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Safety, Health, Environment, and Risk Management

Welcome

Campus Safety

EHS Main Office 713.500.8100
EHS Hotline 713.500.5832
For Emergencies dial 911

Safety, Health, Environment & Risk Management’s (SHERM) mission is to work in conjunction with the UTHealth community to ensure that education, research, and health care service activities take place in conditions that are optimally safe and healthy for all students, faculty, staff, visitors, surrounding community and the general public.

Put simply, we exist to help people go home as healthy and safe as they arrived.

Our main office is located at the Operations Center Building (OCB 1.330) and we can be reached at 713.500.8100 or Fax 713.500.8111.


ABSA_2018BioSafetyMonth-logo_rgb300ppi

October 1-31, 2018 is the 5th annual “Biosafety Month”, sponsored by the American Biological Safety Association – International (ABSA International). Biosafety Month was originally launched in 2014 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to foster institutional awareness of, and commitment to, biosafety policies, practices, and procedures. Biosafety Month is an opportunity for institutions to highlight the importance of biosafety and undertake activities to strengthen their biosafety programs. ABSA International’s theme for this year is “Promoting a Culture of Biosafety and Responsibility” with the social networking hashtag #getyourcultureon.

UTHealth is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy working and learning environment for all of our staff, faculty, students and medical residents, and in support of Biosafety Month we will be reviewing our institutional safety policies that deal with potentially infectious organisms.

What can research investigators do?

  • Review existing lab safety programs and SOPs with staff/students and make any necessary updates.

  • Review and update Institutional Biosafety Committee Protocols to ensure and reflect current work conducted, agents used and locations.

  • Ensure all staff and students are current with their safety training.

  • Review all inventories of infectious agents (regardless of if they contain rDNA) in freezers, cold rooms, and/or other storage locations.

To be successful, biosafety stewardship must involve both EHS and the research investigators.  If you haven’t “checked under the hood” lately, we encourage you to take a moment to review existing lab safety programs and procedures with all of your students and staff, and make updates according to any changes that may have occurred. Review and update Institutional Biosafety Committee protocols to reflect the current work being conducted and the list and storage location of all infectious agents.  Ensure all students and staff are current with their safety training – and if additional training is needed please visit the EH&S website https://www.uth.edu/safety/training/ or contact us at 713-500-8100 for more information on biosafety and other safety training being offered. 

FreezerImportantly, we also recommend that research investigators review all inventories of infectious agents and biological toxins in your laboratories (regardless of whether they involve recombinant or synthetic nucleic acids) stored in freezers, cold rooms, and/or other locations to ensure that all unknown or unneeded materials are disposed of properly. If any assistance is needed with disposal, please do not hesitate to call EH&S at 713-500-8100.

For more information on Biosafety Month from ABSA International, please visit https://absa.org/event/2018-biosafety-month/


Reminder about PPE use:

This is a reminder to all research personnel that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should not be worn outside of the laboratory setting. Recently there have been instances of people observing researchers wearing in public spaces, specifically using gloved hands to open doors or push elevator buttons. After all, do you really know where that glove has been? 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should not be worn outside of the laboratory setting

Please do not wear gloves or other PPE outside of the laboratory, especially on elevators, in hallways, or in break rooms.

If it is necessary to transport items between labs on the same floor, one hand may be gloved, while the other hand remains without a glove to open the doors between labs. Gloves should never be worn in the elevator or break rooms. Ideally items should be transported using carts and secondary containment, especially when transporting items between floors.


Insider Threat Awareness at UTHealth

UT Police 713.792.2890

Reporting behaviors of concern is vital to protecting the University's intellectual property, it's safety and future.

Last year, the Office of Auditing and Advisory Services performed an internal audit at UTHealth on "insider threats".  Insider threats are a real risk to any organization and individuals at UTHealth should remain vigilant of any potential insider threats.  Based on the findings of the internal audit, the best way to do this is through awareness.  UTPD and Environmental Health and Safety have committed to helping raise awareness of insider threats by providing the following information.  Remember, if you see something, say something!


Announcing updated and improved CATER form

Good news!  The surplus equipment request for pickup form (a.k.a. the CATER form) has been updated and improved by Environmental Health and Safety.  These improvements increase the form’s security, visual accessibility, and user friendliness, and will help streamline the process of inspection of potentially hazardous equipment before removal by Capital Assets Management for reuse or sale to the public.  The new form can be accessed at the following link:  https://apps.uth.edu/ehssurplus.

The new form can also be accessed from the Environmental Health and Safety web page, the Capital Assets web page, and in the Forms Section on the Inside UTHealth home page.

For details on the Comprehensive Asset Tracking and Environmental Release Program (CATER) please visit UTHealth’s Environmental Health and Safety Website here: https://www.uth.edu/safety/environmental-protection/surplus-procedure-guidelines.htm.


ClassroomTraining
Initial Lab and Bloodborne Pathogen's Safety Training

every Monday* at 1:00 pm
UCT 1505C
* Unless the University is closed

Annual Lab and Bloodborne Pathogen's  Training
Online only
Basic Radiation Safety Training

November 7 & 8, 2018
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
CYF G.102

Infectious Shipping Training

October 18, 2018
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
CYF G.102

[UTPhysicians Training]
Questions regarding training?
Contact Stephen David at 713-500-5858
or contact our main office at 713-500-8100
For quick access to Learn2Succeed