates and students under their direction
  • Knowing and enforcing safety regulations within their area
  • Considering safe procedures when making operational, research, academic, or management decisions
  • Stressing safety to subordinates under their direction
  • Safety training for specific job or tasks

Staff, Student, and Visitor Duties & Responsibilities

  • Watching for hazards, reporting them to the designated responsible person of the work area, and helping to fix hazards
  • Personally taking action to avoid, eliminate, or minimize risks
  • Following safe work methods and use of personal protective equipment as required
  • Ensure that people working nearby are not at risk from your activity
  • Seeking information or advice as necessary, particularly before carrying out new or unfamiliar tasks
  • Reporting accidents and incidents to the supervisor of the work area
  • Disposing of any hazardous wastes in a safe and approved manner
  • Not willfully placing at risk the health, safety, and welfare of others

Department Safety & Security Committee (SSC) Duties & Responsibilities

The SSC serves as an advisory committee concerned with safety, health, and environmental protection. From its meetings, recommendations are made for addressing hazards and improving safety. The safety committee meets on a regular basis, although special sessions will be called if necessary.

Membership of the SSC will consist of a(n):

  • Safety Officer
  • Ergonomics Laboratory Representative
  • Manufacturing Laboratory Representative
  • At−Large Department Representative
  • Student Representative

Members, and the committee's chair, will be appointed by the department chair.

Safety policy is kept up−to−date by issuing new or revised safety documents. The Departmental Safety Committee meets two to three times a year; the minutes are distributed by email to all faculty.

All individuals shall protect their own health and safety by complying with established regulations and standards, using safe practices and procedures established by the department and the university. Employees and students must report any health hazards and unsafe conditions or practices to the SSC for corrective action. The SSC is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the building environment, including teaching and research sites, are safe and that any risks, hazards, and safety violations drawn to their attention are investigated and corrected quickly.



TTU EH&S (Environmental Health & Safety) has copies of accident reporting forms, MS 1090, and can assist the department in filling them out. The forms are as follows:

  1. Employer' First Report of Injury/Illness − TWCC−1S (accident involving lost time or medical costs) − Supervisor, Chair
  2. Witness Statement − WCD−74 − Witness(es)
  3. Employee's Election Regarding Utilization of Sick Leave − C−80 − Employee
  4. Employee's Report of Injury − WCD−29 − Employee
  5. Authorization for Release of Information − 24−016−C − Employee
  6. Supplemental Report of Injury/Illness − TWCC−6 − Employee
  7. Supervisor's Investigation of Employee's Accident/Incident − AGS−10−91/TWCC−121 − Supervisor, Chair
  8. Accident Report for University Vehicles − MS 1101 & 2−3841 − Contracting & Risk Management
  9. Incident Report Form − to EH&S for incident & near−miss − no lost time & no medical cost injury
  10. Hazard Report Form − to EH&S


Accident investigations will be conducted at the discretion of TTU EH&S. If an investigation is deemed necessary, TTU EH&S established procedure will be followed; the department will assist as directed.

Periodic Workplace Surveys

The department safety coordinator and chair will participate in the bi−annual workplace surveys and visits by TTU EH&S. Activities on the visit may include, but are not limited to: environmental measurements, hazard communication program review, and walk−through of facilities for identification of hazards. During these safety surveys, recommendations for reducing hazards will be presented orally and a memorandum will be sent to the chair with copies to the safety coordinator and the SSC.

Safety Activity Reporting

The department will complete a TTU Department Safety Activity Report (SAR−93) annually in accordance with OP 78.29 to TTU EH&S by September 15, to report data for the previous fiscal year.

Hazard Communication Program

The Texas Hazard Communication Act (THCA) requires that all employees who work in non−exempt areas be informed about chemical hazards in their workplace by container labeling, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), and training. Areas which are exempt have been informed of this fact in writing by EH&S. The department is not exempt.

