FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

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Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

Yes, however there are many pre-requisites that need to be completed before an AED can be installed in a building (designating an AED Coordinator, completing the written plan for AED installation, training, etc.).  Your work unit/department may also be required to fund the equipment, installation costs and on-going maintenance costs (battery and pad replacements) of the equipment.

With the exception of University Health Services, who is exempt from the AED Program, all AED purchases for University Park and the Commonwealth Campuses are strictly controlled by EHS.  Central Stores has restrictions put on purchasing AEDs with P-cards and through eBuy. AEDs are only distributed through OPP Stores at University Park and they will not issue an AED without documented approval by EHS.

Aerial Lift

An operator re-evaluation is required every 3 years.  The operator evaluation document can be found here: https://ehs.psu.edu/aerial-scissor-lifts/forms

-Once a shift by a trained operator

-Once a year by a third party

Alcohol Tobacco Firearms (ATF) Explosive Materials Management

Contact EHS by using the “Contact Us” portion of the website https://ehs.psu.edu/contact-us or calling 814-865-6391 to schedule an on-site applicability assessment of your specific activities associated with energetic materials.

Asbestos

To learn about possible asbestos containing materials, please view the EHS – Asbestos Awareness course through Cornerstone.  Or call if you have immediate questions.

Contact EHS and we can arrange for testing.  We may also have existing records.  If material is damaged contact EHS ASAP.

No.  Samples must be collected by PA Labor and Industry Asbestos Inspectors.  EHS will conduct or coordinate all asbestos sampling in Penn State facilities.

All buildings constructed before 1990 are assumed to contain asbestos.  For equipment-specific questions, contact EHS.

Working in, or occupying, a building during asbestos removal is safe.  There are many precautions taken and the “DANGER Asbestos” sign is required by state and federal regulations regardless of the hazard.  The sign is to prevent unauthorized persons from walking into a regulated asbestos work area.

Chemical Inventory Management System (CHIMS)

Reference the chemical inventory management resources available on the EHS website:  https://ehs.psu.edu/chemical-inventory-management/inventory-management-resources. Complete and submit the new account request form that is available on the EHS website https://ehs.psu.edu/chemical-inventory-management/formsThe program manager on the right hand side of this webpage is available to answer questions on the system and to register you as a user in the system.

Contact the program manager on the right hand side of this webpage for assistance (https://ehs.psu.edu/chemical-inventory-management/overview).

Cranes, Hoists & Slings

Training must be completed prior to any use of a crane or hoist.  Training of crane and hoist operators at Penn State is a two-step process for the majority of cranes/hoists which consists of classroom instruction and hands-on training.

In additional to the above requirements, a documented operator evaluation is required for operators of Bridge Cranes. 

Yes, a pre-use inspection of the sling shall be conducted by the trained crane/hoist operator.  This inspection is not required to be documented.

https://ehs.psu.edu/crane-hoist-sling/forms

A documented annual inspection of all slings shall be performed by a designated person or third party who has gone through sling inspection training.

Attend a Sling Inspection training course offered by EHS.

Contact your supervisor or safety officer to find out who has been designated.

Yes.  The form can be obtained by contacting the Program Manager on the right side of this webpage.  Currently the form is only being provided to those who have had training/been designated to conduct the inspections.

Dangerous Goods Shipping

Visit the EHS Hazardous Materials Shipping webpage and complete the Shipping Request form found at   http://ehs.psu.edu/hazardous-materials-shipping/haz-mat-shipping-forms

Contact EHS at 865-6391 or through email at [email protected] and a Dangerous Goods Shipping Specialist will assist you.

Check with your department Administrative person first, a few buildings maintain a supply of dry ice. Also, the Creamery has dry ice that you can purchase. At Campuses and other locations, dry ice can be purchased through local dry ice suppliers.

Emergency Evacuation

If you are at University Park, call campus Police at 814-863-1111 and request an officer come and give an all clear to the occupants.

In the event of a fire alarm and building evacuation, do not use the elevator to evacuate. Proceed to an “Assisted Evacuation Staging Area” and call 911 or, if at University Park, call 814-863-1111 and let campus police dispatchers know that there is an alarm situation where you are located (floor and building). If you are unsure where the assisted evacuation staging area is, they can be found by looking at an emergency evacuation map located on each floor of the building. These areas are colored in pink and are either in a stairwell or close to one.

