Session Descriptions

Monday, July 26, 2021

Education Block A
Monday, July 26, 2021
11:30 AM - 12:20 PM Central Time

Anatomy of a Research Lab
Mary Lindstrom

Who works in labs? What's involved in managing lab operations? How does group hierarchy and interpersonal dynamics impact lab culture?  How can understanding these aspects help influence the safety culture within a lab? 

Many EHS professionals have limited or no direct experience working in labs yet spend significant time supporting them. Gaining a better understanding of how labs work can aid EHS professionals as they interact with, and seek to influence, research groups.  Learn about lab organization and culture from a former lab manager who now works as an Embedded Safety Professional.

From Data Analysis to Injury Mitigation
Erich Fruchnicht, Sean Speed, Kristin Robinson

EHS acquired workers compensation claim data from Texas A&M System Risk Management and analyzed it for injury trends. The goal was to use this data to select a cause of high cost, occurrence, or impact, and then identify ways to mitigate future incidents of a similar nature. The data indicated a high cost and frequency associated with hand injuries. 
The data suggested two department accounted for the majority of hand injuries. Those departments were contacted and have begun working collaboratively to ensure the best possible and practicable outcome is implemented.

KPI Task Force
Dennis Elmore,Bob Emery, Lou DiBerardinis, Mary Duda, Jonathan Klane, John Verdi

Task force members will update attendees on activities and solicit input.

Service When? Service Now!
Stephen Elwood

Managing the countless requests for health and safety consultation and services can be challenging. In this session attendees will be provided with an account of our experiences during the implementation of a brand-new campus wide case management system (ServiceNow). I will present our experiences with planning, implementation, rollout, system training for EHS staff, challenges, and ultimate successes associated with the projecets.

Education Block B
Monday, July 26, 2021
1:30 PM - 2:20 PM Central Time

Beryllium Exposure Case Review
Jesse Decker

When an employee in the UW-Madison College of Engineering suffered a life-altering reaction to a beryllium exposure, the initial workers compensation claimed listed employee error as the primary cause. An in-depth investigation showed that there was more to the case.

Emerging Hazards Impacting Higher Education
David Breeding

Emerging hazards pose unique risks to higher education academics and research. By actively engaging in predictive discussions and studies, EH&S professionals can effectively determine emerging hazards, assess the risks of such hazards, and use findings to develop and implement cost effective compliance and infrastructure strategies.  In this session, participants will learn of ongoing research, strategize on upcoming hazards &risks impending in their campuses, and promulgate findings for use in planning future safety resource allocations.

Making Safety Connections During Challenging Times
Veronica Thorn, Rebecca Grunewald

Pandemics, climate catastrophes related to global climate change, and even political unrest can disrupt university business. This presentation will share ways that you can pivot and adapt to conduct remote inspections, new personnel outreach, and continue to build the relationships that are key to a strong safety culture.

Safety Culture: The Infinite Game
Anthony Appleton

The very nature of academic institutions means high rates of turnover, research changes, and new issues continuously arise. This game is played across any research landscape with one paramount goal above all else: everyone gets to go home. We aim to show that building an engaged, positive safety culture program requires agility and an infinite mindset. Here, we present how CSU's Safety Culture Program found viable paths to continuous success by sharing how progress was made, highlight that failures are necessary, and that the critical aspect is developing personal relationships.

Education Block C
Monday, July 26, 2021
3:30 PM - 4:20 PM Central Time

Student Engagement in Pandemic Response
Kelsey Griffith, Hope Zavalin

Student Public Health Ambassadors help disseminate COVID-related messaging and maintain other forms of compliance at Texas Woman's University. Soliciting feedback from students led to stronger, more relevant public health educational material and interventions which focused on targeting the student population. This presentation addresses how to get buy-in from other departments and ways of determining the types of messaging and interventions that work best for a college campus, as well as how to train students efficiently, predominantly within the confines of a virtual environment.

