What’s New in EHS

 

Dr. Gregg Pettis, Professor in Biological Sciences, was awarded a plaque commemorating his service as Chair of the Inter-Institutional Biological and Recombinant DNA Safety Committee (IBRDSC) at a recent federal research training session. Dr. Pettis’ service as leader of this essential committee was recognized as beginning on March 13, 2006, and ending on January 22, 2015.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) publishes guidelines for NIH-sponsored research involving recombinant DNA. Our IBRDSC is charged with assuring that research is carried out in accordance with the guidelines to assure safety. The chair of the committee, which consists of numerous faculty members and researchers along with EHS staff and community members, ensures that the university research community adheres to those federal guidelines.

In addition to DNA research, the IBRDSC reviews all biological research protocols for compliance with NIH, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and USDA Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) regulations.

The presentation was made by Dr. Gus Kousoulas, Associate Vice President for Research & Economic Development and Director of the LSU Center for Experimental Infectious Disease Research and the Division of Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine, during an NIH Training Seminar held at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge on June 2, 2015.

University Hosts Safety Awards

On Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, LSU Environmental Health and Safety, or EHS, held its first award ceremony recognizing departments who have reduced their annual workers compensation claims by a minimum of 15 percent. Vice President for Finance & Administration and CFO Dan Layzell and EHS Director Michael Durham were on hand to present the awards. LSU Athletics, LSU College of Humanities and Social Sciences, E.J. Ourso College of Business, LSU College of Engineering, Manship School of Mass Communication and LSU Parking and Transportation Services were recognized for their achievements.

EHS-Awards

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Christmas party

The EHS and Risk Management staff enjoyed a Christmas Lunch on December 19. On hand for the excellent meal and fellowship, were, standing left to right:

Dr. Gregory Hayes, Donna Perault, wife of Mike Perault (retired); Fran Guerin, Mike Perault, Darlene Sibley, Jerry Steward, Bonnie Brocato, Canaan  Heard, Dr. Jason Lejeune, Viswanath Vuppu, Sourya, Tom Walsh, Ms. Deepthi Maddali, Michael Hooks, Dr. Quinesha Morgan, and Shana Taylor; sitting Pat West and Joyce Gibbs.

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The LSU Student Government, in corroboration with EHS and Facility Services, conducts a student lighting walk each semester to determine lighting needs on campus. This year, approximately 20 students and a goodly number of LSU staff members volunteered to walk the campus after dark to determine the effectiveness of outdoor lighting on campus. The pictures below depict the kickoff meeting in the lobby of the Public Safety Building, where students and staff gathered for homemade cookies and hot chocolate, plus the customary briefing, before trekking out to their assigned areas to cover. Jim Mayne, Associate Director of Utility Services,  furnished maps of 8 areas on campus for the walk, and LSU staff volunteers accompanied students on the survey.

Deficiencies being identified were lights out, damaged fixtures, new light needs and tree trimming needed for effective lighting. It was a very productive night, and enjoyed by all.

Thanks, Morgan Taylor, Student Government coordinator, for the wonderful cookies and hot chocolate!!

Students sign in for the walk

Students sign in for the walk

 

 

 EHS and Risk Management personnel join the walk: Pat, Shana and Jeff

EHS and Risk Management personnel join the walk: Pat, Shana and Jeff

Jim Mayne gives briefing to students and staff on procedures

Jim Mayne gives briefing to students and staff on procedures

Thanks to a great group of student volunteers!

Thanks to a great group of student volunteers!

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Research/EHS Safety Newsletter

The Office of Research and Economic Development and EHS has created a newsletter specifically for the research community at LSU. This newsletter will be the communication arm of the Research Safety Committee to reach all personnel with developments in safety, health and environmental issues.

Link to Research/EHS Safety Newsletter

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EHS has introduced a new training and awareness initiative called “WATCH YOUR STEP”. Slips, Trips & Falls are the leading cause of workplace injuries in our nation’s workforce, and LSU is no exception. Twenty-three percent (23%) of all accidents reported to LSU Risk Management in 2012 were due to slips, trips and falls. To reinforce awareness on campus, posters (as shown above) will be exhibited in prominent locations around campus to raise employee awareness of this problem. Also, a short “Slip, Trip & Fall” presentation is available on the EHS website Training Section for employee safety meetings.

