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  • Laboratory Safety Dean’s List

        Each year, EHS conducts a laboratory safety site visit of all research laboratories on campus using hazardous chemicals and biological materials. The site visit focuses on appropriate facilities, protocols that minimize risks and properly trained, competent personnel. Achieving compliance is not a matter of chance but a matter of choice!

    EHS would like to congratulate the following Principal Investigators and their laboratory staff for making the July 1, 2016 through September 30, 2016 Laboratory Safety Dean’s List, with no items of concern noted during the initial annual site visit. Thank you for your continued commitment to making Ohio State a safe working environment for everyone!

    Dr. Amanda AgnewDr. Erica BellDr. Sergey Brodsky
    Dr. Marco Coutinhoda SilvaDr. Estelle Cormet-BoyakaDr. Joshua Daniels
    Dr. Han-Ping WangDr. Luciana DaCostaDr. Christopher Winslow
    Dr. William KisseberthDr. Holly BorgheseDr. Greg Habing
    Dr. Wenrui DuanDr. Ramiro GarzonDr. David Carbone
    Dr. Mikhail DikovDr. Kai HeDr. Alex Sparreboom
    Dr. Sharyn BakerDr. Peter MohlerDr. Thomas Hund
    Dr. Ulysses MagalangDr. Tonya OrchardDr. Brian Foster
    Dr. Natividad RuizDr. Elizabeth MarschallDr. Hans Klompen
    Dr. James BauerDr. James RoccoDr. Eric Bielefeld
    Dr. Keith SlotkinDr. Cynthia CarnesDr. Mazeika Sullivan
    Dr. Kari HoytDr. Ming PoiDr. Craig Burd
    Dr. Christin BurdDr. Sameek RoychowdhuryDr. Dana McTigue
    Dr. Philip PopovichDr. Francis FarhadiDr. Denis Guttridge
    Dr. Raphael PollockDr. Susheela TridandapaniDr. Samir Ghadiali
    Dr. Rolando Valdes AguilarMr. Avraham BenatarDr. Roland Kawakami
    Dr. Joseph TraversDr. Binnaz LeblebiciogluDr. Leah McHale
    Dr. Enrico BonelloDr. Kristin MercerDr. Norman Fausey
    Dr. Ellen ThompsonMr. Francesca HandDr. Karen Mancl
    Dr. David MackeytdDr. James JontesDr. John Olesik
    Dr. Karl WerbovetzDr. Ching-Shih Chin

  • News and Notes

    Radioactive Shielding and Small Vial Trays Available

    By Will Benedetti, Radiation Safety Officer
    Radiation Safety occasionally collects shielding supplies as laboratories close out their use of radioactive materials. We have a limited amount of lead:

    •  Small pieces of sheet lead that could be used for shielding things on bench tops
    •  Small lead boxes (less than a cubic foot in volume).
    •  Cylinders (9 or 10 inches in diameter, about 8 inches tall).

    Unfortunately, we do not have lead bricks or larger sheets of lead.
    Also available are various 1/8th inch plexiglass boxes and work station shields ideal for P-32 use including:

    •  4 boxes that will hold our 2 cubic feet cardboard waste boxes. Some are in need of repairs (wheels are broken or hinges on the lids need replacing), but most are usable.
    •  Bench top work station shields.
    •  Small boxes which can be used to store stock vials, working solutions, or labeled samples.

    Small Vial Trays

    Many labs use the small scintillation vials. Depending on vendor they are shipped in trays or in bulk. For the purpose of recounting vials (if they are being held for decay in storage or if you need to count for your de minimis verification forms), it is best of vials are stored upright in trays. If they are on their side they can leak while in storage and it’s a big mess to try and recount them.

    We have been surveying and saving small vial trays that we have picked up from the labs that receive their vials in trays. If you order your vials from a company that ships in bulk we can provide you with some empty trays so that you can store your vials upright.

    Note:These trays aren’t always in good condition when we receive them, so we will not be routinely restocking them. Laboratories using these trays should not have us pick up vials and expect replacement trays; they should pack the vials in bulk (double liners in a box) and reuse the trays.

    For more information please contact Will Benedetti or 4-4287.

    Monthly Training Series for Radioactive Material Use

    Radiation Safety has initiated a monthly training series geared towards both new and established users of radioactive material that have already completed the on-line Radiation Safety course.

