Spring 2011

Inside this issue :


We’re Moving
New Certificate of Fitness (C-14)  Study Material & Renewal Procedures 
EPA issues Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb Clean-Up Guidelines 
Chemical Fume Hoods: Your First and Best Line of Defense 
Clean, Give + Go Green 
Myth busters: The truth behind radioactive waste management
Securing Compressed Gas Cylinders
Radioactive Contamination:  Why We Survey 

Health & Safety


Medical Center
6o1 West 168th Street,
Suite 63 New York, NY 10032 Phone: (212) 305-6780

Morningside Campus
S.W. Mudd Building,
Suite 350 New York, NY 10027
Phone: (212) 854-8749

Medical Center RSO
Allan Rosenfield Bldg. 4th Fl.
New York, NY 10032
Phone: (212) 305-0303

Resilience by Terrence Jaimungal

Resilience is the ability to withstand, recover and grow in the face of stressors and changing demands.1  In a workplace where there is rapid and continuous change, EH&S prepares for those stressors and changing demands by continuously building our skill sets.   Resilience encompasses the continuous improvement of risk assessments and response procedures andincludes a “whole person” concept which requires one to be ready to anticipate, recognize, monitor, and respond to any given situation.  Staying strong in all these disciplines allows us to remain resilient when faced with difficult situations.  In EH&S, this is more than just a concept, but rather a “culture” embedded within the department. 

Deficits in resiliency can lead to mishap, emergency, and even fatality.  By emphasizing the skills needed to cope with stressors, EH&S seeks to eliminate preventable incidents caused by complacency, carelessness, or reckless behaviors such as inattention to detail, failure to follow standard operating procedures (SOP’s), not using personal protective equipment (PPE), and/or not using engineering controls. 

EH&S understand that each person’s reactions are not necessarily the same for all changes – that different kinds of changes impact people differently – and that circumstances can vary over time.  For example, in relation to indoor air quality, one person’s thermal comfort level might be different than their colleague’s. 

The goal, rather, is to create a sense of resilience in individuals and the workplace.  Focusing on these underlying issues, can keep Columbia University staff healthy, reduce incidents and promote a safe work environment.

 1 e-Intake Iowa Air National Guard

We’re Moving by Christopher Pettinato
The Morningside EH&S office is moving from Mudd. Staff will be relocated either to Studebaker or, following renovations, to 419 West 119th Street, just off of Amsterdam Avenue. The fire safety, research safety, hazardous materials and radiation safety personnel will be located at 119th Street while the occupational safety and industrial hygiene personnel re-located to the third floor of Studebaker in January.  In the event of a biological, chemical or radioactive material emergency, EH&S personnel will be responding from 119th Street.  EH&S’s contact information for these services will remain the same: 212-854-8749.

EH&S Announces that Thomas Morgan has joined us as our Chief Radiation Safety Officer and Eugenio Silvestrini as an Assistant Physicist.  We congratulate Kevin McGhee on his promotion to Biological Safety Officer

Comprehensive Lab Safety Surveys will begin this Spring, focusing on lab safety, as well as compliance with hazardous chemical and radioactive waste management.   The audit process will help maintain a safe work environment and compliance with the various regulatory agencies that oversee our research activities.  Also, this is a great opportunity to consult your research safety officer with any questions or concerns related to environmental health and safety in your lab.

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