Unless signs have been posted on the doors stating that testing is taking place, everyone must evacuate the building when the fire alarm sounds.

Each building on campus has a “Designated Meeting Site.” The designated meeting site for each building can be found on the emergency evacuation maps that are posted throughout each building.

Occupants are not allowed to re-enter a building until the “all clear” has been given from an emergency responder (fire, police, EHS).

Energized Electrical

Only trained individuals are permitted to operate circuit breakers.  Training can be obtained through the EHS website (https://ehs.psu.edu/): 

 - Click on the link titled “Training” under the Quick Links header

 - Login using your normal Penn State login info.

 - Click on the tab labeled “Courses”

 - Click the link titled “Electrical”

 - Click the link titled “Electrical Disconnect / Circuit Breaker Safety Training”

 - Carefully read description for further instructions.

Environmental Emergency Plans

Any spill or release of oil, fuel, or a hazardous material needs to be reported if it is either:

    1. More than a quart outside,
    2. Enters surface water or the stormwater system, or
    3. Is too much or too hazardous to safely cleanup yourself.

The spill or release needs to be reported to EHS (814-865-6391) and if at a location other than University Park, the Emergency Coordinator for the location.  However, all spills need to be cleaned up. 

Equipment Decontamination Procedures

Lion Surplus is responsible for the collection, sale and/or disposal of University-owned equipment, supplies and/or materials which have become obsolete, surplus or scrap to the needs of any University department.  However, equipment and material may not be appropriate for resale due to the presence of hazardous materials or characteristics, or regulatory constraints.  Specific guidance is available on the EHS website https://ehs.psu.edu/chemical-and-hazardous-waste-management/requirementsguidelines

Contact EHS by using the “Contact Us” portion of the website https://ehs.psu.edu/contact-us or calling 814-865-6391 for disposal.

Ergonomics

Reference EHS Ergonomic website.  EHS is also available for on-site training and workstation evaluations.  One-on-one evaluations are reserved for medical evaluations.

There is no charge for training and the typical session takes approximately 1.5 hours.  These sessions are done on-site and there is no limit to class size, but smaller classes are better.  Larger groups can be done with multiple sessions.

No, however, one-on-one evaluations are reserved for medical referrals.  Groups of employees interested in general workstation evaluations need to consider training first as this is usually sufficient.

Fall Protection

Contact your Safety Officer.  A list of Safety Officer by College/Department is available on the EHS website: https://ehs.psu.edu/safety-council-members-roster

Fall protection is not required when working from a portable/movable ladder.

Fire Extinguishers

No, unless you are performing Hot Work, you are not required to use a fire extinguisher. It is your decision whether to attempt to extinguish the small fire.

No, a clear floor space needs to be provided in front of fire extinguishers to allow easy access.

Fire extinguishers can be purchased through General Stores. Penn State Safety Policy SY09 “Fire Extinguisher Provisions” http://guru.psu.edu/policies/SY09.html provides selection and purchasing information.

Forklift

An operator re-evaluation is required every 3 years.  The document can be found here: https://ehs.psu.edu/pit/forms.

A documented inspection must occur prior to use on each shift and be conducted by a trained operator.  Forklifts not used during a shift do not need to be inspected during that shift.  In addition, a documented inspection by a third party (contractor) must occur annually.

No, a non-powered pallet jack does not fall under the requirements of this program.

No, a skid loader/farm tractor/earth moving equipment does not fall under the requirements of this program.

Hazardous Waste

•             Motor or hydraulic oil

•             Diesel fuel

•             Fuel oil

•             Biodegradable motor or hydraulic oil

•             Elevator oil

•             Transformer oil (confirmed non-PCB)

Contact EHS for disposal or submit through the EHS Chemical Waste Disposal section of the EHS website: (https://ehs.psu.edu/waste-disposal).

•             Gasoline

•             Chlorinated solvents such as brake fluid

•             PCB oil

•             Parts washer solvents

•             Refrigerant oil

•             Gas/oil mixtures

 No - Only EHS approved vendors can be used for waste oil disposal.  Waste oil cannot be given to facilities that use it as fuel in small on-site waste oil burners.  When the waste oil container is approaching capacity, contact EHS to arrange for pick-up.

There are several ways to obtain waste tags:

  • Contact your safety officer or facility coordinator,
  • Contact EHS by using the “Contact Us” portion of the website https://ehs.psu.edu/contact-us and request delivery with a waste pick-up, or
  • Stop by our office (6 Eisenhower Parking Deck). 