    Topics will be periodically repeated, and are designed to provide the OSU research community with information needed to maintain compliance with local, state, and federal regulations for the use of radioactive materials. Please check our EHS homepage for a link describing the upcoming session’s details or let us know if you have any suggestions for a training topic. To register for the session, please email Radiation Safety and let us know how many individuals from your lab will be attending.

    Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) Reminder

    You must update your chemical inventory within 30 days of receipt of any Appendix A, DHS Chemicals of Interest. CFATS requires any chemicals that meet, or exceed, listed threshold amounts to be reported to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) within 60 days of receipt of the chemical. If you have any questions, or would be interested in a Chemical Security Courtesy Inspection, please contact John Sharpe or at 614-292-0619.

    Radiation Safety Standards for The Ohio State University-Revision

    The University Radiation Safety Committee has adopted a revision to the Radiation Safety Standards for The Ohio State University pertaining to the Transportation of Radioactive Materials on Campus.

    Environmental Health & Safety-Safety Brief


    Why I Should Use PPE?

  • EHS Inspection Scorecard Program: Mid-Year Executive Summary Report

    By Tina Bogac, Director – Research Safety/BioSafety

      The EHS Inspection Scorecard Program seeks to solve the challenge of communicating the right information to the right people. Since its inception a major focus has been on correcting and responding to noted inspection deficiencies. The program, which began in January, 2015 consists of two reports; the Quarterly Site Assessment Scorecard (QSAS) and the Annual Site Assessment Summary (ASAS) Report. These reports are distributed at the college level to administrators such as Deans, Research Deans, Center Directors, Safety & Compliance staff and Vice Presidents.

    The QSAS is a communication tool providing aggregate results of the risk based assessments to administrators with the intent of adding value to decisions related to laboratory safety within each college. The ASAS is an annual report which highlights areas of success and opportunities for improvement for each college. The program enables information sharing within each college leading to significant improvements during many lab inspections as well as receiving more timely corrective action responses.

    EHS Inspection Scorecard Program Key Metrics (as of June 30, 2016)

    Through June 30, 2016 EHS inspected 375 Principal Investigators (PIs) who were also inspected during the calendar year of 2015


  • Compliance Corner

    Our data is safe — thanks to careful staffers like you
    By Jessica Olms, Director – Office of University Compliance & Integrity

    Cybercriminals are continuing to target higher education, and they’re hitting us hard. Rockhurst University in Kansas City was targeted with a phishing scam that resulted in the theft of W-2 information from nearly 1,200 university employees. Ohio State was targeted by a similar scheme, but the administrator who was targeted recognized that the email was a phishing message and promptly report it.

    Why does this matter? This is an example of an employee acting as our first line of defense. We need the active participation of our staff to keep our workspace and data safe. Do not assume that someone else knows about the issue and has addressed it.

    If you see something, say something: report issues to your supervisor, to the appropriate unit (EHS, Human Resources, Compliance) or you can use the anonymos reporting line.

  • Safety Display Boards

    By Tom Huegel, College of Engineering

    The College of Engineering recently developed Safety Display Boards for all equipment in the Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence. These boards help fulfill regulatory requirements for the development of Job Hazard Analyses (JHA) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). Equipment operators are trained on the safe use of all equipment prior to their use. In addition to training and to help others who may be in the vicinity of the equipment, the Safety Display Boards provide information relating to specific hazards, hazard controls, training requirements, personal protective equipment, emergency procedures and SOPs for each piece of equipment. Die Cast Display Example

  • Got Asbestos?

    By Tom Novotny, Director-Environmental Affairs

    Asbestos fibers are light weight, stronger than steel, chemical resistant, heat resistant, electrical resistant, fireproof, naturally occurring, cheap to mine, and abundant. Because of these attributes, asbestos fibers were added to over 3000 products manufactured in the U.S. in the 1900’s. Some of these products were chemical filters, hot pads, hot gloves, high temperature wire insulation, oven liners, cabinet liners, hood liners, black lab countertops, sinks, drying racks, Bunsen burner pads, fire blankets, cements, glazing, caulks, mastics, high temperature paints and coatings, pipes, pipe insulation, electrical switchgear, etc.

