Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Policies for the Division of Science and Math

 

Jacksonville University (JU) is committed to providing and maintaining a safe learning and working environment for all members of its community.  Our team is comprised of highly trained professionals, who are continuously working to keep Jacksonville University in compliance with applicable federal, state, and local regulations.

 

Laboratory Safety

JU laboratory safety polices were established to address known hazards associated with laboratory research and academic laboratory studies.  It applies to all department within the Division of Science and Math where hazardous materials are used, including laboratories, field exercises, and nautical endeavors.  The primary goal of these policies are to ensure that the campus body enjoys a reasonably safe working environment, in which its employees are free from harm or known hazards when performing their job duties.  In order to accomplish this goal, JU will align itself with all applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, Florida State Laws, and other regulatory guidelines as best management practices.  JU laboratory safety polices include the following elements:

  • Laboratory and Field Safety
    • When working in a laboratory environment, anyone could encounter a variety of EHS concerns associated with the use of hazardous chemicals, equipment, or standard operating procedures.  The Division of Science and Math has developed a Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) and other supporting documents/training to provide general guidance for the recognition, evaluation, and control of hazards.  The CHP was written in accordance with OSHA standard Title 29 CFR 1910.1450 and the National Research Council’s Prudent Practices in the Laboratory.  The CHP outlines minimum regulatory requirements and the most prudent practices for working safely in a laboratory environment.  The CHP does not adequately address the complete scope of hazards activities for all laboratory exercises; therefore, it is the responsibility of the Principal Investigators and/or their designee to develop written standard operating procedures (SOPs) for specific research and academic endeavors in support of the CHP.
    • Link to 170810 Chemical Hygiene Plan - /coas/docs/170810_Chemcial_Hygiene_Plan.pdf
  • Particularly Hazardous Substances
    • A particularly hazardous substance (PHS) according to OSHA is defined as either a carcinogen, reproductive toxicant, or substance with a high degree of acute toxicity.
      • Carcinogens are chemicals or chemical products that cause, or are suspected to cause cancer.  OSHA has written comprehensive standards for regulating the use of carcinogens in Title 29 CFR 1910 Subpart Z.  The National Toxicology Program’s Annual Report of Carcinogens list all known or reasonably expected human carcinogens.  The International agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) lists Group 1 “carcinogenic to humans” and Group 2A or 2B “reasonably anticipated to be carcinogens”.
      • Reproductive toxicants are substances that have adverse effects on various aspects of reproduction, including fertility, gestation and/or fetal development (teratogens), lactation and general reproductive performance.
      • Highly, acutely toxic substances include any chemical that may be fatal or cause damage to target organs as a result of a single exposure or exposure of short duration.  OSHA-defined categories are as follows:
        • A chemical with a median lethal dose (LD50) of 50 mg or less per kg of body weight when administered orally to certain test populations.
        • A chemical with an LD50 of 200 mg less per kg of body weight when administered by continuous contact for 24-hours to certain test populations.
        • A chemical with a median lethal concentration (LC50) in air of 200 parts per million, ppm, by volume or less of gas or vapor, or 2 mg per liter or less of mist, fume, or dust, when administered to certain test populations by continuous inhalation for one hour, provided such concentration and/or condition are likely to be encountered by humans when the chemical is used in any reasonably foreseeable manner.
    • Note: In the case that the hazardous characteristics of a chemical are unknown, the chemical must be treated as particularly hazardous until proved otherwise.
  • Biosafety/Biomedical
    • Both teaching laboratory exercises and research endeavors may allow for the manipulation of microorganisms.  These microorganisms may have the potential to cause illnesses and/or diseases in healthy human beings.  The Biology Department at JU defines biosafety protocols as health and safety procedures that allow for the manipulation of potential infectious microorganisms while preserving the health and well-being of the occupationally exposed individual.  The primary investigators, in coordination with laboratory managers, have developed general guidance for the recognition, evaluation, and control of biological hazards.  These standards can be found within the Chemical Hygiene Plan and Bio-Medical Waste Policy.  The CHP and Bio-Medical Waste Policy does not adequately address the complete scope of working with such biohazards and infectious agents for all laboratory activities; therefore, it is the responsibility of the Principal Investigators and/or their designee to develop written standard operating procedures (SOPs) for specific research and academic endeavors in support of the CHP.
    • In addition, a Blood-borne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan (ECP) has been developed to provide general guidance in the recognition, evaluation, and control of hazards associated with exposure to human blood, bloodborne pathogens, and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM).  The ECP was written in accordance with Title 29 CFR 1910.1030, OSHA Blood-borne Pathogens Standard.  Specific SOPs for working with such bloodborne pathogens will be the responsibility of the Principal Investigator or his/her designee, or area supervisor in support of the Chemical Hygiene Plan.
  • Laser Safety
    • At Jacksonville University, both teaching laboratory lab exercises and research endeavors may allow for the manipulation of lasers.  Jacksonville University follows the Title 29 CFR 1910.132 regulations to ensure the protection of personnel, property, and the environment from any potential hazard associated with lasers.  At Jacksonville University, only trained “Authorized” personnel will handle or use lasers for both teaching laboratory lab exercises and laboratory research.
  • Radiation Safety
    • Jacksonville University presently does not maintain, keep, or otherwise use any form of radioisotopes; therefore, no procedures have been developed to contain or handle the release of radioactive isotopes into the environment.  If in the future Jacksonville University does store radioisotopes on site, safety policies and procedures will be addressed to adequately ensure the protection of personnel, property, and the environment from any potential hazard associated with radioactive isotopes.

