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New Mexico State University
Environmental Health & Safety
2011 Safety News Updates


2011 Safety NEWS

Building Inspection Form

EH&S provided a short training on general building inspections to 49 building monitors at the Sept 28 & 29, 2011 meetings in Senate Chambers, Corbett Center.  The presentation explained EH&S' general building inspection process and followed the inspection form provided on the EH&S safety website

Examples of safety problems in general traffic areas, housekeeping concerns, electric hazards, emergency equipment failures, and material storage were reviewed.  Example inspection photos were shown to explain good and bad examples of door & aisle clearance, insufficient lighting, damaged electric connections as well as simple tests of emergency signs and lights. 

A copy of the building inspection training presentation is hyperlinked here as well as the general building inspection form (image at the right).  Questions on the inspection process or safety concerns about building conditions should be directed to Environmental Health & Safety via email to or by phone to 646-3327. 



  • Trenching continues across International mall, pedestrian safety plan reviewed (posted 9/29/2011):
Trenching across I-mall

Much of the trenching & installation of new chilled water distribution lines beneath campus streets and parking lots (trench work near Corbett) is complete.  The current segment includes trenching across the International mall from Branson Library to Hadley Hall.  EH&S met with Garney Construction on 9/28 and approved the pedestrian safety plan for this section.  The plan includes:

a) active trenching areas enclosed by chain link fencing with hazard tape across openings used for truck entry (closed/locked after hours);
b) truck haulage traffic areas marked by traffic drums & caution ribbons with flagman/spotter present during truck use;
c) signage on Frenger Mall, I-mall and nearby sidewalks to caution and to direct all pedestrians, bikers, carts and misc vehicle traffic around/away from active work areas.

This trenching work will continue to North Horseshoe Street (construction map). The contractor will provide a traffic control plan for the Horseshoe Street closure which is tentatively scheduled during the second week of October.  Questions on the project schedule should be directed via emailing to


During the fall semester, we expect to provide over 100 safety-related classes & instruction to over 1000 persons in an effort to help prevent injury, provide risk management, and comply with OSHA & EPA requirements.  (more)


Departments are reminded to update and post their Emergency Action Plans (EAP).  This plan provides information on what employees are expected to do in an emergency and where to go in an evacuation. (more)


Emergency preparedness is a collaborative effort at NMSU (email on safety, health, & security initiatives )


Trenching Equipment

The power shovel and fencing restricting traffic along Steward Street (photo) are part of the trenching work which started last week and will gradually move across the campus as chilled water & steam distribution lines are installed beneath campus streets, parking lots, and lawns (see article below and at This work will involve excavating down 5 to 15 feet below the surface within steel trench boxes and installing 8 to 20 inch diameter piping.  This project will also involve truck traffic hauling pipe & dirt.

The work on this project is expected to continue through most of the fall semester.   As the project progresses, the trenching enclosure, the trucks, and related equipment will move (in phases) to and restrict acess to portions of 1)  Stewart St. & Jordan St. (see map),  2) Jordan to Breland Streets as wellas lots 17, 17N, 45 & 46 (map),   3) Williams Ave. & parking lots 50 52 & 54 (map), and then 4) Frenger mall and sidewalks from Branson to point near Hadley Hall (map).   Specific details on closures dates are shown on the interactive construction map at

As an effort to ensure employee & public safety on this project, EH&S has invited a representative from NM OSHA to talk on trenching safety Thursday, July 14.  At 8:30 am, Mr. Ed Dominquez, NM OSHA, will provide a safety presentation to Garney Construction (the trenching contractor) and OFS' employees at the NMSU Safety Training Facility (map).  Following the safety talk, approximately 9:30 am, the meeting will be opened for a discussion of the trenching project, areas to be affected, timing of the trenching and general concerns on the project. This will be chance to ask questions on timing of lot and street closures, details on security, etc. The presentation and meeting are both open to the campus community.  EH&S is requesting that anyone with questions or concerns about the project attend the discussion meeting on July 14.


Cole Village

It may be 102-105F degrees at ground level, but EH&S has measured air temperatures of 115-120F and surface temperature of 130F plus as NMSU employees replace air conditoners on the roofs of Cole Village Apartments.  Housing and OFS employees from construction, electric and plumber shops have been working daily since early June installing new vents, roof stands, controls and AC units on these apartments.   The motors, roof stands, tar, and conditioner units are lifted to the roof level by forklift and assembled inplace.