To comply with the THCA, the following actions have been taken:

  1. The supervisor/safety coordinator has enabled a Hazard Communication Program, which is accessible to employees on all work shifts. The department semi−annually:
    • Updates employees at faculty and staff meetings
    • Within the first week of employment, briefs new employees
    • During the first lab session, briefs students
    • During the first research session, briefs research assistants
    • Maintains MSDS notebooks in each respective lab or office area
  2. Ensure that all containers for products containing hazardous chemicals are properly labeled
  3. Ensure that all employees know the university has a centralized collection of MSDS's located in EH&S (MS 1090, 303 Drane Hall). Copies of MSDS's have been requested from EH&S by memorandum to EH&S or to supplier and maintained in a notebook in each respective lab or office area.
  4. Supervisors/safety coordinators must provide the following information and training to all employees working in a non−exempt area:
    • The requirement of the THCA
    • The location and availability of the written Hazard Communication Program
    • The location and availability of MSDS's within the department or work area
    • Identification of chemicals or chemical products present in the workplace operations
    • Physical and health effects of the hazardous chemicals
    • How to use the identified chemical products safely
    • How to read labels and MSDS's to obtain appropriate hazard and safety information
  5. Training must be documented and the documentation kept on file within the department for 3 years.

If non−exempt, the department's hazard communication program must be made available and, if the product introduces a new hazard to the workplace, all employees must receive training on the new hazards before working with the product. All new employees (including students) must be trained before working with any hazardous substances.

Obtaining MSDS'S

MSDS requirements are set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). TTU EH&S will assist the department in determining if the chemical requires a MSDS. The manufacturer or supplier is the first option to provide the MSDS. TTU EH&S will also assist the department in obtaining the required MSDS. Copies of MSDS will be stored in alphabetical order in notebooks in the respective department lab or office area. Original MSDS will be maintained by TTU EH&S.

Interpreting Material Safety Data Sheets

The department's initial and periodic training will review interpreting of MSDS. Specifically:

  1. Identity − The product name used to identify the substance on the MSDS must be the same as on the product label and on your inventory. This section often contains synonyms which may be useful when looking for information in references.
  2. Physical & Chemical Characteristics − This section contains information such as flash point, vapor pressure, appearance, odor, specific gravity, boiling and freezing points, etc. This data can be useful for determining whether vapors from the substance will rise or sink. The odor and appearance information can be used to train workers about how to recognize the presence of a particular substance.
  3. Physical Hazards − Information concerning the potential for fire, explosion, or reaction is found here. The extinguishing agent appropriate for the product will also be given here. Checking this section can tell you whether you have the right extinguisher in your work area. If reactivity data is given, information on what substances are incompatible with the product will normally accompany it.
  4. Health Hazards − This section presents information about the signs and symptoms of over−exposure, acute and chronic health effects, and any medical conditions which might be aggravated by exposure. Please don't interpret this to mean that if you use this product, these will happen to you. The information is given so you will be aware of how you might react to a significant exposure and is usually based on accidental over−exposure or animal studies. The information should be used as an indicator of possible over−exposure or sensitivity.
  5. Primary Routes of Entry − The way the substance may enter or interact with your body is detailed here. This is typically given as ingestion (entry through the mouth), inhalation (entry through the respiratory system), absorption (entry through the skin or eyes), and contact (doesn't enter the body, but damages or irritates the skin or eyes). This information should be used to reinforce administrative controls and work practices such as washing hands after product handling or prohibiting food and drink in areas where hazardous materials are used.
  6. Over−Exposure Limits − OSHA Permissible Over−Exposure Limit (PEL), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV), National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) Recommended Over−Exposure Limit (REL), or other recommended exposure limits will be presented in this section. These values are given in parts−per−million (ppm) or milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3) and are based on an eight−hour time−weighted average (TWA) for a forty−hour workweek. Some sampling and analysis or readings with equipment followed by calculations is necessary to have data to compare with these exposure standards. This function will be performed by EH&S or other personnel with specialized training.
  7. Carcinogenic Effects − This section must disclose information about whether the substance is recognized as a known or suspected carcinogen (cancer−causing agent) by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), or OSHA. Products with carcinogenic ingredients must be handled with extra caution and require written procedures about they will be stored and used.
  8. Handling Data − This section provides information about any special precautions for handling and use. Proper hygiene practices, decontamination procedures, and spill & cleanup actions are all found here.
  9. Control Measures − here you will find data concerning engineering controls, work practices, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment. These requirements are based on worst−case conditions, but must be followed unless EH&S has performed an evaluation and informed you, in writing, that less−stringent controls will be satisfactory.
  10. Emergency & First Aid Procedures − Necessary emergency response and first aid procedures are detailed here. Remember when reading this information that it is assumed the reader has the required training and equipment to perform any emergency response or rescue actions discussed. If you don't, attempting response or rescue will probably just add another victim, so please call for qualified, properly−equipped assistance.
  11. Date of MSDS Preparation − Manufacturers or importers are required to list the date of preparation or date of the last change on the MSDS. Please check these dates if you have more than one copy of an MSDS for a product. The MSDS must cover the period manufacture for the stock of product you have on hand. If the formulation has changed, the hazards may have changed as well.
  12. Manufacturer's Data − This must contain the name, address, and telephone number of someone who can provide more information on the hazardous substance and emergency procedures, if necessary.

