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UNIVERSITY SAFETY COMMITTEE

Meeting Minutes

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Date: April 17, 2008

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 MEMBERS PRESENT:  Katrina Doolittle, David Shearer, Jose Gamon, Lori McKee, Michael Abernethy, Jaime Marrujo, and Richard Long

Guests:  David Carbajal and Dr. Ruben Torrez 

 The regular Safety Committee Meeting in Academic Research Center Bldg C was called to order at 4:10 pm.  Previous minutes were unanimously approved.    

Old Business:

1.      Update on Department of Homeland Security Chemical of Interest Compliance

a.          David Shearer gave an overview of the Department of Homeland Security Chemical Facilities Rule stating that March 20, 2008 was the official reporting date of chemicals after NMSU was granted a 60 day extension for compliance.  David stated that a total of 1400 emails have been sent to departments that have chemicals asking them to submit their chemical inventory and that there are 790 chemical locations from NMSU campuses and facilities throughout the state.  David stated that what the Department of Homeland Security is looking for is a list of 326 chemicals, where they are located and the total quantity.  He reported that reporting compliance is about 98% and that only 18 locations have not completed their inventory.

b.         Katrina stated that a follow up review is required so that if NMSU exceeds reporting thresholds we must report it to DHS in 60 days.  There are 9 or 10 chemicals that cannot be shipped as waste or that will require reporting to DHS.  EH&S will provide a list of these chemicals to PSL shipping as they are the official central shipper of hazardous materials for NMSU.. 

c.          Richard Long asked if the departments have to notify EH&S of all chemicals being ordered.  Katrina replied that departments do not have to advise EH&S but that they are required to keep the chemicals listed in the inventory.    

d.         Lori McKee asked if all chemicals need to be purchased on a Purchase Order (PO).  Michael Abernethy stated that chemicals can be purchased either on a PO or Procurement Card.   Katrina said that there is a prior approval form that departments should use before experimentation with dangerous materials.. Richard Long asked how the chemicals of concern are flagged.  EH&S is relying on the departments to attend safety training and understand that they must comply by logging the chemicals as part of their inventory. 

e.          Michael Abernethy asked how the Department of Homeland Security felt about the process NMSU was following.  Katrina stated that NMSU was not required to report based on the amounts chemicals of interest on inventory by NMSU facility.  Agricultural areas were exempted for the time being for nitrogen fertilizers.  DHS only required reporting from institutions  that exceeded the threshold quantities, other areas just needed to document the procedures they used to verify the chemical inventory.   

   2.      Update on Utility Cart Safety Program 

a.    Katrina reported that out of 58 utility carts, does not include golf carts, only 40 have registered and complied and approximately 250 operator permits have been issued. 

 New Business:

1.      Report on Worker's Comp Injury and Illness – Katrina Doolittle and Lori McKee

a.    Lori McKee reported that David Carbajal was hired as an Occupational Health/Workers Comp Coordinator in December 2007.  David will work as a liaison between Dr’s at University Health, Supervisors and the State of New Mexico Risk Management claims adjustors to manage the workers compensation case load.  Lori reported that within the first month David closed 50 cases and he will be asked to collect data on quarterly bases to report to the Safety Committee. 

b.   Lori reported that as of January 1st to present there have been 54 new injuries.  Of these cases 38 have been closed and only 16 cases remain on modified restriction, 3 of the 54 cases had lost work days and that these 3 are back to work on modified restriction.  She stated that 32 of the 54 injures were from OFS; the others were not broken down by departments.  Lori stated that a goal is to provide education to  individuals for back injury and ergonomics.  The ergonomic evaluations now have to be completed by an external source because the evaluator has to be certified in medical assessment.

c.    Lori stated that they have a second health provider, Kathryn Ray, Nurse Practitioner, at Student Health and that they are now fully staffed.  She stated that Dr. Ben Diven is the medical director over both clinics and that he covers for Dr. Ruben Torrez. 

d.   Lori stated that David helps the patient complete forms after assessing and making sure the patient is stable.  The completed forms help the Doctors evaluate the injury and are required by Worker's Compensation. 

e.    David Shearer asked if they should go directly to David Carbajal.  Lori stated that they should always report any injury to their supervisor but that if the supervisor is not there the individual should go directly to David Carbajal because there is a reporting time frame and any injury should be reported even if the individual refuses treatment.  The forms are still the same and they can still be retrieved from the same locations (HR and EH&S websites).