We can send them to you through campus mail.  At campuses, contact your Campus Regional EHS Coordinator and we will arrange for delivery of the tags to your Campus.

Contact EHS by using the “Contact Us” portion of the website (https://ehs.psu.edu/contact-us), or request delivery with a waste pick-up, or stop by our office (6 Eisenhower Parking Deck).  We will deliver it to your workplace.  At campuses, contact your Campus Regional EHS Coordinator and we will arrange for delivery of the secondary containment to your Campus.

EHS does not supply this – dish pans or bins are typically available through big box stores. 

In some instances, EHS may be able to provide the lab with recycled chemical waste container. This depends on the material you will be generating and what type/size containers EHS has in their possession.  Contact EHS by using the “Contact Us” portion of the website (https://ehs.psu.edu/contact-us), or request delivery with a waste pick-up, or stop by our office (6 Eisenhower Parking Deck).  We will deliver it to your workplace if we have any available.  If we do not, it is your responsibility to obtain them.  At campuses, contact your Campus Regional EHS Coordinator and we will deliver it to your workplace.

Anything that is a pollutant cannot go down the drain, refer to policy SY40 available through the EHS website (https://ehs.psu.edu/psu-safety-policies).

Campuses:  Contact your Regional Campus EHS Coordinator.  At University Park, please complete an online pickup request: (https://ehs.psu.edu/waste-disposal).

The bulbs need to be stored in boxes that are labeled with the date that the first bulb is added, labeled “Universal Waste – Lamps”, closed, stored so they won’t break, and kept for less than a year from the date on the box.

LED or incandescent light bulbs may be disposed of in a container for broken glass.  Compact fluorescent bulbs should be cleaned up following the procedure described in “Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb (CFL) Disposal” on the EHS website (https://ehs.psu.edu/chemical-and-hazardous-waste-management/requirementsguidelines).  Broken fluorescent tubes should be cleaned up immediately.  Use a broom and dustpan to sweep up the dust and broken glass. Put cleaned up material into a bag and place with the used tubes. To find out where the used tubes are stored, contact your custodian.

Hazard Communication (HazCom)

No.  The Hazardous Material Identification System (HMIS) label, at a minimum, must to be used to properly label secondary containers. 

For work areas where internet access is limited or restricted, hard copies of SDS’s must be kept in a reasonable order (such as alphabetically by product identifier). 

Examples of such areas may include machine shops, janitor supply closets, maintenance garages, maintenance shops, or production areas (such as laundry facilities, printing shops, or mail distribution areas).

SDS’s must be retained for at least 30 years OR alternatively a document containing the identity of the hazardous chemical (chemical name or trade name), where it was used, and when it was used can be created and retained for at least 30 years.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Where possible, contact your departmental or college safety officer, facility coordinator, or building maintenance provider.  If you need further assistance, contact the program manager on the right side of this webpage. 

Whenever you have concerns about your health, you should contact a medical professional.  Persistent problems should be brought to the attention of the program manger identified on the right hand side of this webpage.

EHS will conduct an initial evaluation including a visual exam, and where pertinent, some initial testing, to assess adequacy of air exchange, humidity levels and other factors that may influence indoor air quality.  EHS may arrange or conduct further specialized testing as needed to evaluate the conditions and determined necessary actions. 

Heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems can be a source of indoor air quality problems if HVAC filters are not properly fitted, air-conditioning equipment cannot effectively remove moisture from humid air, or air contaminants are drawn into the building through HVAC intakes.  Other factors within the building that can also affect indoor air quality can include: indoor activities, laboratories, or new building materials.  Water incursion from leaky pipes, sewage, exterior building walls, roofing, or HVAC pipes can permit mold or bacterial growth.  High humidity can cause condensation or support mold growth.

Infectious Waste Disposal

 

a.  Campuses – Reference:  Campus Infectious Waste Pickup Procedure:  https://ehs.psu.edu/infectious-waste-management/campus-infectious-waste-pickup-procedure.

b.  Procedure for University Park:  Check the pickup schedule at https://ehs.psu.edu/infectious-waste-management/university-park-infectious-waste-pickup-schedule for the pickup point nearest you.  Waste should be autoclaved, allowed to cool, and placed in the white barrel in the autoclave room.

c.  If you are not on the schedule for regular pickups, complete the form found at https://ehs.psu.edu/infectious-waste-pick-form .