As part of the fall protection plan for work on these low slope roofs, a safety monitor is assigned to remind and keep workers at least 6 ft from the 20-25 ft fall hazard at the roof edge.  Both EH&S and the monitor also minimize heat stress by daily checks to ensure everyone drinks plenty of cool water, takes regular rest breaks in the shade and are aware of the symptons of heat exhaustion.  Details on avoiding heat stress is provided on the EH&S website at  Work on this project is expected to continue through August.


NMSU Water Report

The Environmental Protection Agency requires water system operators to test and publish an annual report on the quality of water delivered.  NMSU, through Facility Services (OFS), owns and operates the campus water system.   The annual report from OFS describing the testing and NMSU's water quality is availalbe on the OFS home page at, directly at or via EH&S web at (pdf copy). 

Information on drinking water standards and contaminants as well as frequently asked questions on the water quality report is available on the EPA website at


  • EH&S began the NMSU 2011 annual laboratory inspections earlier this month (posted June 19, 2011).
  • Lab Safety Inspection
    Lab Inspection

The intent of the inspection program is to improve safety and ensure regulatory compliance in the university laboratories. We began with initial inspections at Chemistry, then Biology and expect to head westward from the Horseshoe in near future, however, we will notify each department in advance.

This year, in addition to inspecting the physical facilities, EH&S is hoping to review laboratory work practices and other activities. The EH&S inspector is available to meet to review the processes at each lab location. Individuals can schedule a specific date and time.

A copy of the laboratory inspection checklist (as well as instructions on its use) from the Lab Safety section of Safety program on the EH&S website ( will be used.  It will be useful for lab review prior to the inspection.

Thank you.  David Shearer, Assistant Director, NMSU Environmental Health & Safety,


EH&S Hazwaste Operations
EH&S Hazwaste Operations

Have you ever wondered who takes care of hazardous waste and hazardous materials spills at NMSU?

In his role as environmental manager, Drew Kaczmarek focuses on campus-wide safe chemical use and disposal and clean air quality. His current project is establishing an efficient and compliant hazardous waste management program. Kaczmarek also teaches classes in environmental health and safety and works to continuously prepare the university for unannounced, formal Environmental Protection Agency inspections.
Faculty/Staff Spotlight article at


NMSU projects starting in July will result in trenchs and street closure covering several blocks at a time. "We’re talking about more than a small ditch,” said the executive director of project development. Trenchs 12- to 20-foot wide must be excavated, piping installed and then backfilled.  The trenching will affect Steward Steet, Breland Avenue, McFie Circle, Jordan Street, and Williams Avenue Union.  Details at

An intactive map showing work progress is provided at:

  • NMSU Sirens to be tested (posted from Hotline, June 1, 2011)

The campus weather alert sirens located on the eastern and western ends of campus are activated for one-minute blasts on the first Wednesday of each month as a test to ensure that they are functioning properly. For additional information. Employees and students may also register with the NMSU Emergency Notification System to receive emergency information via e-mail, voicemail or text messaging service. Sign up at:


  • NM OSHA will provide free safety classes email posted May 28, 2011

EHS has recieved an email from NM OSHA, that they will provide free safety classes to construction and general industry workers at locations in Las Cruces, Roswell and Albuquerque  Email  Flyer with schedule, location and dates


  • May 25, 2011 Driver safety: EH&S urges you to become informed & help prevent distracted driving. See NO PHONE ZONE & more at



'Chief among the projects at hand is construction of a new chilled water system satellite plant (approved Sept 17,2010) and the necessary piping that goes with it. Breland and Williams avenues, with Stewart Street in between - will bear the brunt of construction. Sections of each of those roads will be closed off at points over the summer, with one-lane or no access. That, in turn, will restrict parking in lots adjacent to those streets.'

Another major project on the main campus involves replacement and repair of a 10-inch water main, stretching between Knox Hall and Corbett Center Student Union, resulting in trenching along pedestrian areas proximate to that area.

