FA2013 Newsletter

Inside this issue :

New EH&S Services by Corey Wintamute

As part of Environmental Health and Safety's commitment to provide a healthy and safe work environment, we continually seek new ways to enhance our services. The following are some new initiatives available to the Columbia University research community:

Chemical Storage and Segregation RASCAL Tutorial
Storing and segregating chemicals in the laboratory often times can be a challenge, especially when space is limited. However difficult it may be, proper chemical storage and segregation are essential for maintaining a safe and compliant laboratory.
In order to assist laboratories with proper chemical storage and segregation, EH&S has developed the "Chemical Storage and Segregation 101" RASCAL module. This brief training is a helpful tool to guide laboratories through the "do's" and "don'ts" of chemical storage and is recommended for anyone who is uncertain of how to store and segregate chemicals safely, and for labs who have received a chemical storage violation from the FDNY. The training can be found at https://www.rascal.columbia.edu/ under course number TC2100.

Chemical Storage Bins
EH&S currently has chemical storage bins available to help assist laboratories with chemical storage and segregation. The bins can be used for secondary containment of chemicals, especially where chemical containers need to be stored on the floor, as a means to physically separate chemicals, such as when storage space is limited, and, for segregating incompatible chemicals. The bins are available, free of charge and while supplies last, with the highest priority given to laboratories in immediate need of improving their chemical segregation and storage practices and to laboratories that have been issued a chemical storage violation by the FDNY. Bins are available in two sizes, small (approx. 7"x10") and large (approx. 12"x17"), and are 4" deep to accommodate a wide variety of chemical bottles. To request a bin, please contact your Research Safety Specialist (http://ehs.columbia.edu/RSTeamMemberTerritory.pdf).

Emergency Contact Information
Emergency contact information is essential in allowing EH&S and other first responders to assist during emergency situations in your laboratory. Without emergency contact information it can be difficult and time-consuming to contact laboratory staff who can provide critical instructions related to laboratory contents and hazards during off-hour emergencies. Now available online (http://ehs.columbia.edu/LabDoorSign.html) is a fillable PDF that allows you to create an insert with your laboratory's emergency contact information that can be placed into the laboratory door placards or posted on the door. Fill out your Emergency Contact Information today!

Laboratory Hazard Assessment Form
A primary service of EH&S is to assist researchers with the recognition, evaluation and control of laboratory hazards. An online form is available @ http://ehs.columbia.edu/LaboratoryHazardAssessmentForm.pdf for laboratories to request EH&S assistance in evaluating potential hazards. Upon receipt of the completed form, EH&S will arrange a visit to your laboratory for a consultation with the goal of developing an assessment strategy for evaluating potential hazards. Once the assessment is performed, EH&S will provide a list of recommendations to the laboratory for minimizing hazards.

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