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Joyce Gibbs is our office coordinator in EHS, and has been with us for many years. Recently she was treated to a birthday cake baked by Darlene Sibley, in Risk Management.
In the background is Pat West, Manager, Safety and Environmental Training.
Happy Birthday, Joyce!

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Bio diesel Production at LSU

Located on more than 2,000 acres in the southern part of the state capital of Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University is the flagship institution of the state. Since 1860, LSU has served the people of Louisiana, the region, the nation, and the world through extensive, multipurpose programs encompassing instruction, research, and public service. In spring 2007, the LSU Office of Campus Planning prepared the LSU Green Campus Initiative Report to identify 13 categories of sustainable actions and to document what LSU was doing and could be doing to improve sustainability on campus. A new onsite production of biodiesel is being proposed to support campus fleet vehicles and farm equipment. The feasibility of production has been detailed in a complete study of biodiesel demand versus veggie oil availability on campus. One of the project objectives is to purchase new alternative fuel vehicles for hazardous waste collection. A diesel powered vehicle has been purchased by the University and the decision has been made to use a bio-diesel blend to fuel the vehicle. The use of alternative fuels will reduce the pollution produced by the vehicle. This is important in East Baton Rouge Parish, as the parish is part of a non-attainment area. Any source reduction of ozone depleting compounds is critical to the area reaching attainment of air quality standards. The use of alternative fuel vehicles will have a direct effect on the amount of toxic emissions produced by the waste collection operation. It can be expected that AFV use will cut emissions of CO by 32%; of CO2 by 23%; of Nonmethane Hydrocarbons by 65%; of nitrogen by 24%

Expected outcomes include:

  • Production of alternative fuels – LSU currently produces biodiesel, but would like to expand the program to a new location.
  • Contribution to LSU economy – substituting biodiesel for petrol diesel will result in substantial savings for the University.
  • Support of renewable resources – biodiesel will be produced from vegetable oil collected at campus dining halls and potentially off‐site local restaurants if the program is expanded.
  • Reduction in use of petroleum consumption – biodiesel will be replacing petrol diesel in a 20% fuel mix in on‐road vehicles and up to 50% in farm and agricultural equipment
  • Reduction in pollution and vehicle emissions.
  • Reduction in LSU environmental footprint and green house gases ‐ this project will lower LSU’s greenhouse gas inventory
  • Improvements to air quality and health – since East Baton Rouge has been listed as an EPA Non‐Attainment area, reduction of air pollutants is critical.
  • Reduction in dining hall waste (avoid cost associated with disposal).

Michael is featured in this video explaining how the biodiesel product is made

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We occasionally have visitors to our offices that are special. The photo above is of Lisa Pepitone and her frisky twins, Gracie (being held by Lisa) and Annabelle, along with their lovely sitter, Hope. They were on campus for the Vet School’s Pets and Vets kids’ education event. Lisa manages the LSU hazardous waste facility on Gourrier and handles our hazardous waste collection activities.

Thanks to Lisa for bringing these wonderful members of our EHS family by to see us, and a very special thanks to her for her work in keeping our campus safe through her management of our hazardous wastes!

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On May 9th 2012, the university’s Building Coordinators gathered for the annual Building Coordinators’ Safety Day seminar in the Dalton Woods Auditorium in the Energy, Coast and Environment Facility. Each year the EHS Department, in cooperation with other key groups on campus conduct the session to acquaint Building Coordinators with current issues relating to the campus operations, safety and environmental matters, and plans for campus expansions, alterations, and other improvements. This year the seminar included presentations from the following departments and individuals:

LSU Police – Kevin Scott

Risk Management – Mike Durham

Environmental Health and Safety – Michael Hooks

Facility Development – Emmett David and Jason Soileau

Parking, Traffic and Transportation – Gary Graham

Facility Services – Paul Favaloro

 

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LSU and the LSU AgCenter were recently issued a “Certificate of Registration” enabling us to continue our research with high consequence pathogens and toxins referred to as Select Agents. These agents are closely regulated under the Patriot Act and the Bioterrorism Act by the US Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and by the US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Our research is registered with CDC, which maintains oversight and conducts comprehensive inspections every three years, with periodic inspections as needed in the interim. Research with these agents require safety and security measures that go far beyond our normal day to day research requirements.

Shown with the certificate are (left to right) Dr. Thomas Klei, Interim Vice Chancellor, Research and Economic Development, Dr. Gregory Hayes, Manager, Biological Safety, and Dr. Philip Elzer, Assistant Vice Chancellor, LSU AgCenter.