The Science of Stories: How They Alter Risk Views
Jonatahn Klane

Stories and narratives are more powerful than data and info. We often wonder why people make decisions based on anecdotes. Yet, when we look at the literature on them and decisions, many strengths come to life when viewed through a scientific lens.

Using narratives attendees will learn:

  • How transportation into a story and identification with a character enhances our connection to risks?
  • Why stronger emotional content has a stronger effect on us and our behaviors?
  • How a good story can demonstrate causation effectively

Lab Safety Inspections During a Pandemic
Tracy Harvey

UW has many labs performing critical research during the 2020 pandemic. EH&’s Lab Safety Program revised the lab inspection processes to provide support for these labs.  COVID-19 work practices were implemented for inspectors, which included limiting social interacting with lab staff and reducing the amount of physical time on site. Labs were encouraged to use or convert to electronic records.  EH&S also conducted video inspections and provided outreach and communication around working alone. Some of these new practices have created efficiencies and improvements in the inspection process.

Controlling Isoflurane Waste Gas Exposure in Animals
Linh Phan, Susan Vleck

Stanford University Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) has implemented a 2019 outreach campaign to mitigate isoflurane exposure among animal researchers. In order to closely characterize the overall isoflurane user population in animal research laboratories at Stanford, EH&S administered surveys and joined the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) post-approval monitoring (PAM) laboratory visits. To date, EH&S outreach campaign has assisted 42 laboratories in improving practices and procedures to ensure safety of personnel using isoflurane.

Education Block D
Monday, July 26, 2021
4:30 PM - 5:20 PM Central Time

EH&S Role: COVID-19 Response & Prevention Efforts
Katia Harb

This talk will focus on the University of Washington's response to the COVID-19 pandemic focusing on the EH&S department's role as the Public Health entity for the University.

The presentation will include information on:

  • University of Washington decision making framework and structure
  • Liaison and coordination with state and local public health agencies
  • Developing a University COVID-19 Contact Tracing Program and unit within EH&S with campus partnerships
  • COVID-19 Prevention in the Workplace

Implementing Biosafety for COVID-19 Research
Lesley Decker

To support research with the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus, the University of Washington (UW) biosafety team worked to implement new biosafety practices based on guidance from the CDC and NIH. This session will describe the current SARS-CoV-2 biological research safety guidance, how the UW implemented the guidance at biosafety levels 1 to 3 including medical management requirements, and the outreach and communication used to keep researchers informed. Biosafety program metrics for approved COVID-19 biological research will also be included.

Novel Partnerships in Novel Times to be Pack Ready
Amy Orders

College campuses are small cities unto themselves. Emergency preparedness is an all-hands task, so collaboration among students, staff and faculty is elemental. The NC State PackReady Year of Partnerships paired one service unit, one student organizations and the Department of Emergency Management each month to foster shared messaging, programming and outreach. From COVID, to Stop the Bleed classes and small bomb explosions, to eye-catching infographics, impromptu drills and panel discussions, this session will review a year of novel firsts.

Primer on Occupational Exposure Limits
Dennis Elmore

This session will compare the various occupational exposure limits (OELs) available to industrial hygienists and other EHS professionals. Attendees will learn about the origins of OELs as as well as the methods by which new OELs are created and existing OELs are modified. We will briefly discuss scenarios where no substance-specific OEL appears to apply and we will close by identifying situations where OELs are likely to applied inappropriately.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Education Block E
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
10:00 AM - 10:50 AM Central Time

11 Years Later at Texas Tech University
Heather Coats

In January 2010, the Lubbock, Texas Tech and higher education communities were shaken with the news of a graduate student who was severely injured in a research laboratory explosion. The Chemical Safety Board (CSB) investigated the incident and produced a case study and made several recommendations to Texas Tech. Join the discussion as we review the causes of the incident and our implementation of the safety recommendations from the CSB and how this has contributed to the growth and revitalization of a stagnant safety culture.

