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Environmental Health & Safety
Regis College is committed to providing a safe and healthy campus environment. In support of its commitment the college has established an Office of Environmental Health and Safety in order to implement environmental and occupational health and safety programs, and to ensure compliance with all relevant governmental laws and regulations.
Indoor air quality concerns
Directed to EHS firstname.lastname@example.org
- Unusual odors such as chemical smells and vehicle exhaust
- Visible mold growth
- Sickness associated with occupancy of the building
- Indoor Air Quality Concern Form
- Indoor air quality reference
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
For students, faculty and staff includes, but is not limited to:
- Remove your gloves and wash your hands before leaving the lab.
- Do not wear gloves when touching common surfaces, such as telephones, computers, doorknobs, and elevator buttons, or that may be touched without gloves by others.
- Do not wear gloves outside of the lab.
- When transporting hazardous materials between labs, use secondary containers that can be carried without gloves.
- Laboratory Coats
- Side shields (for glasses)
- Face shields/masks
- Safety glasses
- Shoe Covers
At minimum, laboratory personnel should wear gloves and a laboratory coat whenever handling biological agents or cells and tissues. Safety glasses, side shields, goggles or face shields shall be worn when these materials could potentially be splashed in the face. Laboratory personnel should wear other PPE as needed or required to prevent infectious materials from reaching their clothes, skin, eyes, mouth, or other mucous membranes.
PPE must be removed prior to leaving the work area and placed in designated areas. PPE must be treated as waste when discarded.
- Scope: departments who “generate” medical or biological waste to include, Health Services, Laboratories, Nursing, Campus Police and Athletics
- Responsibilities: Environmental Health and Safety will serve as a resource for proper storage, labeling, transport, disinfection and disposal. EHS will assist in coordinating with the disposal(s) contractor.
Medical or Biological Waste in Massachusetts
- Blood and blood products – in a free draining, liquid state.
- Pathological Waste – human tissues, parts, body fluids.
- Cultures and Stocks of Infectious Agents and their Associated Biologicals. This includes culture dishes and devices used to transfer, inoculate and mix cultures as well as discarded live and attenuated vaccines intended for human use.
- Contaminated Animal Waste
- Sharps – can cause punctures or cuts and includes needles, syringes, lancets, pasteur pipettes, and disposable razors associated with medical or biological material procedures.
Biotechnology By-Product Effluents – discarded liquids, cultures, and solutions made from microorganisms and their products to include genetically altered living microorganisms and their products.
- Definitions of the foregoing are located in Department of Public Health regulations, 105 CMR 480.010
- OSHA Regulated Waste: a liquid or semi-liquid blood or other potentially infectious materials; contaminated items that would release blood or other potentially infectious materials in a liquid or semi-liquid state if compressed; items that are caked with dried blood or other potentially infectious materials and are capable of releasing these materials during handling; contaminated sharps; and pathological and microbiological wastes containing blood or other potentially infectious materials.
Storing Medical or Biological Waste
- Waste shall be stored in containers or red bags that are closeable, impervious to moisture, and resistant to ripping or bursting.
- Marked with the universal biohazard warning symbol and the word “Biohazard”.
- Secured to prevent leakage when handled, stored, and transported. Blood and biotechnology by-product effluents must be stored in leak-proof containers securely sealed.
- Separated from other wastes.
- Stored in red closeable, leak-proof, rigid, puncture-resistant and shatterproof containers.
- Marked with the universal biohazard warning symbol and the word “Biohazard”.
- Do not fill more than ¾ of the capacity of the container.
- Do not clip, bend, shear, or separated needles from syringes and do not recap needles.
To protect yourself and others from injury from sharps, place all needles, pasteur pipettes, syringes, suture needles, scalpels, and razor blades into standard sharps containers. These containers are constructed of a thick red plastic and labeled with the biohazard symbol. Place sharps containers in convenient locations near work areas so they will be used. Do not overfill the sharps containers. When containers are ¾ full, close the box, and contact the designated coordinator in your building for a pick-up. All sharp containers are sent off-site for disposal
- Approved methods as listed by the MA Department of Public Health:
- Autoclaving: each load or cycle must be evaluated by recording thermometer, thermocouple, parametric monitoring device or thermal indicator strip.
- Autoclaves must be calibrated annually
- Steri-cycle Pick up Schedule
The OSHA Lab standard applies to all employees working with hazardous chemicals in the laboratory, our Chemical Hygiene Plan addresses how to safely work with hazardous chemicals to prevent occupational exposure in the laboratory.
