Inside this issue:



Environmental Health & Radiation Safety /Environmental Health
& Safety
Medical Center
630 West 168th Street, Mailbox #8
New York, NY  10032
Phone:  (212) 305-6780
Morningside Campus
S.W. Mudd Building, Suite 350
New York, NY  10027
Phone:  (212) 854-8749


Preparing for Blackouts & Other Electrical Emergencies

As residents of the Upper East Side and the West Bronx were reminded during the last week of June, electricity emergencies can occur at any time.  Less than a week into the summer of 2007, thousands of New Yorkers experienced the first blackout of the season.  Preparedness is the key to handling emergency situations, including blackouts and other emergency events.  Laboratories must ensure that safe conditions are maintained, and sensitive research is not compromised.

The status of all electrical equipment must be periodically assessed. 

3Connect critical equipment to Emergency Power outlets to ensure that electricity will be supplied in the event of a wide spread outage. 

3Contact Facilities Operations to assess the availability of Emergency Power supply in your area. 

3Surge-protect ‘sensitive’ equipment.

3During a blackout, all other electrical equipment should be disconnected, if this can be done safely, to prevent surge-related malfunction. 

3Perform regular data back-ups to guard against data loss.

In the event of a power outage during the work day:

3Do not initiate or continue procedures involving any type of hazardous materials.

3Ongoing experiments should be terminated or secured and stabilized.   

3Close all open chemical containers and return them to safe storage. 

3In the event of a total outage, fume hoods may not be operational.  Close fume hood sashes upon exiting the lab to prevent the release of vapors into your work area.

Finally, use this opportunity to assess your lab’s overall emergency preparedness.  Does everyone in the lab know what to do in case of a fire, chemical spill or personal injury?  Does the lab have all of the necessary materials on-hand and in working order? 

Please feel free to contact EH&RS/EH&S with any questions or concerns regarding emergency preparedness.  


EH&RS/EH&S Website Inaugurate

On August 1, EH&RS/EH&S unveiled its revamped website which is still under construction, contents reflect the ever-widening role of environmental compliance in University operations and the expansion of programs to address a wider range of health and safety areas.  Search options have been enhanced and the site allows users from all campuses (Morningside, CUMC, LDEO,& Nevis) to easily identify EH&RS/EH&S personnel responsible for specific programs.  Take a look:  http://www.ehrs.columbia.edu. 

Update: Chemical Tracking System

Columbia University Morningside campus has been using a chemical inventory and tracking system (ChemTracker) since February 2006.  Since the program’s start, nearly 20,000 chemical containers have been entered into the system, facilitating management and recycling programs.  Individual PI, Department, room, or chemical inventory can be viewed via http://sklad.cumc.columbia.edu/ehrs/
Login to the ChemTracker system to manage your laboratory’s data via download to an Excel file. The login url is https://suehsaps3.stanford.edu/ctv2columbiany/.
You will need a UNI and password to access the page.  For any questions about login or use of the system, contact ChemTracker@columbia.edu.

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