Complete Safety Program Task Force Update
James Crandall, Justin Grillot

The CSHEMA Board has established a task group to evaluate the Campus Safety Advancement and Complete Safety Award programs. The task force is charged to:

  • Create a more efficient application and review process of each program.
  • Determine if opportunity exists for these programs to merge to form a single comprehensive program that provides a means for institutional members to benchmark their programs and receive recognition.
  • Determine if there is opportunity for CSHEMA to generate revenue from the merging of these programs.

This session is will provide an update on the project status.

CCFS - Commissioning of Fire /Life Safety Systems
Kevin McSweeney

Applying the recent commissioning of a high-rise laboratory at the University of Delaware, the use of local and national codes will be demonstrated, including but not limited to:

  • Planning and Design applications to assure all applicable requirements were incorporated
  • Commissioning agents and determining roles
  • Construction phases to include interface of fire protection and life safety sub-contractors to ensure proper interaction of systems
  • Pre-testing and acceptance testing systems towards CO
  • Post commissioning and training ownership maintainers

Understanding Chemical Fume Hoods
Dennis Terpin

Understanding Chemical Fume Hood and Laboratory HVAC systems.
Chemical fume hoods provide protection from vapors, splashes, fire and impacts caused by chemicals and their reactions. However, fume hoods do not eliminate the hazards, they must be used maintained, inspected and correctly used to minimize the chance of exposure. We will explore why the correct laboratory ventilation is essential.  We will discuss the different types of laboratory ventilation system.  The testing of and trouble- shooting of LEV systems and exploring the challenges of shared laboratory spaces and cross contamination.

Education Block F
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
12:00 PM - 12:50 PM Central Time

Improving Fire Safety through Strategic Partnership
Evan Orowetz, John Guerra, Jason Heider, Shailendra Singh

Fire protection in the university setting requires a multi-disciplinary approach and the formation of strategic partnerships. The audience will learn about the unique challenges faced at CMU and the Fire & Life Safety Assessment Program implemented to overcome these challenges. This training will also explore the relationship between the fire safety team and other stakeholders including the facilities management department. Common fire code deficiencies and their associated prevention strategies will be discussed, along with other best practices to integrate into daily facility operations.

Leading Student Workers Through College and COVID
Abby Kurwitz

Student workers are an integral part of the EHS Rad Safety team at Texas A&M. Rad Safety is constantly trying new ways to increase productivity of the team all while working with varying schedules and , recently, ever-changing COVID protocols. 

This session will discuss how EHS Rad Safety leads the student worker team to efficiently and safely carry out required functions and how COVID has impacted normal routine. We will cover some of the challenges and protocol changes, motivation tactics used, progress tracking, and demonstrate how productivity has remained high through various obstacles.

Ultrafine Particles: The Small Stuff Counts
Courtney Kerr

The generation of ultrafine particles during education and research can be overlooked; they are too small to be seen but sometimes are detected by odor or taste. This session will discuss particle generation, regulations, detection, and various potential control methods of ultrafine particles. A case study will highlight the challenges of particles from bone cutting and drilling, but other processes are also of concern.

Working Alone in Research Settings
Angela Dartt

Working alone increases risk of severe lab accidents that could result in injury or death. Serious incidents involving lone work have occurred at US universities; however, only a small number have implemented formal programs. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the need to work alone, raising this concern to the forefront amongst leaders and researchers. This provides an opportunity to address working alone with formal policies, programs and tools. This session will review the journey WashU has taken to implement a program to address working alone in research settings.

Education Block G
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
2:00 PM - 2:50 PM Central Time

At-Home Lab Safety Practices & Considerations
Lila Transue

In these times of distance learning, hands-on laboratory science opportunities for undergraduate students in the home environment are limited. Both purchased and instructor-developed at-home kits present a unique set of hazard and safety concerns. This presentation will cover the risks, hazards, and safety precautions that Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) considers for at-home laboratory experiments. Selected case studies will be presented to provide insight on how EH&S has worked with instructors on logistics, procedures, and decision-making for specific at-home laboratory experiments.