Contact the EHS office through the EHS Contact us (https://ehs.psu.edu/contact-us) or the Biosafety Officer at 814-865-6391 and request a new container.  We will pick up the full container and bring a replacement.

No, they are available from VWR or Thomas Scientific, or from the stockroom in the Chemistry Bldg. at University Park.

Laboratory Safety

At University Park, call the OPP Work Control Center (814-865-4731) or if you are at a campus, contact the maintenance department.

Read the Safety Data Sheet (SDS), then review the Laboratory and Research Safety Plan (LRSP) chemical section, and develop appropriate SOP based upon the hazard assessment completed for the safe use of the chemical.

Your review of the SDS and hazard assessment should address this question, however if you are unsure contact EHS  (814-865-6391).

It will depend on the hazards associated with chemical XYZ and how it is being used.  For guidance, reference the Gas Monitoring Program guidelines on the EHS website: (https://ehs.psu.edu/laboratory-safety/guidelines).

Call 911 if this is an emergency.  Seek medical attention at your closest medical facility. For non-emergency cases, you should contact occupational medicine (814-863-8492) if you are an employee.  Notify your supervisor/PI and safety officer.  Ensure that no one else can be exposed. 

At University Park lab coats can be cleaned through the University’s Laundry Services.  Laundry Services will pick up and return lab coats with no additional charge, normally within 24 hours.  To arrange for a pickup please contact Jerry Gardner at [email protected], use the subject lab coat cleaning, or by phone at 814-863-5074.

Yes, the Unit Specific Plan must be on paper in the lab.

No, contact custodial services through your facility coordinator.

Yes, in some instances, EHS may be able to provide the lab with recycled chemical waste container. This depends on the material you will be generating and what type/size containers EHS has in their possession.  Contact EHS by using the “Contact Us” portion of the EHS website (https://ehs.psu.edu/contact-us), or request delivery with a waste pick-up, or stop by our office (6 Eisenhower Parking Deck).  We will deliver it to your workplace if we have any available.  If we do not, it is your responsibility to obtain them.  At campuses, contact your Campus Regional EHS Coordinator and we will deliver it to your workplace.

 At University Park, lab moves are performed by OPP labor crew.  It is the responsibility of the lab to pack the chemicals safely before the move date. See the EHS website for pre- and post- move notification forms (https://ehs.psu.edu/laboratory-safety/forms). At the campuses, contact your EHS campus representative to help facilitate this.

Initial questions or concerns about chemical or other exposures in your job should be referred to your supervisor, Safety Officer or safety liaison.  An assessment of the chemicals and exposure conditions may include a review of Safety Data Sheets and other information, with subsequent evaluation by EHS.  The evaluation may include exposure sampling or testing with reference to exposure standards such as those established by OSHA (Permissible Exposure Limits) or the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (Threshold Limit Values), to determine if further controls are needed to reduce any exposures.

Lasers

All embedded Class 3B or Class 4 laser needs to be registered and a laser safety program will need to be established in the lab. The steps to register a laser and process to implement a laser safety program are outlined on the EHS website (https://ehs.psu.edu/laser-safety/laser-safety-requirements-guidelines).

There are several manufacturers, such as, but not limited to, Kentek, Laser Vision, and Thorlabs.  Links to certain manufacturer products are available through the EHS website: https://ehs.psu.edu/laser-safety/laser-safety-additional-information.

There are several manufacturers, such as, but not limited to, Laser Vision and Thorlabs. Links to certain manufacturer products are available through the EHS website: https://ehs.psu.edu/laser-safety/laser-safety-additional-information.

A guide to laser protective eyewear is available on the EHS website (https://ehs.psu.edu/laser-safety/laser-safety-requirements-guidelines). If you need further help, contact the Radiation Protection group at  814-863-3939. Vendors can also give you a good evaluation based on your laser parameters.

Lead Paint & Heavy Metal Pigments

Contact EHS by using the “Contact Us” portion of the website (https://ehs.psu.edu/contact-us) or calling 814-865-6391.  Regulations can vary depending on regulatory authority (EPA / OSHA) so methods to evaluate paint can differ depending on the specific question or project.

No -lead test kits only show higher levels of lead in paint.  OSHA regulations do not account for lead concentrations in paint, only exposure levels.  Contact EHS for any lead paint testing needed at Penn State. 