    Because of the above characteristics of asbestos, asbestos fibers can stay airborne for long periods of time, are easily inhaled, and cannot be broken down by the body’s normal defenses when inhaled. Over time, inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers may cause lung cancer, mesothelioma cancer, and asbestosis.

    Although asbestos was banned from the manufacture of most building products in the United States in the 1970’s and 1980’s, widespread use of asbestos products means that these products potentially exist in our facilities. Additionally, materials are still being manufactured outside of the US and could potentially be imported and used in the construction of new buildings.

    Due to this fact, it is important that whenever projects which disturb building materials are conducted in University facilities of any date of construction, that we evaluate those materials for the presence of asbestos. By identifying building materials that contain asbestos we can prevent building occupants, maintenance workers and contractors from being exposed to asbestos fibers.

    EHS assists the University community with the identification and proper management of asbestos containing materials in our facilities. The EHS department has staff trained and licensed in the proper identification and management of asbestos containing materials.

    All OSU renovation and repair projects should be inspected for the presence of asbestos products to ensure a safe environment for all. If you or your department is planning a renovation or repair project which involves the disturbance of building materials, contact the EHS department at 292-1284.

  • A Bad Day in the Lab

    Do you need to shut the power off in an emergency? Fire Codes require a clear and unobstructed path to the fuse box or emergency shut off switch.


  • Sustainability in Action

    By Kent Halloran, Stormwater Engineer

    On Saturday, October 22nd, approximately 30 student volunteers representing four different student organizations joined EHS and FOD staff to clean and maintain the rain gardens behind Jennings Hall. The gardens were weeded, perennials were trimmed, trees were pruned, and shrubs and a small Ohio Buckeye tree were transplanted.

    These rain gardens were among the first developed for the Columbus campus after the old Botany and Zoology building greenhouses were demolished in 1995. Rain Gardens help filter and slow the runoff from storm events and are a popular form of “green” infrastructure. Green infrastructure has gained in popularity as communities throughout the nation are addressing continued urban growth and the limitations of existing and often outdated sewer piping.

    One advantage of green infrastructure is its lower maintenance requirements when compared to other forms of treatment and detention. Since 2013, these gardens have been maintained by students and student organizations interested in the environment, sustainability, and volunteerism.


    Representatives from the following student organizations worked on the 22nd, under supervision of EHS and Department of Molecular Genetics representatives.

    •  Buckeye Stream Team.
    •  Engineers for a Sustainable World
    •  Sierra Club Student Coalition
    •  Society of Environmental Engineers

    These representatives, and other volunteers, gathered at Jennings Hall to clean out the 22 rain garden boxes. Students removed weeds, pruned shrubs, and removed debris, to improve the aesthetics and function of the gardens.

    Not only did student volunteers help beautify and maintain an important natural stormwater facility, but they also helped the university meet one of its stormwater permit requirements. These students and their efforts helped the university satisfy its “Public Involvement and Participation” Best Management Practice (BMP) required in the university’s National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit.

    Additional work will occur when the students return for the spring semester. Improvements will include mulching the rain garden plants, weeding, and possibly transplanting plants to further improve the rain gardens’ performance and help prevent the growth of Invasive plants. So watch for more information in the Spring!

    In addition to the student volunteer and student organizations who participated with this initiative, EHS also thanks to Stephen Volkmann, Emily Yoders-Horn, and FOD Landscape Services for their assistance

  • Hydrogen Sulfide H2S

    By Cathy Black, Environmental Safety Officer

    Hydrogen sulfide is a highly flammable, hazardous gas that occurs naturally in crude petroleum and natural gas. It’s also is present in sewage, created through the breakdown of organic matter, and can cause detrimental health effects when inhaled. Hydrogen sulfide is heavier than air so it tends to be more highly concentrated in low-lying areas that are poorly ventilated, such as basements, manholes, sewer lines, and underground telephone or electrical vaults.

    Health effects

    Hydrogen sulfide’s effect on individuals varies depending on the levels of exposure. For most individuals (asthmatics may be at greater risk for ill health effects from exposure):

    •  Low concentrations cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory system. This reaction can be delayed.
    •  Moderate concentrations cause more severe eye and respiratory effects, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, coughing and difficulty breathing.
    •  High concentrations can lead to shock, convulsions and inability to breathe. In some instances, high levels of exposure can lead to coma and death. This effect can take place very rapidly, after only a few breaths.