Campus Contamination: Managing Asbestos in Soil
Zehra Schneider Graham, Will Wade

What do you do when asbestos is discovered in soil while undertaking major construction projects critical to your campus master plan? UMass Boston is a model of how to successfully navigate this highly complex abatement process. Learn how they overcame this challenge across multiple project sites. Key elements will be discussed, including development of safe work practices, monitoring procedures, risk communication strategies and negotiations with regulatory agencies. Learn the regulatory requirements and roles and responsibilities involved in managing asbestos and other contaminants in soil.

Laser Cutter in the Academic Makerspace
Andrew Lawson, Shailendra Singh

The laser cutter program at Carnegie Mellon University is designed to educate faculty, staff, and students about the risks associated with laser cutter safety. This session's objectives are to discuss the risks and challenges of the laser cutter operations at CMU and describe the lessons learned along with the strategies EHS and its partners have developed to overcome those challenges for laser cutters' safe operation within the Makerspaces. We will be presenting two case studies that demonstrate the unintended consequences of purchasing a laser cutter.

University Committee Strategies
David Farris

Committees are indispensable to the governance of higher education, yet there is little guidance on how to effectively manage committees that are integral to safety, health, and emergency management programs. In addition to being the primary method for developing solutions to institutional challenges; committees are also the proving ground for future leaders in higher education. Based on his 2020 book Understanding University Committees, David will discuss the nuances of committee work, how to maximize committee performance, and diagnose ineffective committees.

Education Block H
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
3:00 PM - 3:50 PM Central Time

Tiny Talk:  A Seat at the Table for EHS in Facilities Planning
Edward Chainani 

Absent input from EH&S, laboratory construction and renovation projects can suffer from subpar facilities safety, code violations and excessive change orders. Overlooking necessary emergency equipment and placing fume hoods too close to air supply diffusers are a few examples that could have been avoided if EH&S were consulted.

This presentation will describe how the Office of Safety at the U of I College of Engineering became a strategic partner of the College's Facilities Office to deliver value in laboratory construction and remodeling.

Tiny Talk:  Are You Winning the Infinite Game of Safety?
Vance Kekoa

Accidental death (meaning it is preventable) has become the number THREE cause of death in the US for the first time in history since keeping these metrics. How a person determines acceptable risk in their daily life will impact this outcome, both at work and when away from work. A person in the US is injured every second and killed every three minutes by a preventable event. Is today your day? I will reframe how you should see risk and what it feels like when you are winning the infinite game of safety.

Reflection on Three Decades of EH&S Leadership
Bruce Backus

Hear a past CSHEMA president, chair of the EPA Colleges & Universities Sector, NIH Regulatory Burden Focus Group member, Prudent Practices reviewer for NAS, CSHEMA and BLR lifetime awards recipient, MO and MN Governors Award Winner for Environmental Excellence and Pollution Prevention, recipient of EPA recognition for outstanding leadership to a sustainable future for colleges and universities, STC board member, CSHEMA Advocacy Council member, and generally a nice guy in his last year in the profession talk about the changes he's seen in EH&S and where he thinks it might be headed.

Forming Alliances to Make Life Easier
Margaret Smallbrock, Aaron Grimm, Jerilyn Roberts

This session will discuss how forming alliances on campus are an important part of making progress on safety initiatives. SD Mines EHS has found that conflict, while common, in a campus setting, can lead to progress when managed. Forming alliances despite the conflicts were essential for success when campus shifted focus during the COVID pandemic. The session will focus on experiences of collaborating with faculty, staff and students through techniques in problem solving, conflict resolution and delivering a clear cohesive message. Scenarios will be shared to show how we accomplish our goals.