Hazardous Waste Disposal

Minimize amount of waste generated by:

  1. Surplus chemicals can be exchanged among labs, sections, or departments. This applies, not only, to ‘virgin' materials, but to the end products of processes or experiments which could be of use to someone else.
  2. Materials may be distilled to recover them to a point of usability, if not to the original user, to another user on campus. This is facilitated by segregating potential wastes to the extent practical at the point of generation.
  3. Substitution of a less hazardous material for one requiring special handling will not only cut disposal costs, but reduce hazards in the laboratory as well.
  4. Micro−scale operations reduce the waste volume by proportionately reducing the chemicals input for the reaction.
  5. Neutralization − Acids and bases, uncontaminated with substances of a different hazard category, can be treated to bring the pH within the range of 5 to 9 and washed down the drain with 50−times their volume in water. There is no reason to turn in materials that can be neutralized at the point of generation.
  6. Steps must be taken to ensure faculty and staff members do not depart until all substances in their work areas are clearly marked as to contents. Compliance with the Texas Hazard Communication Act will eliminate most problems of this type. However, the cost of analysis for the identification and hazard classification of unknowns is high enough to make this a cost−effective endeavor.

Once it has been determined the substance can't be exchanged, recycled, or neutralized, contact EH&S to arrange for it to be picked up for entry into the waste stream. Waste pickups are made on Tuesday and Thursday of each week. Wastes should not be allowed to accumulate as this presents health and environmental hazards. When calling EH&S to arrange for a waste pickup, provide the following information:

  • Name and telephone number of person requesting the pickup
  • Department and room number where waste is located.
  • Department and room number of requestor, if different from above
  • Types and numbers of containers (for example, 1−5 gallon can, 2−4 liter bottles, etc.)
  • Whether the ‘Request for hazardous waste pickup & disposal' form is complete

This information should be available before calling to arrange a pickup.

EH&S labels are available. The waste generated should fill out the following information:

  • Contents − List all wastes in the container
  • Building − Your facility
  • Room Number − Self−Explanatory
  • Accumulation Start Date − The date you first placed any waste in the container
  • Hazard − Check the appropriate block for the hazard(s) associated with the waste

SPECIAL NOTE: A complete copy of the "Texas Tech University Safety and Health Handbook for Supervisors/Safety Coordinators" is available for download here. Please be aware that this is a large file and might take a few minutes to download/open depending on your internet connection.

General Laboratory Policy

The following policies apply to all students (graduate and undergraduate), faculty, and staff working departmental labs, research facilities, and at field locations. Violation of these policies will result in suspension of lab and research privilege's.

