Thank you for a successful Virtual Conference!

Congratulations to the 2020 CSHEMA Awards and Scholarship recipients!

The dedication to advancing EHS shown by all award applicants is inspirational. Check out the video for the full list of winners, from the best single marketing piece to innovation processes to campus leaders who work to support EHS on campus.

Session Descriptions

Below you will find descriptions for the educational sessions offered at the Virtual Conference. Recordings of these, as well as the features speakers Dr. Terry Lyles and Dr. E. Scott Geller will be available in the virtual library, accessible by those who are registered for the conference. See registration details below for how you can still register
Educational Sessions
Accessible Means of Egress
John DeLaHunt, University of Texas–San Antonio
Facility accessibility advocates consider egress to be the ultimate level of access. This session will review International Code Council and National Fire Protection Association code requirements for accessible means of egress in new and existing construction, including how those requirements might apply to modifications.
Beyond Inspections: Reimagining Laboratory Safety
Chris Kolodziej, University of California–Los Angeles
Safety cannot be achieved through regulatory compliance alone. UCLA has reimagined how to achieve safety in academic research labs by replacing its Laboratory Inspection Program with a Risk Assessment Program. The goal of this new process is to reinforce positive safety behaviors, and modify problematic ones, through application of integrated safety management and performance management principles. Through this new process, principal investigators are supported in creating Safety Management Plans that promote continuity, transparency, and accountability.
Bridging the Gap: The Role of Embedded Safety Professionals
Jesse Decker, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Mary Lindstrom, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Penny Manisco, Harvey Mudd College
Embedded safety professionals are uniquely positioned to have an oversized impact on safety culture. They have close interactions with research groups, provide a link for central safety offices to promote initiatives and disseminate information, and offer a familiar contact for safety questions. In this panel, hear from those working at three different types of institutions discuss similarities and differences in their roles. Find creative methods used to engage with lab and non-lab personnel, learn effective methods to foster relationships and be seen as a valuable partner within the community, and get tips on how to deal with the challenges of a diverse and fast-changing environment.
Creating Risk Assessment Training for Researchers
Imke Schroeder, University of California–Los Angeles
Risk assessment is an essential component of research. Many accidents at academic institutions occur because researchers do not recognize the hazards and assess their risks, especially when experimental protocols are changed. The objective of a risk management course is to train researchers in critical thinking when planning new or scaled-up experiments.
COVID-19 Panel Series: Employee Wellness
Jessica Hodgson, University of Texas–San Antonio
Shannon Marquess, University of Texas–San Antonio

The presenters will discuss the importance of employee health, particularly during a pandemic. Panelists will share how the pandemic has affected employees and how we all might continue to address the topic.
COVID-19 Panel Series: Facilities
Laura Duckworth, University of Virginia
Jerilyn Roberts, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

The presenters will share how their institutions handled facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. They will discuss some of the areas that they have reviewed and lessons learned through the process. Bring your questions, and be ready for a session of open dialog.
COVID-19 Panel Series: Health & Safety Training
Mary Crabtree, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill
Jay Frerotte, University of Pittsburgh

The presenters will share their institution’s approach on health and safety training to prepare for the reopening of campus. They will share success stories and lessons learned. Please bring your questions for discussion.

COVID-19 Panel Series: Messaging Campus
Renee Michel, University of Central Florida
Herb Wagner, University of Arizona

The presenters will share their strategies for communication during a pandemic. They will share success stories and lessons learned. Please bring your questions for discussion.
COVID-19 Panel Series: Research Labs
Jesse Decker, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Alissa Hanshew, Pennsylvania State University
and Clarissa Lynch, University of Virginia

The presenters will discuss research lab start up plans, including their recent project to create the CSHEMA Checklist for Restarting Laboratories on College and University Campuses.
COVID-19 Panel Series: Small Schools
Elisabeth Haase, Carleton College
Carol McMillin, Ursinus College

The presenters will discuss a small institution’s approach to the pandemic. Please bring your questions for discussion.
Developing and Implementing a Makerspace Safety and Health Plan for COVID-19
Dennis Terpin, University of Chicago (retired)
Imagine a workspace where students can develop, create, and evaluate unlimited ideas. Makerspaces are becoming a popular way to foster innovation. These new areas of development pose new challenges to EHS offices responsible for developing and implementing health and safety plans to meet the needs of individual shops and makerspaces on their campuses. Let us explore the challenges of these new areas of expression.
Earplug Fit Tests: A Hearing Conservation Tool
Karen Crow, University of Washington
Brandon Kemperman, University of Washington

This session will demonstrate how fit tests performed with facilities and maintenance staff at the University of Washington addressed the critical link between earplug performance and the correct use of hearing protection to improve the effectiveness of the Hearing Loss Prevention Program. Find out how personal attenuation ratings achieved through fit testing can close the information gap that prevents consistent earplug use and motivate staff to improve their insertion technique, thereby improving earplug performance and reducing the risk of occupational noise exposure.
Hazardous Energy Control (LOTO) at Carnegie Mellon University
Rebecca Cicco, Carnegie Mellon University
Shailendra Singh, Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University's Hazardous Energy Control Program is developed and implemented to establish the minimum requirements for hazardous energy control and to isolate and render all machines inoperative and equipment requiring service or maintenance from unexpected startup or release of hazardous energy. The procedure is designed to assist with proper lockout, tagout, and tryout during the maintenance of equipment and to address proper employee training and periodic inspections. In this presentation, we are going to provide an overview of the program, the process to develop over 1,200 equipment-specific procedures, the challenges and the lesson learned during this journey, and the plan to maintain this program in future.