Lockout / Tagout (LOTO)

a.    Email Tony Cygan ([email protected]) if at a UP location or Pete Muldoon ([email protected]) if at a campus location.     

b.    The email must contain the names of the employees who will be utilizing the locks as part of their job.  EHS will verify that those employees have received training and will forward your request for purchase to OPP Stores.

At any business establishment that sells such equipment.  Examples include Grainger, MSC, McMaster Carr, OPP Stores, etc.

Audits / evaluations are required to be conducted once a year.

You must use the approved red Penn State locks, which are only available through OPP Stores.  You may purchase LOTO tags through any of the business establishments noted above.

Machine Shop Safety

Yes, all tools require training before use.

There are appendices in the Penn State Machine Shop Safety program that can be used to help train on basic safe work practices.  However, it is the responsibility of the shop supervisor/competent person to train each employee/student on tool specifics.  At the Campuses, you can contact your Campus EHS representative for guidance.

There are many options.  Some include purchase from the tool manufacturer, purchase from a third party (company that manufacturers guards) or manufacture a guard in-house.

Mercury

Contact EHS immediately at 814-865-6391; isolate the area and do not disturb the suspect material.

Contact EHS immediately at 814-865-6391; isolate the area and do not disturb the suspect material.

If you see silver liquid inside it, it is probably mercury.

Thermostats, thermometers, blood pressure equipment, gauges, barometers, manometers, old lab sink drain traps and pipes, under lab casework, etc.

Mold

Mold is a simple, plant-like organism that exists everywhere.  If you suspect mold in your workplace contact EHS by using the “Contact Us” portion of the website (https://ehs.psu.edu/contact-us) or calling 814-865-6391.  You could also complete and submit the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Complaint – Information Collection Form (https://ehs.psu.edu/indoor-air-quality/forms).

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

 Penn State employees should follow the procedures outlined on the EHS website to obtain prescription safety glasses: (https://ehs.psu.edu/ppe/resources).

Employees are not required to pay for most types of PPE, the exception being safety shoes and prescription safety glasses.  The University has opted to contribute toward the cost of purchasing prescription safety glasses and safety shoes worn by employees.  See the EHS website for more information: https://ehs.psu.edu/ppe/requirements-guidelines

Your work group is required to complete a documented hazard assessment which contains work tasks and the required PPE.  Your work group is also required to provide you with PPE requirements specific to your job.

Pesticide Management Program

At University Park, contact the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Coordinator (Pesticide Program Manager): https://ehs.psu.edu/pesticide-management/resources.  At all other locations, contact the Maintenance or Housing and Food Services Supervisor, as appropriate.

At University Park, contact the Work Control Center (814-865-4731).  At all other locations, contact the Maintenance or Housing and Food Services Supervisor, as appropriate.

Pesticides are natural or synthetic substances used by people to control and manage pests by disrupting some part of their life processes.  All registered pesticides have an EPA registration number on their label.  At Penn State they can only be applied by licensed public pesticide applicators.

Yes, you need to be a certified public applicator at Penn State to apply pesticides.  The certification program is administered by the PA Department of Agriculture.  The Penn State Pesticide Education office provides some helpful information for getting started: http://extension.psu.edu/pests/pesticide-education/applicators/certification

You can do this one of two ways: 

  1. The PA Department of Agriculture’s ChemSweep program is the most economical way for the University to dispose of them.  The program rotates through each county every three years: https://www.agriculture.pgov/Plants_Land_Water/PlantIndustry/health-safety/environmental-programs/Pages/CHEMSWEEP%20Waste%20Pesticide%20Disposal%20Program.aspx.
  2. You can also dispose of them through the EHS Chemical Waste program: https://psu.chemicalsafety.com/psu/
Radioactive Materials

Contamination survey meters in a rad lab will be calibrated by the radiation protection office every three years.

You must complete the following steps:

  1. Dispose of all your radioactive stock vials and send EHS the final disposal forms.
  2. Go through the lab (including all drawers and cabinets) and survey any lab items that are labeled as radioactive. Remove rad labels if they are clean or dispose of them as rad waste if they are contaminated and you no longer want them. EHS will perform final surveys of large pieces of equipment such as refrigerators, freezers, centrifuges, etc.
  3. Survey bench top areas and remove any rad labels.
  4. After everything has been surveyed by the lab request a final rad waste pickup and closeout survey.