    Detecting the presence

    Although low levels of concentration hydrogen sulfide may be detected by a “rotten egg” smell, high levels of concentration or being exposed to low levels for an extended period of time can cause a worker to lose the ability to smell the gas. Sense of smell alone is not a reliable method to indicate the presence of hydrogen sulfide.

    Avoiding exposure

    Before entering areas where hydrogen sulfide may be present, have a qualified person test the air. This will indicate whether fire or explosion precautions are necessary. The use of direct reading gas detection instrumentation should be required before entering confined spaces such as manholes, tanks, pits, and reaction vessels that could contain an accumulation of H2S gas. Wherever possible, exposure should be minimized by employing adequate engineering controls such as good ventilation and/or administration changes such as changing work procedures and practices that could contain an accumulation of H2S.


    Before handling, it is important that all engineering controls are operating and personal protective equipment requirements and hygiene measures are being followed. Only trained personnel should work with this compound. Do NOT work alone with this compound. In the event of a spill or leak, immediately evacuate the area and call for emergency personnel.

  • Ladder Safety

    By Steve Davidson, Health & Safety Specialist

    Ladders, just like the people working on them, vary in sizes, shapes and styles. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 43% of fatal falls involve a ladder. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls from portable ladders (step, straight, combination and extension) are one of the leading causes of occupational fatalities and injuries. With these alarming statistics in mind, safety cannot be ignored while on a ladder.

    OSHA has published the following safety tips for using and working with ladders:

    •  Read and follow all labels/markings on the ladder.
    •  Avoid electrical hazards! – Look for overhead power lines before handling a ladder. Avoid using a metal ladder near power lines or exposed energized electrical equipment.
    •  Always inspect the ladder prior to using it. If the ladder is damaged, it must be removed from service and tagged until repaired or discarded.
    •  Always maintain a 3-point (two hands and a foot, or two feet and a hand) contact on the ladder when climbing. Keep your body near the middle of the step and always face the ladder while climbing (Figure 1).
    Only use ladders and appropriate accessories (ladder levelers, jacks or hooks) for their designed purposes.
    •  Ladders must be free of any slippery material on the rungs, steps or feet.
    •  Do not use a self-supporting ladder (e.g., step ladder) as a single ladder or in a partially closed position.
    •  Do not use the top step/rung of a ladder as a step/rung unless it was designed for that purpose.
    •  Use a ladder only on a stable and level surface, unless it has been secured (top or bottom) to prevent displacement.
    •  Do not place a ladder on boxes, barrels or other unstable bases to obtain additional height.
    •  Do not move or shift a ladder while a person or equipment is on the ladder.
    •  An extension or straight ladder used to access an elevated surface must extend at least 3 feet above the point of support (see diagram). Do not stand on the three top rungs of a straight, single or extension ladder.
    •  The proper angle for setting up a ladder is to place its base a quarter of the working length of the ladder from the wall or other vertical surface (Figure 2).
    •  A ladder placed in any location where it can be displaced by other work activities must be secured to prevent displacement or a barricade must be erected to keep traffic away from the ladder.
    •  Be sure that all locks on an extension ladder are properly engaged.
    •  Do not exceed the maximum load rating of a ladder. Be aware of the ladder’s load rating and of the weight it is supporting, including the weight of any tools or equipment.


    Figure 1


    Figure 2

    If you would like additional training on the proper use of ladders, please visit the EHS Website

  • Meet Bridget Carruthers


    What is your official job title at EHS and a general description of your job duties?

    Assistant Biosafety Officer. I am the EHS contact/Inspector for TMRF, Graves, CCC, and CarePoint East. I also serve on both the IBC and IACUC committees and as an Alternate Responsible Official for the Select Agent Program.

    When did you begin working for OSU?

    August of 2003

    How long have you been with EHS?

    Since October of 2012

    Why did you decide on a career in health and safety?

    I spent 15 years studying the immune response to mycobacteria. A career in biosafety seemed like a natural transition as much of that time was spent working within biosafety level 3 laboratories.

    What is your favorite thing about OSU?

    Football of course! I also appreciate the diversity of the scientific research conducted on campus.

    What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

    Spending time with family, cooking, and gardening.

    What is your favorite: quote or TV show or movie or book?

    My favorite TV show is The Big Bang Theory