  1. The university does not provide insurance to cover medical bills incurred by a student. Thus, students injured in the lab are responsible for their own medical bills.
  2. All students must complete appropriate safety training and sign a statement to this effect before they will be allowed to use the equipment in the lab. This safety training will be conducted during the first lab session; a student missing the safety training will be dropped from the respective course.
  3. Students must review the Material Safety Data Sheets before using any chemicals.
  4. Many experiments are hazardous if not conducted properly. Ask the lab instructor about safe operating procedures.
  5. Students must operate all lab equipment safely. Use of designated personal protective equipment (PPE) when drilling, cutting, or handling caustic soda or concentrated acids.
  6. Whenever a student observes a dangerous situation; a chemical spill, broken glass, someone who is not following safe procedures, the student is to report the hazard to the instructor.
  7. Students will wear appropriate clothing (this may include long−sleeved shirts, long pants, enclosed−toe shoes, safety goggles, gloves, etc.) that is not loose or bulky that might become entangled in moving equipment. Any long hair must be secured in such a manner that it will not become entangled with moving equipment.
  8. Fire Extinguishers are marked. In case of fire, call 9−911.
  9. The manufacturing lab is equipped with eyewash and shower stations. Wash off any chemical that makes skin contact or any foreign material that falls into the eyes IMMEDIATELY.
  10. In general, students must be safety conscious and exercise common sense such as:
    • Not leaving equipment on the floor that could cause tripping
    • Cleaning up oil or other fluids that could cause slippage
    • Not distracting other people while they are operating equipment
  11. No laboratory equipment or machinery may be operated by students without at least two people present.
  12. Several items in our labs are significantly heavy (weighing over 40 pounds). If they are to be lifted or moved, use assists (handcarts, pallet jacks, etc. which can be found in the Machine Shop) or get others to help. Again, test the load and make sure it does not overstress anyone handling the load.
  13. Building access after hours:
    • It is the responsibility of the academic supervisor to be fully aware of all after−hours laboratory work being performed by a research student, and to ensure the safe undertaking of this work.
    • A notice in a prominent location stating your contact details and emergency instructions must accompany any experiment running overnight or over a weekend.
    • It is the student's responsibility to inform the supervisor and laboratory manager of intended after−hours experimentation. Please provide your mobile phone and home phone contact numbers in case of any problems.
    • Avoid working alone in a laboratory after−hours. Do not perform experiments at night or on the weekends without permission and always have someone there with you in case of an emergency.
    • No work with radioisotopes is to be performed after normal working hours without supervision by a licensed Radiation Safety Officer.
    • Children are not permitted in any laboratory.
  14. Emergency Procedures:
    • Remove subject from unsafe condition and administer first aid, if appropriate.
    • Contact emergency personnel, if necessary.
    • Evacuate using closest and safest route.
  15. Emergency Contact Information:
    • Ambulance − dial 9−911
    • University Police − dial 9−911
    • Lubbock Fire Department − dial 9−911
    • TTU Police for non−emergencies − dial 742.3931

Orientation Briefing for New Department Employees

The department safety coordinator will brief all new employees (faculty, staff, teaching assistant, research assistant, and student assistant) during their first week on environment, fire, health, safety, and security issues & procedures related to their job assignments. This may include:

  1. Material Safety Data Sheets
  2. Proper Lifting Procedures
  3. Fire Procedures
  4. Storm and Tornado Procedures
  5. Handling of Hazard Chemicals
  6. Electrical Hazards and Procedures
  7. Unique Issues Related to Research & Lab Facilities
  8. Health Issues
  9. Safety Issues
  10. Environmental Issues
  11. Other Issues

Department Research & Lab Facilities

Ergonomics Laboratory

Laboratory experiences for students and research subjects must be safely conducted. The equipment represents minimal risk to subjects, but every effort should be taken to ensure a safe laboratory experience for those using the lab. All students using the ergonomics laboratory and all research subjects should read the Safety Guide before using the laboratory. The following safety guidelines are subject to change with the addition or new equipment in the laboratory.

