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New Mexico State University

2012 Safety NEWS

NMSU art dept technician recieves FOS [Friend of Safety] award

Adam Labe is a “Friend of Safety” at New Mexico State University. The Department of Art’s manager of chemical safety was recently recognized for working to improve the environmental health and safety culture on campus.

For his efforts, he was presented with an engraved globe, representing the impact safety managers make in the world.

Details at


2012 Maintenance Safety Blitz

On September 12th, 13th & 14th, EH&S will provide six 4-hr long refresher training sessions on maintenance safety, a maintenance training blitz at the Safety Training facility, room 110, Academic Research C.  


The safety training blitz is directed at affected employees in the Facility Services, Housing, Special Events, Physical Science Laboratory, Corbett, DACC, and ARS/agriculture as well as other NMSU departments or locations with maintenance activities. 

More details .  .  .  .


Back to work in the lab!

Forgotten what bad and whats not?

1. What protective gear, gloves, or PPE should you wear in the lab for your research?
2. What changes in lab & chemical safety are there?
3. What is the hazard with this chemical?

Need to refreshen a bit?  Well...

EH&S is providing the annual lab refresher in September and October.

More details and disclaimers .....

Flyer for posting at

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



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 (FS), owns and operates the campus water system. The annual report from FS describing the 2011 testing and NMSU's water quality is availalbe on the FS home page at, directly at or via EH&S web at (pdf copy).

Information Las Cruces drinking water, EPA water standards & contaminants as well as frequently asked questions on water quality is available at

2012 Las Cruces Water Supply Water Report (Report 1) (local copy) (Report 2)



GHS & HazCom

On March 26, 2012, the Federal Register published the final rule on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (known as GHS). The effective date of the rule was 60 days after publication or May 25, 2012.

Major changes to the 1984 HazCom Standards are as follows:

1. Hazard classification: The definitions of hazard have been changed to provide specific criteria for classification of health and physical hazards, to help ensure that evaluations of hazardous effects are consistent internationally, and that the labels and safety data sheets are more accurate. (details)

2. Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers must provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard statement for each hazard class and category. (details)

Safety Data Sheets

3. Safety Data Sheets (SDS no longer called MSDS):  The revision requires that the information on the Safety Data Sheet is presented using consistent headings in a specified sequence (same as ANSI standard format) which follows a specified 16-section format. (details)

More details on the harmonization of chemical hazards, labels & SDS; an implementation schedule; and a summary video are available at



  • NMSU 2012 Annual Laboratory Inspections set for May through Aug. (posted May 15)

Lab Safety Inspection
Lab Inspection

The Annual Laboratory Inspection program has been conducted each summer for the last five years. For 2012, we will start on May 21 with an expected completion of all campus lab by early August.  The inspection schedule is provided on EH&S's training & event calendar and we contact each department head in advance of the inspection. 

The intent of these inspections is to improve safety in the laboratories.  In addition to inspecting the physical facilities  with the "inspection checklist", EH&S is hoping to review laboratory work practices and other activities. John Larson, EH&S Safety Manager, is available to help to review the lab research practices.  He can meet with the Principal investigator, lab manager, primary researcher, and/or department head to review the processes at each lab location.  Individuals can schedule a specific date and time with John Larson (

The inspection checklist as well as instruction on use are posted on the laboratory safety section of safety programs page on the EH&S website ( As in the past, EH&S will be using this checklist, so it will be useful for review prior to the inspection.   If you have questions or concerns on the inspection program or other safety issues, please E-mail or call EH&S at 575-646-3327. 

Thanks, David Shearer, Assist. Director, EH&S 


  • OSHA: 2011 Top Ten Recurring Industrial Safety Violations (OSHA source)

1. Scaffolding

2. Fall Protection

3. Hazard Communication

4. Respiratory Protection

5. Lockout/Tagout


6. Electrical, Wiring Method

7. Powered Industrial Truck

8. Ladder

9. Electrical, General Requirements

10. Machine Guarding

NMSU Safety Policy requires that all employees have the proper equipment and training prior to working in these activities.  EH&S provides regular safety training (description) for NMSU employees on many of these topics.  Please see EH&S Training Schedule to register.



  • Project Heart Start at Pan American Center - June 23 (flyer)

Sudden cardiac arrest kills more than 400,000 people each year in the United States. Most people who arrest from a cardiac cause do not survive.  Join in with the Las Cruces Region 2 EMS instructors on Saturday, June 23, 2012 for a free event to learn how you can save someone's life.  The Las Cruces Region 2 EMS unit in conjunction with the NM Heart Institute and NMSU will provide 3 One hours sessions at 8, 9, & 10 am at the Pan American Center (MAP & directions) on the NMSU campus.

For more information:

1. Event Brochure

2. Video on NM HeartStart Program from KOAT Albuquerque  

3. Las Cruces event info is also available from Manny Medina, Region 2 EMS, at 575-524-2167  or by email at



  • University Safety Committee meeting, Thursday, April 26, 11am,

at Academic Research C, Rm110 (Safety Training Facility, 1620 Standley Drive, map).