Penn State faculty or staff wishing to become authorized supervisors of radioactive material laboratories must request permission to do so by submitting a completed “Radioactive Material Authorization Application” form (https://ehs.psu.edu/radioactive-materials/forms) to the University Isotopes Committee (UIC). This request must be signed by the individual who is directly responsible for the work, and will be named as the laboratory supervisor. The authorization request form and instructions may be obtained from EHS website or by calling EHS at 814-865-6391.

The Authorization request form (https://ehs.psu.edu/radioactive-materials/forms) should be submitted to the University Isotope Committee ([email protected] ); however, we recommend the supervisor discuss each proposed use of radioactive materials with a Radiation Protection Office staff member prior to submission of a request.  The processing time for an authorization request could vary from a few weeks to months depending on questions and comments from UIC committee members. 

No, you must order through E-buy and ensure you mark the radioactive check box.

All radioactive material must be shipped to the Radiation Protection Office, 228 Academic Projects Building, University Park, PA  16802.  Make sure to include the name of the authorized PI who is ordering the material.

No, but contact the Radiation Protection Office so we can verify that what you want to order is indeed exempt from licensing requirements. Also, although it is exempt material, it is still radioactive and must be shipped to our office; we will then deliver it to your lab.

No, you should have separate waste containers for each isotope you use. Rad waste is processed based on the ½ life of the isotopes so mixing different isotopes together is not preferred. The one exception to this rule is for long lived (1/2 life greater than 120 days) isotopes such as C-14 and H-3, which can be mixed.

Lead pigs must be kept separate from any radioactive waste. Most of our rad waste is sent to an incinerator for disposal and lead is forbidden to be incinerated. Place the lead off to the side and contact the Radiation Protection Office when you want it picked up.

Try to minimize the amount of mixed waste you will be producing. Mixed waste should be placed in separate containers that have been labeled for the mixed waste and not mixed with other radioactive waste. The goal is to produce as little mixed waste as possible.

Refrigerant

Lion Surplus is responsible for the collection, sale and/or disposal of University-owned equipment, supplies and/or materials which have become obsolete, surplus or scrap to the needs of any University department.  However, equipment and material may not be appropriate for resale due to the presence of hazardous materials or characteristics, or regulatory constraints.  The refrigerant from the refrigerator must be removed prior to sending it to Lion Surplus.  This must be done by a certified technician.  At University Park, the Office of Physical Plant (OPP) has the certified technicians that can do this; at other locations, contact the Maintenance Supervisor to determine who can do this.  Additional guidance is available on the EHS website:  https://ehs.psu.edu/chemical-and-hazardous-waste-management/requirementsguidelines

Respirators

Yes, Penn State’s Respiratory Protection Program applies to all employee operations where respirator use is either required, or voluntary.  For specific information regarding respiratory use requirements refer to the Respiratory Protection Program (https://ehs.psu.edu/respiratory-protection/requirements-guidelines).

If you are required to wear any respirator related to your work duties or work environment you must follow the requirements of the Respiratory Protection Program.  If you are not required but would like to wear a dust mask for comfort or nuisance level protection, you must be approved for voluntary respirator use and receive a review of the contents of Appendix D of OSHA’s respiratory protection standard.  This information is available on the EHS website “OSHA Respirator Standard Appendix D with Verification” (https://ehs.psu.edu/respiratory-protection/forms). 

Contact your Supervisor, College or Department Safety Officer, or EHS to determine if a hazard evaluation has been completed for the work activities.  If a review is required, EHS will conduct the hazard/exposure evaluation in consultation with appropriate department personnel.

Scaffolds

When the working height of a scaffold reaches 6 feet, fall protection shall be addressed by the installation of a guardrail system on all open sides or a personal fall arrest system.

Each scaffold must undergo a documented pre-use safety inspection by a competent person prior to use on each shift.  Scaffolds not used during a shift do not have to undergo an inspection during that shift.  Inspections must be documented using the checklist found in the Penn State’s Scaffold Safety Program, Appendix A, one provided by the scaffold manufacturer, or equivalent.  The Appendix A form is available through the EHS website: https://ehs.psu.edu/scaffold-safety/forms

Spills/Releases

Any spill or release of oil, fuel, or a hazardous material needs to be reported if it is either:

  1. More than a quart outside,
  2. Enters surface water or the stormwater system, or
  3. Is too much or too hazardous to safely cleanup yourself.