More at





  • April 24, 2011  "Reduction of Speed limit on Stewart Avenue, east of Locust intersection." 
25 mph speed limit

Agreement by EH&S on behalf of Bicycle Safeyt Committee with NMSU Traffic Engineer to reduce speed limit on Steward through main campus pedestrian area to improve pedestrian safety.  Steward is posted as 25mph from Knox to Locust.  This changes current 35mph limit to 25mph from Locust to Payne/Arrowhead Road.  Signs posted by May 25. 



A Hybrid* Road Skills Course for bicyclists at all levels.
Saturday, April 2, 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
at Academic Research Center C, Rm 110, NMSU (MAP)



Environmental, Health and Safety (EH&S) is responsible for facilitating University safety and one of our services is providing safety training to the NMSU community.  The safety website ( has been updated with summary charts of the safety training & attendance for 2010.  

Along those lines we ask that all new regular, temporary, part-time, post-doc, graduate, and student employees on main campus observe the minimum safety training via the Employee Safety & HazCom Class.  The Employee Safety class is free and is presented every other week at our training facility. These classes are on our monthly training calendar.


For those that are too busy or otherwise unable to attend a safety training during the day, EH&S is providing several evening classes this semester, as follows:
- Employee and HazCom Safety, on March 30, Thursday, 5 to 7:30 pm at Academic Research C, room 110 (Map).  Registration is required.
- Laboratory Standard Training
on April 12, Tuesday, 5 to 7:30 pm at Academic Research C, room 110 (Map).  Registration is required.


  • March 2011 Bicycle Traffic Safety Class  There will be a bicycle traffic safety class open for the university community as follows:

Bicycle Traffic Safety TS101, on April 2, Saturday 8:30 am to 12:30 pm at Academic Research C, room 110 ( Map). The class is for all skill levels. Details and Registration are at  Registration is required.



  • March 5, 2011(posted) 2011 NMSU All Hazards Emergency Operation Plan

This NMSU Emergency Operation Plan is posted under Emergency Preparedness tab in the Emergency Management section on the EH&S website at



  • February 15, 2011 (posted) A short safety talk was presented to management & supervisors of OFS shops on safe ergonomics (email).  The overview "Safe Ergonomics: don't expose yourself to possible injury, from over-exertion or over-extension" is posted on the EH&S web at


  • Feb 1, 2011  NMSU OSHA 300 Log Posted  This log will be posted from Feb 1 to April 1. Questions on the  injury report should be addressed to EH&S 575-646-3327.





  • January 19, 2011 Special Evening Safety Class  EH&S will provide a special evening (5:30-8pm) Employee & HazCom Safety Class at the Safety Training Facility on Friday, Jan21, for those student employees and others that are unable to attend during regular business hours.  The recent customer survey suggested the need and EH&S is willing to provide this class and other classes, if there is interest.  Per established policy we are requiring a minimum of 6 registrants to hold the class.  If there is sufficient interest we will hold a evening Lab Standard class, later in the semester.  



  • Jan 14, 2011 (posted) Spring 2011 Safety Training

Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) is pleased to provide our 2011 Spring Safety Training Schedule via monthly calenders at (also linked at  During the spring semester, we expect to provide over 100 safety-related classes & instruction to help prevent injury and comply with OSHA & EPA requirements. Some of the training dates are tentative to allow some schedule modification for group requests. Our site includes Google satellite images and street maps of NMSU with detailed directions (map) to the safety training facility for those unfamiliar with the campus.  I also take this opportunity to note the safety training requirements for new employees and to mention a Spring Lab Safety Refresher class as well as a special evening safety class for busy students (both on Jan 21). 

Spring Safety Training Schedule


  • January 14, 2011 (posted) Safety Training Requirements

All new regular, temporary, part-time, post-doc, graduate, and student employees on main campus should observe the minimum safety training via the Employee Safety & HazCom Class.  The Employee Safety class is free and is presented every other week at our training facility. The class is required under NMSU policy and is to ensure compliance with EPA and OSHA obligations for worker protection, emergency procedures and hazardous materials.  

A number of staff, faculty, post-docs, graduate assistants, undergraduate employees work with hazardous materials or equipment and as such have additional training requirements beyond the Employee Safety class.  Further details on training obligations for those that work in NMSU research, shops, or agricultural settings are available on the safety website (link).  Individuals and/or their supervisors should register attendees via the safety class registration on the EH&S website.




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