1. Injury reports - 3rd & 4th quarter 2011

2. NMSU's 2011 OSHA 300 injury log - NMSU safety web link

3. Pedestrian & Bicycle Survey data - NMSU safety web link

4. EH&S activity report/changes/news

5. Webcast: Lab Accidents in the News: Institutional & Individual Risks, Roles & Responsibilities
This is the archived NACUBO & CSHEMA web presentation from April 2, 2012 - NMSU safety web link. 
(webcast slides)

I estimate 30 minutes for items 1-4 (above) and 90 minutes plus for item 5 webcast.

The University Safety Committee meeting and webcast is open to NMSU community and guests.  If there are questions on this webcast or on safety concerns, please call NMSU EH&S at 646-3327.



  • Suspension of Hazardous Waste & Chemical Collection (email 3/28/12)

NMSU Hazardous Waste Collection

To: All Lab Supervisors (affected departments please distribute)

From: Drew Kaczmarek, Environmental Manager, EH&S
Subject: Pick Up of Hazardous Waste & Chemicals for Disposal

1. Chemical pick ups for disposal will be suspended Thursday April 12, 2012 in preparation for our quarterly hazardous waste shipment.

2. The pick up service will resume after the scheduled shipment on Friday, Friday May 4, 2012. 

3. In the interim, please follow the "NMSU Waste Accumulation Point Checklist” procedures. A copy of these procedures can be found at:

4. Please call EH&S at 575-646-3327 to schedule free pickups before or after these dates.

Thank you for your assistance.




On April 10, EH&S provided an safety training class on the use of the Facilities Services' Genie Aerial Lift.  "Class descriptionPhotos & more information . . .



  • April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month (DDAM).

    Government and safety organizations continue to note the hazards of driving while texting or talking on cell phone, i.e. distracted driving. For more information please see highlighted links.

- In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in crashes involving driver distraction, and an estimated 448,000 were injured. (NHTSA)

- 16% of fatal crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. (NHTSA)

- 20% of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. (NHTSA)

- In the month of June 2011, more than 196 billion text messages were sent or received in the US, up nearly 50% from June 2009. (CTIA)

- Teen drivers are more likely than other age groups to be involved in a fatal crash where distraction is reported. In 2009, 16% of teen drivers involved in a fatal crash were reported to have been distracted. (NHTSA)

- 40% of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger. (Pew)

- Drivers who use hand-held devices are 4 times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (Monash University)

- Text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. (VTTI)



  • April 2, Webcast 11am: Lab Accidents in the News: (hosted by EH&S),

    Location: EH&S Training Facility, rm 110, Academic Research C, 1620 Standley Avenue (map). 

Webcast Topic "Lab Accidents in the News: Institutional and Individual Risks, Roles and Responsibilities."  More information . . .


Thursday, 03/29/2012, Time:11:45am - 1pm,
Location: Chemistry Bldg, Auditorium CB153, NMSU, Las Cruces, NM

This seminar reviews several recent lab accidents, resulting investigations, and consequences. It includes several steps and changes to be implemented to help improve the Lab Safety Culture at NMSU. The presentation will also help determine if your lab has a good safety culture.



Lab Decommissioning

Departments/Divisions may incur significant costs as a result of laboratories and research materials  that have not been properly decommissioned.  Following the Laboratory Decommissioning Procedure prior to vacating any laboratory or other space where chemical, biological, or radioactive agents  have been used or stored, will help prevent this.



More details . . .


Been busy?

Did you miss us in the fall? 

If so, you are invited to attend a spring  lab safety refresher at our training facility over the lunch hour on February 21.  More details .....

Flyer for posting at



Environmental Health & Safety is pleased to announce that the NMSU 2011 OSHA 300 log, a summary of 2011 NMSU accidents/injury, is posted on our website (click link or image to enlarge).  The log provides summary information on cases and time (days) lost or restricted due to reportable injury (or illness) by NMSU employees in 2011.  Links to this webpage are on the safety.nmsu homepage, NMSU_EHS Tweeter and NMSU.EHS Facebook sites.

More -- details on posting, Injury reductions,  .  .  .



  • Subject: Suspension of Hazardous Waste & Chemical Collection (1/4/2012):



Date:         January 3, 2012
To:            All Lab Supervisors (affected departments please distribute)
From:        Drew Kaczmarek, Environmental Manager, EH&S
Subject:    Pick Up of Hazardous Waste & Chemicals for Disposal


NMSU Hazardous Waste Collection

1. Chemical pick ups for disposal will be suspended in preparation for our quarterly hazardous waste shipment, effective  Thursday, January 12, 2012
2. The pick up service will resume after the scheduled shipment on Friday, February 3, 2012.
3. In the interim, please follow the "NMSU Waste Accumulation Point Checklist” procedures.  A copy of these procedures can be found at:


4. Please call EH&S at 575-646-3327 to schedule free pickups before or after these dates.
Thank you for your assistance.



2011 Safety News Link