Chemical Safety and Hazardous Materials

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Florida Environmental Protection Agency (FDEP) under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulates the handling and disposal of hazardous waste.  According to the Workplace Right to Know, a chemical inventory management system is required; and at JU, a designed chemical hygiene officer, in coordination with individual department laboratory personnel, ensure that all laboratory/field operations maintain compliance with these regulations.  Jacksonville University personnel who generate hazardous waste must ensure that all generated waste be properly managed in accordance with the University’s Hazardous Waste Management Procedures and RCRA regulations.  Programs in this area are listed below:

  • Chemical Emergency Response
    • Chemical spills can occur at any time and will be classified as minor or major by either one of these two definitions:
      • A minor spill is a spill in which the contains of the spill are known and poses no significant threat to surrounding personnel or the campus body.  In the event of a minor spill, personnel who have been given specific training to do so will clean up minor spills.  
      • A major spill is a spill in which the product spilled is unknown, someone is hurt and needs immediate medical attention, or is involved in a violent on-going chemical reaction or fire.  In the event of a major spill, contact JU Security at 904.256.7585 immediately and the Division of Science and Math at 904.256.7300.
  • Chemical Inventory Management
    • Inventories of hazardous and potential hazardous laboratory reagents and/or chemicals are maintained for all laboratories within the Biology department, Marine Science department, Chemistry department, and the Millar-Wilson Laboratory.  These inventories are maintained and updated by their respected departments and include bulk chemicals or reagents that are stored within satellite storage areas.  Chemicals whose storage limits have expired or container labels that are in poor condition will be marked for disposal and be maintained within the inventory until properly disposed of.
  • Hazard Communication (Right to Know)
    • As an employee of Jacksonville University, you have the right to know about hazardous chemicals in the workplace.  Along with your right to know, recent federal regulations now provide you the “right to understand” with an updated Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) found in Title 29 CFR 1910.1200.  This new standard makes it easier for you to understand labels on hazardous chemicals and information in safety data sheets (SDS).  Right to Know training is required for all new employees and all employees are required to take annual refresher training.  The training is available through Laboratory Managers.
  • Hazardous Waste Management
    • Various University activities, particularly science laboratories, generate hazardous waste – these could include spent solvents, acids and bases, heavy metals, oils, and unused chemicals, etc.  The handling and disposal of hazardous waste is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) found in Title 40 of the CFR.  To ensure a safe working experience at JU and to adequately protect the environment and comply with federal, state, and local regulations, all university personnel who generate/handle hazardous waste must ensure that hazardous waste will be properly managed in accordance with the University's Hazardous Waste Management Procedures.  Proper management of hazardous waste includes:
      • Correctly identifying waste as hazardous;
      • Storing waste in a properly labeled and closed containers;
      • Adequately segregating waste containers and ensuring secondary containment to reduce spills;
      • Performing weekly visual inspections of satellite accumulation areas; and
      • Ensuring the timely removal from operating areas through authorized personnel.
    • Link to 170803 Revised HWMP - /coas/scienceandmath/170803_Revised_HWMP.pdf
  • Respiratory Protection
    • The best way to prevent exposure to airborne substances is to prevent their escape into the laboratory by using fume hoods, ventilation devices, and other protective equipment.  These devices must be kept in good working order to provide employees with a safe working area with specific measures taken to ensure proper and adequate performance of such equipment thus airflow through fume hood shall be inspected and calibrated annually by certified professionals.  OHSA regulations require that all fume hoods be vented so that a minimum average face velocity of 80-120 feet per minute (fpm) across a sixteen (16) inch sash height is achieved.
  • Universal Waste Management
    • Universal Waste regulations Title 40 CFR Part 271 include batteries, pesticides, mercury containing equipment and lamps.  A small quantity generator is one who accumulates no more than 5,000 kg or about 11,023 pounds of universal waste at any one time.  Aramark handles universal waste accumulation and disposal in a manner consistent with federal, state, and local regulations.