How To Boost Your Safety Culture
Tony Allen, California Institute of Technology
Dora Gosen, California Institute of Technology
Nathan Siladke, California Institute of Technology

Our studies have found that a robust safety culture correlated strongly with an active safety coordinator network, especially when coupled with visible administrative support for the people in that role. Official recognition of the contributions made by safety coordinators is a key indicator that safety is an organizational value of the institution. This presentation describes Caltech's approach to strengthening the safety coordinator network within the research and facilities communities and how that has effectively supported our culture of safety.

An Injury Prevention Program for Custodians
Jay Frerotte, University of Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh EHS collaborated with Pitt's School of Rehabilitation Sciences to develop an injury prevention program for custodial staff using graduate students for on-site job assessment and other on-site interventions. Custodial staff typically have occupational injury rates that are among the highest of any job at a college or university. Participants will learn of a novel collaboration between Pitt's EHS Department and Pitt's School of Rehabilitation Sciences to analyze lost-time injuries and the preventive measures implemented to prevent injuries among custodians.
The Intersection of Safety and Sustainability
Star Scott, University of Georgia
This presentation explores the psychologies of sustainability and safety, demonstrating how differing narratives are often describing the same action. The goal of this session is to help bridge the gap between safety and sustainability professionals and foster dialogue between these groups. Both can learn and benefit from one another to strengthen their individual programs.
Monitoring for Unintended Outcomes in Training
Amy Orders, North Carolina State University
Training is a first step to educating students and staff on safety, but unintended outcomes from training can derail best practices. NC State selected key training courses and reviewed course objectives in action, identifying several areas where heightened training and retraining was warranted. Revising course materials and incorporating active learning with a flipped classroom approach made notable improvements. This session will cover perceived versus intended meanings, reflective action and learning personification, and corrective actions for unintended outcomes.

Overwhelmed? Strategies for Time Management
Brandon Smith, University of North Florida
Overwhelmed and can't think straight? Too many irons in the fire? You're not alone! Help is available and it doesn't even take 12 steps. Learn simple changes that will help regain clarity and direction allowing you to make real headway on safety issues.
PackReady: A Year of Partnerships
Amy Orders, North Carolina State University
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 organization, and the Department of Emergency Management each month to foster shared messaging, programming, and outreach. From Stop the Bleed classes to infographics, impromptu drills, and panel discussions, this session will review a year of novel firsts.
A University’s Response to a Cesium Release
Phil Campbell, University of Washington
Katia Harb, University of Washington

A Cesium release occurred at Harborview Medical Center in May 2019. This session will increase awareness and knowledge of the complexity of the emergency response and recovery effort considerations for responding to a major Cesium-137 release in a research building; explain the multi-agency response and coordination efforts needed to recover the building; and help prevent future incidents.
What’s In Your Backpack? Simple Plan-Do-Check-Act Applied
John Fellers, Texas A&M University
Erich Fruchtnicht, Texas A&M University

Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) is often thought of for large, complicated policies and processes, but it is useful when applied at any level. Texas A&M applies PDCA as often as possible when looking for process improvement opportunities. This session will discuss two case studies of processes improved by PDCA. We will cover how and why each problem was identified and the management and team buy-in principles learned, as well as demonstrate how big improvements can come from small changes.

Register for Access to Recordings

While the Virtual Conference has passed, you can still benefit from access to the recorded sessions and presenter materials. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email and have access to the virtual library.

Register Now

Campus-Wide Registration

$598 (one fee, unlimited attendees)

Individual Registration

$299 (member); $399 (nonmember)

Did your campus already purchase the unlimited option? If you already have a CSHEMA website login, the system will recognize your affiliation with the campus and offer the $0 rate. For those who don't yet have a website login, simply:

  • Go to “My Account” (upper right hand corner of the website)
  • Select “Get Started” under “New Member? Forgot Your Password?”
  • This will then prompt the account creation process.
  • There will be a place to enter an Affiliate Account during this process. They should add the university name.
  • Once the account is created, they can proceed to register.

Have questions or need assistance? Email

Thank You to Our Corporate Partners for the Continued Support

Virtual Conference Sponsor


Virtual Conference Exhibitors

Cintas Corporation
Environmental Health & Engineering
Gasmet Technologies
Keltron CorporationOffice of Radiological Security, DOE/NNSA
Salute Scientific Plastics 
SGS Galson 
University of New Hampshire 
US Ecology 
Withee Works