Environmental Health & Safety

The UMMS Environmental Health & Safety Department mission is to provide a safe environment to all people associated with the institution. This includes assuring the facility is in compliance with applicable municipal, state, federal, and other recognized standards involved with safety. The department is responsible for monitoring the use of hazardous materials; ensuring that work is conducted in a safe manner, and that the safety of the personnel and the general environmental safety of the institution is overseen. UMMS EH&S (http://inside.umassmed.edu/ehs/Index.aspx?linkidentifier=id&itemid=10522)

  • All laboratory personnel are required to attend the RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) training upon being hired during orientation, and annually thereafter. The sessions deal with hazardous waste management. Currently this training is being offered as an online course, employees will be notified yearly. EH&S BioSafety Manual. (http://inside.umassmed.edu/content.aspx?id=25344&linkidentifier=id&itemid=25344)
  • EH&S offers many other courses such as: Biosafety Cabinet Training, Biological Packing and Shipping, and Ergonomics. EH&S Training (http://inside.umassmed.edu/ehs/training/Index.aspx?linkidentifier=id&itemid=10572)
  • All hazardous waste must be stored in marked areas in the labs, usually in a hood. Environmental Health & Safety is notified for pick up of labeled waste bottles. Waste Pickup Request. (http://inside.umassmed.edu/ehs/services/hw_pickup.aspx)
  • For a spill of less than 1L of material (excluding highly toxic spills), laboratory personnel should clean up using the appropriate chemical spill kit. Afterwards, Operations should be called at x63292 to report the spill. For spills greater than 1L, contact Operations at x63292 for appropriate cleanup. For unknown chemical spills or mercury, call Operations.
  • The Biological Health & Safety Program (http://inside.umassmed.edu/ehs/programs/BiologicalHS.aspx?linkidentifier=id&itemid=10546) has many useful links for recombinant DNA work, etiologic agents, and general biosafety work.
  • The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) (http://www.umassmed.edu/research/ibc.aspx) is responsible for the establishment and implementation of guidelines and practices governing safe usage of infectious agents, recombinant DNA, bio-toxins and human samples within the research laboratories. Contact Sheldon Cooper for more information.

Radiation Safety

The UMMS Radiation Safety office oversees all radioactive materials in the laboratories along with training, registering workers in the labs, ordering, monitoring, maintaining required records, and collecting waste. UMMS Radiation Safety (http://inside.umassmed.edu/radiation/index.aspx?linkidentifier=id&itemid=12758)

  • A radiation safety orientation class is required of all persons wishing to use radioactive materials. Class is conducted every Tuesday promptly at 9 AM (unless otherwise posted) in S9-700, taught by Allison Rapa.
  • To reach the Radiation Safety Office: Take the clinical science elevators (near the credit union office and clinical entrance to the school) to the 8th floor and follow the signs around to stairwell #9. Go up one flight and turn right at the top.
  • All radioactive material orders must be submitted online. Online Orders. (http://inside.umassmed.edu/radiation/order.cfm)
  • Radioactive waste pickup requests can be completed online. Special requests can be made by using the pickup request form. Waste Pickup. (http://inside.umassmed.edu/radiation/waste/pickup.cfm)
  • All Principal Investigators must be approved by the Radiation Safety Office and the Radiation Safety Committee before any radioactivity can be used in the lab. PI Package. (http://inside.umassmed.edu/radiation/pipackage.aspx?linkidentifier=id&itemid=12766)
  • All potential Cesium-137 Irradiator users must be trained in general Radiation Safety procedures and specifically in the use of the irradiator(s) by Radiation Safety. Additional irradiator training must be scheduled individually through the training officer (Allison Rapa). Individual irradiator training will take place at the specific irradiator and may take up to 20 minutes. A background check is performed by both public safety and the HR department. Human resources will evaluate basic personal, employment and educational references provided by a potential user. Public Safety will evaluate trustworthiness through the fingerprint program. Users will be allowed access to the machines only after appropriate training is completed and a thorough background check is reported back to Radiation Safety. See Irradiator User Information.  (http://inside.umassmed.edu/radiation/Irradiators.aspx?linkidentifier=id&itemid=12780) for complete details on the requirements and process.
  • For spills – During working hours, call the Radiation Safety Office at x63208 and guard/tape off the spill area until they arrive. After hours, call Operations at x63292. Check clothes and shoes for contamination before walking around lab area. UMMS Spill Protocol (http://inside.umassmed.edu/content.aspx?id=29522
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