 

NIH Site Visit Assists in Compliance with NIH Guidelines

On March 07, 2012 representatives of the Office of Biotechnology Activities (OBA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) visited LSU and reviewed our programs relating to the research involving recombinant DNA (rDNA).  Such research is governed by the “NIH Guidelines”.  The team of three interviewed biological research principal investigators, administrators and EHS staff involved with recombinant DNA research.  The inspection team conducted an exit interview to answer questions from LSU representatives and administrators and to discuss their findings during the visit.  Several areas were cited as needing attention, including mandatory rDNA safety, emergency response and NIH Guideline training for all using rDNA in research (PIs, staff and students), more frequent monitoring of laboratories performing this research, and more effort to maintain a system of recordkeeping for research protocols.

EHS staff members are already addressing the concerns and have instituted action to have all the concerns addressed by the time we receive the official response from NIH on the visit.

We appreciate the support and guidance from the NIH on this, and are committed to keeping the highest level of compliance for the University.

Mike Durham, Director, EHS, Assumes Additional Role of Acting Director,

Risk Management

Mike Durham, Director, Environmental Health and Safety, has assumed the additional role of Acting Director, Risk Management, reporting to the Executive Director, Administrative Services and Risk Management. This new role will enhance the overall safety and environmental programs by integrating the activities of both claims and insurance administration with those of the Environmental Health and Safety group. The new role is also involved in evaluating the options associated with recent legislative action to allow LSU additional autonomy in administering its risk management programs and services. As we progress through the various steps in this process, we will keep you informed through this section of our website. The new organizational arrangement is shown here.

“You’re driving a car, not a phone booth!”

The National Safety Council estimates that distracted driving crashes occur every 24 seconds.Simply putting away the phone and “Driving…without distraction,” would reduce these accidents.

Visit their website for convincing examples to reduce distracted driving.

E.H.S. has a DVD titled “Driven to Distraction” which addresses the distractions of modern devices and their use. Call 578-5640 to check out the DVD.

 

New Lab Accreditation Program

This program provides assurance to the Principal Investigators and lab researchers that the lab conforms to safety and environmental requirements as set forth in our University Safety Policy and various regulatory agencies. Ultimately we want all labs to undergo this process, and receive the recognition and assurance it provides.

This new program is believed to be a “one of a kind” in the university environment. The program is administered in house, and is conducted on a “user defined” pace of achievement. A preliminary visit followed by a “quick audit” preps the lab owners for the accreditation phase. This accreditation phase is an in-depth review of the training, procedures, regulatory compliance and other key factors in safety and environmental compliance.

As we move along, you will be kept informed of our progress. Laboratory safety and environmental compliance is one of our top priorities, and represents one of our higher risk environments on campus. Everyone benefits when a accreditation process is completed and the lab and its workers are recognized.

Task Group Working on Emphasis Program to Reduce Accidents

The Human Resources Management (HRM) and Risk Management department have formed a task group of EHS, Risk Management and HRM representatives to look at ways to reduce accidents and workers compensation costs at the university. Our goal is to reduce claims by 15% and the process includes looking at accident prevention emphasis, awareness, and training; taking responsibility for accidents by work groups/departments, and greater oversight of workers compensation cases.

You will be seeing the results of this effort in the near future as EHS will have a major role in the implementation process. If  you have suggestions on how we might do better at preventing accidental injuries please give us a call at 578 5640.

 

Identification of Select Agents and/or Toxins

Select Agents are pathogens or biological toxins which have been declared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to have the “potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety”. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) administers the Select Agent Program, which regulates the laboratories which may possess, use, or transfer Select Agents within the United States.

Identification of a select agent or toxin outside of a registered location (i.e., laboratory, research facility) requires the immediate notification of the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) and the subsequent reporting of such an incident to the appropriate administering federal agency.

EHS is soliciting the assistance of all researchers on LSU and LSU AgCenter property or at any of their facilities in the identification of any Select Agents or Toxins.  To aid in this process, a list of the current Select Agents and Toxins requiring registration and regulation may be found on the National Select Agent Registry website: http://www.selectagents.gov/resources/List%20of%20Select%20Agents%20and%20Toxins_111708.pdf.  It is imperative that the items listed are not stored in unregistered areas.  Please notify the EHS Office immediately, if such a situation exists within your laboratory or department.

Bio Safety
EHS Bulletin
Chemical Safety
HazMat
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