Occupational Health and Safety

Jacksonville University is committed to achieving and sustaining a safe working experience for all members of its community.  These objectives are achieved through effective training, workplace inspections, and hazard analysis that include abatement methodologies.  JU will comply with all applicable OSHA, and consensus standards incorporated by references such as: NFPA, ANSI, ASME, NIOSH, etc.

  • Compressed Gas Safety
    • Compressed gas cylinders present a potential health and physical hazard to personnel, property, and the environment.  Jacksonville University follows the Title 29 CFR 1910.101 “compressed gas standards” regulations to ensure the protection of personnel, property, and the environment from the potential hazards associated with compressed gas cylinders.  It is the policy of JU, that only trained “Authorized Personnel,” are assigned responsibilities that involved the use, transportation, storage or inspection of compressed gases and/or its associated equipment.  Compressed gas shall always be protected against damage and exposure to high temperatures, and only stored in approved locations.
  • Confined Space Entry
    • Jacksonville University requires entry to any space that could be consisted as a confined space to be done so by trained “Authorized Personnel” only.  When authorized personnel are working near or within a confined space, those personnel will exercise extreme caution.  Those confined spaces will be evaluated in accordance with Title 29 CFR 1910.146 and if deemed “Permit Required Confined Space,” will be off limits to all personnel until an approved Confined Space Permit has been signed, posted, and effective rescue procedures are in place.
  • Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout-Tagout)
    • Lockout-Tagout is the control of hazardous energy.  Lockout-Tagout can only be applied by “Authorized Personnel” who have received training on how to recognize energy sources, how to determine the magnitude of energy being supplied, and how to isolate/control it for any sudden release or inadvertent start-up/re-energization.  All JU personnel and contractors shall abide by established policies and procedures, which are at a minimum consistent with the Title 29 CFR Part 1910.147 standards.
  • Electrical Safety
    • Jacksonville University fully recognizes the hazards and the severity of unsafe electrical work practices and non-compliant wiring methods.  JU is committed to fostering the safest electrical code compliance possible.  Exposure to electrical hazards within the workplace are covered by established safe electrical safe work practices, which are aligned with those outlined in Title 29 CFR Part 1910 Subpart “S” and NFPA-70E.  Only trained “Qualified” personnel are authorized to install, service, and make repairs to electrical systems at Jacksonville University.  JU requires that all “Qualified” personnel be trained in accordance with the most currently up-to-date NFPA 70E code.  Before performing any electrical servicing work, trained, qualified personnel shall be equipped with the proper Personal Protection Equipment, PPE, and electrical tools.
  • Heat Stress Control
    • Jacksonville University takes a proactive role in assessing/minimizing laboratory and/or fieldwork that involve high air temperatures, high humidity levels, physical contact with extremely hot objects, radiant heat exposure, or strenuous physical activities that have a probability for inducing heat related stress illnesses within the personnel engaged in such tasks.
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
    • Jacksonville University works directly with the university community to promote and ensure safe working environments for all employees through the recognition, evaluation, and control of workplace health and safety hazards.  Indoor air quality (IAQ) is an integral part of this goal.  JU strives to maintain a work environment that is free of recognized hazards, and to investigation, any concern of poor indoor air quality.
  • Flammable and Corrosive Liquids
    • The transportation, storage, and usage of flammable or corrosive liquids present both physical and chemical hazards to personnel, property, and the environment.  Jacksonville University follows the Title 29 CFR 1910.106 “Flammable and Combustible Liquids standards” regulations to ensure the protection of personnel, property, and the environment from any potential hazard associated with flammable and corrosive liquids.  At Jacksonville University, only trained “Authorized” personnel will handle flammable and corrosive liquids.  All flammable and combustible liquids shall be guarded against ignition and/or heat sources, which have the potential to initiate combustion.  Flammable and combustible liquids shall be stored, and transported in only “authorized” approved safety vessels.  Flammable and Corrosive liquids shall be labeled accordingly to DOT and HAZCOM standards.
  • Working at Heights (Fall Protection)
    • Working from heights greater than 4 feet at times is often required; however, exposing any member of the JU community to the hazard of falling from heights greater than four feet is unacceptable.  At Jacksonville University, only competent personnel shall conduct work from heights greater than 4 feet.  Jacksonville University follows Title 29 CFR 1910 regulations to ensure the protection of persons from the potential hazards associated with working from heights greater than 4 feet.