2.       Occupational Health & Safety Program for Animal worker's - Katrina

   a.  Katrina stated that the Occupational Health & Safety Program for Animal workers is a program that just expanded in scope.  She stated that it consist of two training, animal safety and ethics in animal use.  One part of the Occupational Health & Safety Program for Animal workers is the completion of the medical evaluation form.  This form will be confidentially packaged and sent to University Health Center for review and any medical recommendation will be sent to the Chair of the IACUC and supervisor.  Katrina stated that the University must fund any required immunizations.  Katrina stated that required immunizations for EH&S staff is funded by EH&S.

   b.  Lori McKee asked if employee’s are allowed to touch animals before training and immunization have been completed.  Katrina reported that employees are not to do research or work with animals without completing their medical and as of July 1, 2008 no protocol will be approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee without the safety training and medical review.

   3.      Exposure Incident and Vaccinations – Lori McKee

   a.  Dr. Torrez stated that there was a list of employees that need immunizations.  Katrina asked if the list of employees require a 5 or 10 year immunization and if a tetanus immunization will be a recommendation.  Dr. Torrez said that the minimal standard requirement for individuals working with animals’ should be a ten year tetanus vaccination.  He also said that a rabies shot should be part of the immunization, especially for those employees that work with wild animals. 

   b.  Lori reported that University Health Center is opening a new full service shot room this summer.  They provide services to individuals that travel and one of the shots that will be administered will be the rabies shot.  She stated that these shots have to be ordered and scheduled because they are given in a series of three.  It is recommended that these shots be administered at least 6 weeks prior to their travel to be 100% effective.

4.      Workers Injury and Illness – Katrina Doolittle

   a.  Katrina gave a short power point overview on the annual NMSU workers injury and illness.  She showed that lost work days had decreased more than 50% in 2007 compared to 2008.  Back injuries had decreased which correlated to a strong ergonomic safe lifting training mandated for employees with high incidence of lifting in their occupation..  She stated that NMSU had reduced the losses related to workers compensation claims for the past 2 years.   

   b.  Richard Long asked if the staph virus mersa has been an big issue.  Dr. Torrez stated that it has not because people have been educated and are taking precautions not to spread the virus.  Lori stated that the spread had been mostly in locker rooms were athletics had shared their equipment among each other.

   5.      Membership – Katrina Doolittle

a.    Katrina distributed a copy of the University Safety Committee’s purpose and current member list from the NMSU Policy & Procedure’s manual and briefly discussed membership. 

b.   Katrina reported that there has been an issue with getting safety committee members to consistently attend the meetings.  She said individuals the committee needs to consist of members that are responsible for dealing with safety issues for their Department/College/VP area.  Katrina stated that she would contact current members and work to bring new membership where appropriate.  She informed members that the committee selects the Chair and anyone interested in membership are welcome.  She asked members to suggest who  would be good candidates for membership and suggestions included  DACC and College of Agriculture.

6.      Other Reports – Katrina Doolittle

c.    Katrina displayed a Quick-Flip Guide to Emergencies that the Police had printed and stated that every employee will receive one from their Department Head.  The guide gives an overview on what to do in emergencies such as fires, seizures, bleeding, medical, theft, reporting a suspicious person, an active shooter, bomb threats, and chemical spills.     

d.   Lori McKee reported that the State of New Mexico has a contract with a pharmacy group to provide immunization service.  They will be on campus June 9th - 13th of 2008.  Lori reported that to receive this service the employees must be enrolled in the NMSU insurance plan.  This group will provide adult immunization such as; meningitis, tetanus, Hep A, Hep B, etc……...      

Discussions were concluded at 4:25 

Contact Information 
 Environmental Health& Safety: MSC-3578, P.O. Box 30001, Academic Research Bldg. C, Rm. 109
    Street delivery address: NMSU, 1620 Standley Dr., Academic Research Bldg. C, Las Cruces, NM 88003
    Training Office: Academic Research Unit C, rm110 (see map ), 
    Telephone: 575-646-3327; FAX: 575-646-7898. Website - http://www.nmsu.edu/safety
    Send email to David Shearer, EH&S (click here) with questions or comments about this web site. 
    This page was last updated on 08/22/2008