Developing lab management tools to promote safety
Angie Vreugdenhil-Hayslette, Tristan White

Duke University's Lab Safety Division developed a toolkit to help with lab management, because well-organized labs tend to be safer labs. A former lab manager working for Lab Safety collaborated with experienced Duke lab managers and EHS experts to gather feedback to help create the lab management resources for our toolkit. We hope that providing lab management templates and checklists will reduce the burden of managing the lab, allowing lab personnel more time to invest in safety practices and training.

Education Block I
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
4:00 PM - 4:50 PM Central Time

Adapting to Remote Making - at Residences and Home
Tolga Durak

At MIT, making is a critical part of the educational experience.  The COVID-19 pandemic threw many curveballs but the shift to remotely making things at home or at a university residence presented significant challenges.  This presentation will describe how the EHS Office collaborated with key stakeholders and developed systems, reviews, training and educational materials on the fly.  We will provide details on the groups we collaborated with and some of the key decision making.  All of this was done in the crucible of a pandemic where time was of the essence and few knowns were apparent.

Development & Implementation of a HF Safety Program
Paul Minor, Neha Chawla,

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Hydrofluoric acid safety program is developed and implemented to raise awareness of HF hazards, to train users to procure, store, use and dispose of HF safely, to identify spill response protocols, to handle HF incidents safely, and to establish a culture of safety. This is the first chemical hazard-specific, comprehensive safety program for CMU laboratories. The audience will receive an overview of the development of safety guidelines, SOP, training materials, first aid kits, and implementation process along with the lesson learned during this journey.

Engaging with PIs to Optimize EHS Performance
Kathryn Nobrega

Principal Investigators are the single most important element for developing and sustaining a strong, proactive laboratory safety culture's concluded the Task Force for Advancing the Culture of Laboratory Safety at Stanford University. This presentation describes how we work with PIs to build productive collaborations, the key to EHS success. We have deepened our PI relationships by interacting in new ways that allow us greater familiarity with needs, positioning us closer to the locus of decision making with research groups. Initiatives include speed onboarding and cultural assessment.

Smart Labs Initiative: It Takes a Village
Shailendra Singh

Beginning in 2015, Georgia Tech embarked on the challenge of integrating smarter and more efficient energy programs in research laboratories.  In 2018, material was presented on the initiative in progress in Baltimore as well as the regional Symposium in Atlanta.  The project has now concluded and this will summarize the challenges met along the way, how Georgia Tech overcame those challenges, and lessons learned moving forward.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Education Block J
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
10:00 AM - 10:50 AM Central Time

Employees' Intention to Evacuate at at University
Aurora Le

Many workers do not leave when fire alarms are activated. We applied the Reasoned Action Approach to examine factors related to intention to evacuate the next time hearing a fire alarm at work.

Safety Challenges: Lab Space for Start-up Companies
Courtney Stanion, Matthew Stiegel, Antony Schwartz

Universities are increasingly interested in mentoring and supporting budding entrepreneurs. Duke's Pratt School of Engineering has a program to support new lab-based companies, providing rented lab space along with mentorship for entrepreneurs. An incident within the shared laboratory space brought into focus additional risks associated with this type of endeavor. This session will provide an overview of how Duke University's EHS Office collaborated with Corporate Risk and University Counsel to define the relationship between the Office and the companies using the shared laboratory facility.

The Whole Kit and COVID-bootle
Jack Reidy

COVID threw the structure of education into disarray. The most affected courses needed special facilities: labs, art studios, etc. Educators set out to design activity kits for their students but found there were many difficulties. We developed a safety review for such kits. The presentation shows the evolution from an ad hoc analysis of one kit to an efficient multi-department review. I cover technical issues we faced, from hazardous waste to choking hazards. Challenging kits illustrate the communication and creativity necessary to achieve both the education goals and safety protections.

Update on Laboratory Ventilation Standards
Markus Schaufele, Tom Smith, 3Flow

The Laboratory Ventilation Management Standard   ANSI/ASSP Z 9.5 grew out of efforts by the American Industrial Hygiene Association.  Chapters include performance tests, air cleaning, preventive maintenance, and work practices.  A Laboratory Ventilation Management Plan helps organize the responsibilities and actions required in the ever more complex area between sustainability and safety.

