EH&S Implements New Education Efforts by Marlyn Duarte

Outreach and education are critical to EH&S' mission of ensuring a safe working environment for all faculty, staff, student and visitors. The new Lessons Learned bulletin series provides summaries of recent laboratory incidents and near-misses, the lessons learned from the incidents, and prevention methods to decrease the likelihood of encountering a similar incident in the future. These bulletins are distributed monthly via e-mail to targeted Principal Investigators based on the nature of the incident. PIs are encouraged to spend a few minutes reviewing the Lessons Learned bulletin with their staff and discussing the implications for their own laboratories.

Columbia University research scientists are also helping EH&S professionals see safety from the perspective of the bench. The Science in Safety lecture series, which features a Principal Investigator or Post-doctoral Fellow, is an invitational event at which the safety and environmental considerations of a current scientific research project are presented to the EH&S team. The series kicked off in June, 2012 with thanks to Dr. Francesco Lotti, Department of Pathology, presenting on the science of gel electrophoresis and its applications in the Motor Neuron Center, followed in October by Dr. Dante Romanini, Department of Chemistry, discussing high performance chromatography techniques. Learning never stops!

Changes in the Radiation Dosimetry Program by Cade Register

Some minor changes are coming to the Columbia University dosimetry program. These changes are aimed at increasing the awareness of radiation workers, reducing the number of unreturned dosimeters (often called 'badges') and improving the overall efficiency of the program.

To help improve awareness of radiation exposure, Landauer, the dosimetry vendor for Columbia University, recently launched a new website and on-line interface. One of the most useful additions to the site is a service called IDR (Individual Dose Report). Using IDR, anyone that receives a badge through Landauer can check their individual dose history on-line at any time. Detailed instructions can be found @ http://ehs.columbia.edu/IDRInstructions.pdf. Every badge wearer is assigned a unique 'participant number' upon the issuance of their badge. This number is found on the back of every badge you receive from Columbia University (if you have a badge from a different institution, the number will be different). As part of Landauer's website improvements, all participant numbers were reassigned to solve some consistency issues. Your old number is still attached to your Landauer file and this change does not affect your dose history in any way.

In an effort to reduce the number of unreturned badges, EH&S asks that all badges be returned to the dosimetry coordinator within 15 business days of the end of the wear period. They can be sent through the Columbia University campus mail to "Cade Register, Radiation Safety, Mail Code 70" or dropped off in person at the Allan Rosenfield Building, Room 403. At the Morningside campus, the dosimetry coordinator will begin collecting badges from laboatories on the following schedule: October 10th, January 10th, April 11th and July 11th. Email reminders to return badges are sent at the beginning of each wear period and include this information.

More information can be found @ http://ehs.columbia.edu/BadgeMC.html. If you have any questions about badges or dose history, please contact the dosimetry coordinator at 212-305-1318.


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