Environmental Health and Safety Frequently Asked Questions
What kinds of environmental, health and safety (EHS) issues exist at Keene State College?
There are a wide range of EHS issues that affect the College. We have a diverse campus population involved in many occupational job situations that require special safety procedures and training. For example, Physical Plant staff need training in OSHA mandated energy control procedures to ensure equipment doesn't start unexpectedly during repairs. Child Development Staff, Rec Center staff, and Campus Safety need to follow proper procedures (and need training) for potential exposure to bloodbourne pathogens that could happen in the day to day performance of their job duties. Faculty need to know what procedures to follow in handling and managing hazardous waste. These are just a sampling of the types of activities that need EHS support.
In addition, the College operates equipment such as boilers, underground storage tanks and others that require environmental permits through the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Resources. Repairs to old heating pipes may trigger an asbestos abatement project that requires the hiring of special contractors and performance of air monitoring. Oil storage equipment require special procedures and knowledge. Unique projects such as the Science Center move will require additional technical support.
What does the EHS Coordinator do?
The EHS Coordinator provides technical support and oversight for environmental health and safety issues that affect Keene State. The EHS Coordinator develops appropriate EHS procedures (like how to handle hazardous waste) and conducts/coordinates appropriate training. The EHS Coordinator completes and submits required air and water permits for the College, and coordinates asbestos removal projects and other environmental projects. The EHS Coordinator is also the liaison between the City of Keene, EPA, OSHA and NH Department of Environmental Services for EHS issues.
In addition, the EHS Coordinator chairs the College Health & Safety Committee. The Committee is made up of members representing all populations of the campus and is a resource for communicating and resolving safety concerns.
Other issues that EHS gets involved in:
What are my responsibilities for environmental health and safety?
All members of the Keene State College community are responsible for following USNH policy and state and federal EHS laws. See the Physical Plant web site, Environmental Health and Safety link for more information and to see the Keene State EHS Mission Statement.
Overall the level of responsibility depends on your specific job and supervisory duties. An employee in the Physical Plant or Science faculty will have more requirements and need more training than someone working in an office setting. An EHS Training Matrix detailing the types of training employees need is also located in the Environmental Health and Safety web site.
All supervisors in all locations on campus are responsible for completing any accident investigation reports for an employee that experiences a job related injury or illness. This report must be completed within 24 hours and submitted to Human Resources. The report can be accessed at www.keene.edu by typing 'Accident Report' in the SEARCH command. As part of this report, the supervisor must determine what can be done to prevent recurrence of the injury. Supervisors are also responsible for ensuring employees attend required training. Supervisors that purchase chemicals are responsible for obtaining an MSDS (material safety data sheet) and making this available for their employees. If special Personal Protective Equipment is required, the supervisor must make sure this is available to their staff. Contact the EHS Coordinator if you need technical support.
If anyone has a safety concern or safety question, there are a number of options:
How can I get more involved in environmental health and safety?
There are many ways to improve environmental health and safety at Keene State.
Lead by example. Participate actively in the on site Keene Recycling Program. Keene State has a great program in place with recycling stations located conveniently throughout campus. Segregate waste and dispose of properly. Don't just throw stuff in the garbage - segregate first or look into the surplus program.
Prevent waste in the first place by purchasing only what you need. Ask yourself "Do I really need this?" Research purchases for the whole cost - sometimes the least expensive in the short term may have more expensive long term costs, such as expensive disposal costs. Examine your purchasing policies.
Be efficient in the use of energy. Shut off the light when you exit the office. Turn off your computer and printer at the end of the day. Energy costs are huge and energy generation has a negative impact on the environment. hink to yourself, "how would I manage this situation at home?"
Take personal responsibility. Attend training. Simple free, fixes you do yourself to a work station can make it more ergonomically correct. Add plants to your office - it improves your indoor air and reduces stress.
Participate in the Sustainability Council. Communicate with your Health and Safety Committee representative, or better yet come to a meeting. It is like voting - you have to do it to have a say!