Education Block K
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
1:00 PM - 1:50 PM Central Time

Let's Split the Bill! Jointly Funding EHS Roles
Stephen Elwood, Meagan Fitzpatrick

In 2020, Princeton University's Department of Environmental Health and Safety partnered with the University's School of Engineering and Applied Science to create and fill it's first jointly funded EHS position.  The Senior Laboratory Safety Specialist role reports directly to the Associate Director of Laboratory Safety within EHS with a dotted line to the Assistant Director of Facilities and Building Services in the Office of the Dean. This position has provided a unique opportunity to create an embedded EHS professional position that is also a part of the campus-wide EHS team.

Quantifying the Influence of Designated Lab Space
Otu Inyang

Determining EHS program resources for colleges and universities, especially those with high levels of research activities has been identified as a key area for research exploration in the professional community. Research to identify a model to predict staffing and budget resources has been ongoing. Results of the recent study conducted in partnership with the Research & Survey CoP from the Vital Statistics survey will be presented. Proposed online calculator for use in estimating program staffing and budget will be presented with study limitations and future research needs and opportunities.

Laser Cutter Safety in Shops and Makerspaces
Andrew Kalil, Michael Labosky, Jim Doughty

Because laser cutters provide a means for the precision cutting and engraving of many materials, they are a popular tool in shops and makerspaces.  Like other tools in these locations, laser cutters can pose health and safety concerns if not managed appropriately. Operating a laser cutter requires attention from the design phase for new spaces or procurement of a new laser cutter to operation of the tool. This presentation reviews laser cutter infrastructure, safety and operational concerns that the EHS professional and shop manager should be aware of.

Do Your Fume Hoods Suck? Selecting the Right Hood
Nancy Eaker, Darryl Coenen

Selecting the right chemical fume hood is critical to ensuring the safety of its users and providing the best value for the institution. However, poorly written specifications and the tendency to select the lowest bid often result in the installation of the wrong hood for the intended use. This session will examine what happens when the wrong fume hood and/or exhaust materials are selected, what to consider when selecting a fume hood, what to include when writing specifications for fume hood installation, and what to look for in third party testing.

Education Block K
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
3:40 PM - 4:30 PM Central Time

Implementation of an EHS-Funded Lab Coat Program
Jenette Paul

In an effort to assist labs in complying with all lab coat requirements, Oregon State University EH&S provides lab coats to all employees working in a lab at no cost to the department or lab.   The program provides 2 lab coats per lab personnel along with biweekly laundry service.  

In this session we will discuss the management strategy implemented including budgeting and the expectations of lab personnel to maintain the program. We will also discuss the challenges that arose with the program, lessons learned and the answer to the question: Did we increase lab coat usage on campus?

Using Design Thinking to Solve Emergency Planning
Keith Perry, Russell Furr

The presentation will describe how Stanford University approached an urgent request for a tabletop exercise by applying a Design Thinking approach. While planning for the return of students, units were struggling to anticipate how a large outbreak of covid positive students on campus would impact student services. Exercises can be very useful but a tabletop may not have generated the desired outcome. With only 10 days of prep time, the Office of Emergency Management designed an experience that allowed participants to explore the topic in a unique way that generated the desired results.

Using Metrics to Move Mountains
Alex Hagen

Numbers may seem impersonal, but metrics are tools to promote discussions, build partnerships, and document progress. People are likelier to take action when presented with data, and their efforts are more focused. UW EH&S Lab Safety Program has evolved ways to collect, use, and report metrics to improve trainings, identify safety barriers, support new initiatives, communicate effectively about and promote immediate corrective action on safety issues, and engage others in safety practices, resulting in significant changes to our safety culture and reducing the time needed to see progress.



View the Program Book for the 
68th Annual Conference below

Program Book