  1. General Laboratory Guidelines
    • If any subject feels stressed or uncomfortable at any time, the researcher must stop any experiment and determine the source of the problem and discontinue testing until the subject feels better or the problem has been resolved. All of our experiments are self−limiting and the subject is in control of when an experiment should be terminated.
    • Loose cords, wires, and equipment should be maintained in such a manner to reduce tripping hazards and should not restrict exits from the lab in an emergency.
    • Most electrical equipment in the lab is grounded, so please make sure the grounds are in−tact and used.
    • Students or research subjects should not be left in the lab unsupervised when they are using equipment or being tested as a research subject.
    • Several items in our labs are significantly heavy (weighing over 40 pounds). If they are to be lifted or moved, use assists (handcarts, pallet jacks, etc. which can be found in the Machine Shop) or get others to help. Again, test the load and make sure it does not overstress anyone handling the load.
    • Test the emergency stops on devices, such as the treadmill and the fall arresting rig, to ensure that they are working properly before testing any subjects.
    • Eliminate any "competitive" atmosphere in the lab that might cause a subject to over−exert themselves during any laboratory testing.
  2. Strength Testing Guidelines
    • All strength testing is self−limiting and the subject should be instructed to exert maximum voluntary strength.
    • Make sure that proper postures are used by the subjects while performing the strength tests.
    • Eliminate feedback and minimize creating any competitive atmosphere among subjects.
    • Strength testing must be done with at least one observer to watch the subject and ensure that proper testing protocol is being followed.
  3. Work Physiology Testing Guidelines
    • By its nature, work physiology testing involves exercise. Subjects should be monitored (heart rate, VO2, etc.). Testing should be discontinued if subjects become stressed while performing physiological tests.
    • The physiology lab is not equipped to conduct maximal testing. Therefore, testing should be limited to responses less than 90% of the age corrected predicted maximum heart rate. This is calculated by:

      Maximum Heart Rate (HRmax) = 220 − Age of Subject
      90% of HRmax = (0.9)(HRmax)

    • Subjects should be instructed on proper technique for walking on a treadmill or riding a cycle ergometer. The subject should be allowed adequate time to become familiar with the equipment before testing.
    • Physiological monitoring is normally conducted with a heart rate monitor or an oxygen analysis system. The heart rate monitor or oxygen analysis equipment should be properly fitted to the subject and tested before an experiment.
    • Mouthpieces should be properly cleaned and disinfected after use.
  4. Biomechanics Testing Guidelines
    • Workloads should be evaluated to ensure that subjects will be able to safely handle the loads.
    • Equipment should be tested before use to ensure it is in proper working condition and appropriate safety devices are working.

Manufacturing Laboratory

The professor, teaching assistants, and technician will establish if the student has the proper & safe attire to work in the machining areas of the laboratory. In the case that the student does not have the proper attire, he or she will be asked to leave the laboratory session. The following guidelines are in consideration for proper attire:

  • Safety glasses must be worn in the laboratory machining areas at all times. The safety glasses MUST HAVE side shields.
  • Dress code:
    • Long pants and socks are required while in the machining areas of the laboratory.
    • Shorts or dresses are not allowed in the shop.
    • Neckties must be removed.
    • No gloves should be worn in the machine shop.
  • Shoes must cover the entire foot. Sandals, open−toe or open−heel, and high−heel shoes are not allowed.
  • Long hair should be tied back to avoid it falling into a machine.
  • ALL jewelry must be removed while in the laboratory.
  1. Fume Cupboards
    • The fume cupboard should not be crowded so as to preserve free airflow to the extraction duct behind the cupboard.
    • A clear working space should be maintained in the fume cupboard, both for normal working procedures, and for unexpected emergencies.
    • All work with concentrated acids, volatile organics, and dust−producing chemicals must be performed in a fume cupboard and not in the general laboratory area.
    • Safety glasses and laboratory coats must always be worn when working at a fume cupboard.
  2. Electrospinning
    • The electrospinning setup should be well−grounded.
    • The electrospinning experiments should never be carried out alone. A company of other students is requested.
    • Before stopping the electrospinning, always turn off the high−voltage generator first, and then use safe−grounded tools to test if the charge is completely released.
    • During the course of the electrospinning experiment, a sign of "High−Voltage Dangers" should be posted.
    • The box of electrospinning should be sealed during the experiment.
  3. Ultrasonic Process
    • The ultrasonic equipment should be placed into a sound−proof box or the operator should wear ear−protect device(s) to prevent the high−frequency noise generated from the ultrasonic process from damaging the operator's hearing.
    • When using hazard chemicals for ultrasonic processing, it should be made known to other students on site. The process is strongly suggested to be kept in the fume hood.
  4. Chemical Processing
    • When operating corrosive chemicals, such as sulfuric acids, a goggle is required and a face shield is strongly suggested.
    • For other chemicals, disposal gloves are required.
    • The waste chemicals should be kept in the recycling container and clearly marked as "Recycling."

Industrial, Manufacturing & Systems Engineering