The spill or release needs to be reported to EHS (814-865-6391) and if at a location other than University Park, the Emergency Coordinator for the location.  However, all spills need to be cleaned up.

Contractors are responsible for both spill cleanup and for regulatory reporting.  We are able to help them to meet this requirement.  The Penn State project contact, location Emergency Coordinator, and EHS (814-865-6391) must be notified.  In an emergency, facility personnel should perform anything that they can safely to mitigate the spill/release if needed.  Contractor spill information is provided on this website: http://ehs.psu.edu/case-emergency

At University Park, contact the Work Control Center at 814-865-4731.  At other locations, contact your Maintenance or Physical Plant department. 

If the person who has the spill is familiar with the hazards, comfortable with the quantity of the material, and is appropriately trained, they can clean up the spill.  If it is beyond their control, they should contact EHS (814-865-6391), or if they believe that the spill is an emergency, 911.  In emergency situations the county hazmat team or local fire department can assist.  EHS can also provide the names of emergency contractors for clean-up.  In all cases, contact EHS so that they can perform any required regulatory reporting.

Storage Tank Management

Unless the pump is replaced with the identical model Labor and Industry (or Allegheny County) permitting is required first.  In most cases, we prefer that you use a certified tank installer to do this work, however, please inform EHS if this work is needed.

For the purposes of the Penn State program, a storage tank is a container that is located either above- or underground that is used to store fuels, oils, hazardous materials or potential contaminants.   Generally these are permanently installed containers that are 55-gallons, or larger, in size.  They may or may not be regulated by EPA/PADEP.  

Theatre Rigging Equipment Inspection

This program applies to the following rigging systems used by Penn State employees: Motorized Systems, Counterweighted Systems, Stationary Systems and Hemp Systems.  This program does not apply to cranes, hoists and slings as specified in the Penn State Crane, Hoist & Sling Safety Program.  It also does not apply to fire curtains or items temporarily connected to battens (such as curtains, artwork, props, or set designs).  Despite these exceptions, all items must be secured to battens according to industry standards.

Rigging systems shall go through pre-use (not required to be documented-performed by equipment user), annual (must be documented-performed by competent person) and third party inspections (once every 3 years).

Training

EHS offers various safety, health, and environmental courses, many that are available on-line.  There are currently two locations to access EHS training:

  1. EHS website – Quick Links “Training” (https://ehs.psu.edu/).  Use your standard Penn State login information to gain access to the list of training sessions available.
  2. Learning Resource Network (LRN) or Cornerstone (https://lrn.psu.edu/).  Use your standard Penn State login information to gain access to the list of safety training sessions available.  Frequently Asked Questions associated with Cornerstone is available through: (https://lrn.psu.edu/frequently-asked-questions/).

There are several reasons for maintaining two locations at this time for EHS training including access, content format, and Penn State EHS program requirements.  If you can not locate the training course you are looking for contact EHS (814-865-6391).

Most of the trainings that require “refreshers” are annual.  You can simply mark your calendar to take the refresher at the same time each year.   Some of the trainings geared towards Maintenance (Electrical safety, Aerial lifts, etc.) are every three years.  You can find a listing of the required frequency of trainings in the Compliance Calendar document, available at https://ehs.psu.edu/safety-officer-toolbox .

If you don’t remember when you took the training last, you can find your training record by doing the following:

    1. Go to the EHS training site (start at www.ehs.psu.edu, click “Training” on the right, and log in if you’re not already logged in
    2. Click “My Courses” in the upper left side.  This will give you a listing of all the courses you’ve taken and show the completion date for each.

You can find your training record by doing the following:

  1. Go to the EHS training site (start at ehs.psu.edu, click “Training” on the right, and log in if you’re not already logged in
  2. Click “My Courses” in the upper left side.  This will give you a listing of all the courses you’ve taken and show the completion date for each.

No, many courses do not have certificates, however all courses taken through Cornerstone have them.

X-Ray

Yes. The State of PA requires that EM’s be registered with the state.

Contact the Radiation Protection Office and they will register your equipment with the state. The regulations require that the registration be completed within 30 days of the receipt of the equipment.

Yes, training is required to operate any type of RPE even electron microscopes. Here is a link to the training instructions. http://ehs.psu.edu/radiation-producing-equipment/requirements-guidelines