Mismanagement of Glass Collection Containers by Shane Son

Y ou may think the trash can, laboratory glass disposal box or chemical waste container is the end of the line for your laboratory materials. What you don't see, is that after leaving the lab, there are numerous exchanges involved prior to final, proper disposal of your laboratory debris, waste and chemicals. The most important link in this chain is the safe primary handling of hazardous materials by laboratory staff. One carelessly uncapped needle or misplaced chemical bottle can be hazardous to many people. So, think "safety first" and do the right thing by placing laboratory waste in the correct container the first time to protect yourself, Facilities custodial staff and the EH&S Hazardous Materials team.
It's simple: collect waste streams into their appropriate containers for proper disposal. It is everyone's responsibility to make sure all waste is proper labeled with its correct constituents and stored properly, ready for disposal. A recent incident illustrates just how important proper waste management can be. A Facilities custodial staff member alerted the EH&S Hazardous Materials Team to an improperly managed laboratory glass disposal container, filled with uncapped needles, syringes, chemical reagent bottles, and unknown liquid vials. Had this mismanagement not been discovered before the container was removed from the lab, numerous handlers of this container could have been exposed to potential injury. In addition to injury, such mismanagement puts the University at risk for penalties from regulatory agencies.
For your safety and the safety of your colleagues, it is crucial to properly manage your laboratory waste. If at any time you are unsure how to manage or properly dispose of laboratory materials, please reach out to the Hazardous Materials Team at hazmat@columbia.edu. particularly instructive in avoiding future findings. As always, the Research Safety Program is available to guide your lab towards the best corrective actions and safe work practices.


EH&S Consolidates Offices and Relocates the RAM Package Room @ CUMC by Radiation Safety Team

The EH&S Radiation Safety and Research Safety Teams at Columbia University Medical Center have moved from the Allan Rosenfield Building (ARB) to 601 W. 168th St, Suites 44, 53, 54 and 56. 601 West 168th St, which is directly across the street from the NYPH Emergency Room, is the building where CUMC's EH&S Team has had offices for the past 15+ years. Note, all email, phone and fax contacts remain unchanged.
The radioactive materials (RAM) package room has also been relocated from ARB 4th Floor. The RAM package room is now located in the Physicians & Surgeons (P&S) Building basement level, room B447 and effective May 2nd, 2013 all RAM packages can be picked up from P&S B447 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm on Monday through Thursday and from 2:00pm to 3:00pm on Friday. If extenuating circumstances require RAM package pick-up at an alternate time, EH&S will try to accommodate such requests, given adequate notice. This arrangement should be established through email correspondence with Bithi Roy (br2280) or Jeffrey Leavey (jl4025) at least 24 hours in advance.
Additionally, all radiation survey meter exchanges will occur at P&S B447 during the scheduled RAM package pick-up hours. EH&S thanks you in advance for adjusting to this new schedule and we welcome your feedback at rsocumc@columbia.edu.

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