Congratulations! You have just become the safety manager for Podunk University. Your position is at the campus in Podunk, Colorado, and your predecessor left the job a year and a half ago. There has been nobody in the position during that interval. The commitment of the institution to safety is dubious at best, but you are looking forward to starting your new position and making a positive change.
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After introducing yourself to the secretary you share with a half dozen other, more senior, people, you decide to focus on hazardous material and hazardous waste issues since you just completed a great college course on those topics. You tour the campus and discover that the following departments and programs are yours to deal with:
• The biology department has animal dissection, human dissection, a microbiology lab, and a medical laboratory education program that uses small quantities of a lot of chemicals.
• The chemistry department has chemicals that have never been inventoried and a new forensics program (as in CSI, not in college debate).
• The physics department has high-voltage equipment, lasers, and LEDs.
• The English department has lots and lots of books and papers, as well as photocopiers.
• The math department has lots of computers and whiteboards.
• The automotive technology department has everything pertaining to auto repair, including solvents, asbestos brake linings, pneumatic tools, waste oil, and cutting and grinding tools.
• The Massive Arena is one of the original buildings on campus and has a variety of interesting problems, including asbestos insulation, and the building is undergoing a massive renovation.
Respond to each of the following questions:
1. Where do you start?
2. Where should you focus your initial HazCom efforts? In what order do you tackle the rest of the departments?
3. What are the HazCom issues in the automotive technology department?
4. What are the hazardous waste issues in the automotive technology department?
5. What are the HazCom issues in the chemistry department?
6. What are the hazardous waste issues in the chemistry department?
7. With the Massive Arena renovation, who are the people to whom you need to communicate hazards?
8. What are your main concerns with the physics department?
9. What are the hazardous material/waste spill response issues for the university, and how should you prepare for them?
10. Is any HazCom training needed for the English and math departments?
11. What are some resources for finding out how to solve the HazCom issues?
12. You must choose technology or trainers to do the needed training. What are some issues to consider when selecting these?
13. Due to budget cuts, you have to do the training yourself, and you will use PowerPoint. What are some considerations when developing your PowerPoint Presentation?
14. How can you evaluate your training to ensure that it is accomplishing your goals?
15. One of the chemistry professors working with some of the automotive technology faculty members, invents a new nonflammable compound that will render obsolete the need for solvents to degrease auto parts. She wants to market the stuff. What needs to be done before it can be marketed, and who should do it?
16. The University decides to partner with the chemistry professor and market this new compound. Due to the lack of flammability, it is a great hit nationwide. They then decide to market it worldwide. What concerns need to be addressed?
17. It turns out that this wonderful new compound makes a really great explosion when used in conjunction with another chemical. As the University is manufacturing the compound in large quantities and storing it on the grounds, what concerns do you now have? What experts should you consult?
18. The biology department has been busy as well. The little microbiology lab is large now, and they are working with stronger pathogens. How would you determine the new hazard communication requirements and things that you should do beyond that minimum?
After a tough five years, you have the Podunk University campus running smoothly. Everybody is trained, and your successor will not have nearly as much of a challenge as you did. Congratulations, and best wishes on your next challenge!
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