As many staff, faculty and students get ready to return to campus from remote working, and as teams across the Corvallis campus prepare for fall term, Environmental Health and Safety reminds the campus community that they’re here to help maintain a safer and healthier university environment for everyone. In fact, they’ve been here all along.
Teams like EH&S have worked to keep OSU’s Corvallis campus clean, safer and maintained throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by providing consultations and safety and health services to the employees and staff who continued to work on campus. These efforts continue as more employees and students prepare to return to campus for work and to attend classes.
Pete Lepre, a member of the Environmental Health & Safety team, is shown conducting a hazardous waste pickup on the Corvallis campus.
With a return to a more-occupied campus, EH&S is getting ready for a potential uptick in lab moves and cleanouts, chemical moves, requests for indoor air quality evaluations and fire prevention questions. Additionally, EH&S helps with translating important information, like OR-OSHA and COVID-19 requirements, for the Pathway to Fall planning guide for the university. This document helps guide the resumption of traditional on-site and in-person activities on campus.
EH&S is working diligently along with other campus departments, as well as off-campus units, to help maintain safer lab and workplace environments for all. EH&S helps with laboratory, shop and workplace assessments for research safety, removal of hazardous waste, equipment safety checks, laboratory moves and cleanouts, and more.
Indoor air quality checks such as for mold, volatile chemicals, or air movement/circulation can be performed upon request and require the identification of an existing indoor air quality issue; email [email protected] to request this service. The actual check will be based on the suspected hazard, according to Environmental Health and Safety Assistant Director Dan Kermoyan.
On an annual basis, EH&S performs as many as 700 site assessments, and about 1,300 waste pickups and other consultations on the Corvallis campus. EH&S also conducts site assessments with research lab supervisors and other work environments to check for issues related to employee well-being, regulatory compliance and environmental protection.
“The site assessments are important to reinforce environmental health and safety, and compliance work practices,” Kermoyan said. “Our staff are here on campus and can respond quickly for consultations on these and other related topics.”
~ Abbie Leland