- OSHA Laboratory Standard - Safety & Health Topics Page and Lab Safety Fact Sheets
- OSHA Hazardous & Toxic Substances - Safety and Health Topics Page
Other Important Information
- Bloodborne Pathogens: an occupational exposure, for the purpose of this standard, means reasonably anticipated eye, mucous membranes, or parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials that may result from the performance of an employee’s duties.
- Fire Safety: link back to the general safety fire page
- Fume Hoods: “A laboratory fume hood is a three-sided enclosure with an adjustable front opening. It is designed to capture, contain, and exhaust hazardous fumes generated inside its enclosure. Fume hoods accomplish this by exhausting air through the hood face to the outside of the building. Fumes are drawn away from the worker’s breathing zone.”(http://ateam.lbl.gov/hightech/fumehood/students/su00/Fox/FHSafety.htm)
Contractor Responsibility for Hazardous & Universal Wastes
- Outside contractors are responsible for the removal of any waste they create. It is recommended that clear guidelines be established on project scope documents. Project Managers must ensure that waste generated is removed from campus and disposed of according to federal, state and local regulations.
Hazardous Waste – Definition: EPA regulations define a hazardous waste as a “solid waste or combination of solid wastes, which because of its quantity, concentration, or chemical, or infectious characteristics may (1) cause or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible, or incapacitating reversible illness or (2) pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, disposed of or otherwise managed.” EPA also states a waste is hazardous if it is “ignitable, corrosive, reactive or toxic”, or fits one of these lists: (1) Non-Specific Source Wastes (F Codes); (2) Discarded Commercial Chemical Products, Off-Specification Species, Container Residues and Spill Residues; (3) Acute Discarded Waste [in its original form] (P Codes); (4) Toxic Discarded Waste [in its original form] (U Codes).
Two important federal acts are:
- RCRA: The Resource Conservation & Recovery Act passed in 1976. It empowered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate the disposal of solid and hazardous waste. In Massachusetts, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) oversees this program. In 1984, the Hazardous & Solid Waste Amendments banned hazardous waste from landfills.
- CERCLA: The Comprehensive Environmental Responsibility, Compensation and Liability Act, known as Superfund was enacted in 1980. This law makes the original generator of a waste responsible for that material forever, from "cradle to grave".
Hazardous Waste Accumulation Areas
Main Accumulation Area (MAA): An area on campus where hazardous wastes are collected and managed prior to off-site shipment. Greater than 55-gallons of hazardous waste can be accumulated in MAAs. Check the following weekly:
- Containers Closed tightly
- No signs of leakage
- No signs of corrosion
- Segregated properly according to compatibility
- Proper aisle spacing
- Labels marked “Hazardous Waste”
- Labels indicate chemical constituents, hazards and date entered into storage.
- Signage indicating space a "Hazardous Waste" is visible
- Contact phone numbers available and posted
- Spill clean up supplies should be immediately available
- General Area secure (ie. locked)
- Floor/Shelving in good shape
Satellite Accumulation Area (SAA): An area that is at or near the site of generation of hazardous waste. The SAA must be under the control of a designated person who works in the immediate work area. Storage is limited to one container per waste stream, which cannot exceed 55 gallons. The management requirements are less stringent than for a Main Accumulation Area but must be checked weekly.
- Containers in secondary containment
- Containers fully and properly labeled
- Containers closed at all times except when adding or removing chemical
- Containers properly segregated
- Containers in good condition
- Area secure
- SAA signage posted
- Only one container per waste stream/type
- Contact EH&S for MAA or SAA signage which is required to be posted by all accumulation areas.
- No Smoking Signs must be posted by all MAA’s.
- No Pouring Chemicals Down the Drain” signage available for sink areas.
- Material that cannot go to a regular landfill, so cannot be disposed of in the regular trash. Requires special handling procedures. Must use a licensed disposal contractor.
- Lamps and Bulbs that contain mercury or lead.
- Examples include fluorescent, neon, mercury vapor.
- ‘Green Cap’ bulbs are typically not universal waste.
- Cathode Ray Tubes or CRTs contained in computer screens and television sets.
- Batteries to include nickel-cadmium and small sealed lead acid batteries.
- Larger lead acid batteries for cars are subject to other regulations.
- Thermostats that contain mercury.
- Universal Waste must be kept in containers or packages.
- Containers must be kept closed and lack evidence of leakage, spillage, or damage.
- It is recommended that box dividers are used to avoid breakage.
- Designated storage areas must be set up to manage universal wastes on campus
- Waste lamps must be put in appropriate storage at the end of each work shift and placed in designated universal waste accumulation area(s)
For More Information
Ashley Bielawski, J.D.
Environmental Health & Safety Compliance