Environmental Compliance

Jacksonville University is committed to minimizing the adverse impacts that the university could have on the environment.  In the state of Florida, environmental impacts are regulated and enforced by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  JU has developed environmental compliance polices to provide regulatory guidance for the university’s activities that could potentially adversely affect the environment.  As a quality assurance measure, Jacksonville University will perform periodic external compliance reviews, site inspections, and training to maintain the highest level of environmental compliance.  Below are current JU Environmental Compliance program areas:

  • Air Emissions Control
    • The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) manages air emission permits and issues.  Jacksonville University works with and in compliance with all of the FDEP and EPA standards for air emissions.  At this time, no Title V reporting for air emissions is required for Jacksonville University.
  • Asbestos Management
    • Jacksonville University actively identifies asbestos containing materials (ACM) and when possible removes ACM as needed during regular maintenance and/or renovation activities. The goal of this operation is to reduce or eliminate the risk of employee exposure to ACM.
  • Environmental Site Assessment
    • Environmental Site Assessments (ESA) are intended to identify any recognized environmental hazard or impact that could create a liability for the institution.  ESA must conform to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Standards and Practices for All Appropriate Inquiries and to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International Standard E1527-13 "Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process."  ESAs shall be completed to assess environmental risks pertaining to all university activities that deem it necessary.
  • Refrigerant Management
    • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires all facilities to help protect the environment through proper refrigerant management.  This includes:
      • To minimize the release of ozone depleting substances ODS, to the ambient air from the servicing, repairing, maintaining, and disposing of refrigeration appliances;
      • To maintain records of refrigerant consumption, technician training, and recycling/recovery equipment certifications;
      • To properly repair all units with significant leak; and
      • To utilize certified technicians for the servicing, repairing, maintaining, and disposing of refrigeration appliances.
    • Jacksonville University requires all employees and contractors whose roles require the handling, ordering, repairing, servicing, maintaining, or disposing of refrigerant or refrigeration appliances to full compliance with Section 608 of the Clean Air Act Amendments and the requirements of Title 40 CFR Part 82, Subpart F.
  • Pesticide Safety
    • The Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, oversees The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) in order to control the production, sale, distribution and use of pesticides Title 40 CFR 152-180.  Jacksonville University requires all employees and contractors whose roles require the use of pesticides to comply with FIFRA regulations.  These regulations require that all workers abide by all instructions provided in the manufacture’s label, safety standards for mixing and apply pesticides, and proper practices for managing waste pesticides and for handling container residues.
  • Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Compliance
    • The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) granted the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, the ability to track industrial chemicals produced in the United States or imported into the United States in an effort to determine the risks that these chemicals pose to human health and/or the environment.  Per the TSCA act, the EPA has the ability to regulate the production, distribution, and importation of new and existing chemicals, establish specific disposal rules, and ban the usage of high-risk chemicals.  TSCA defines “research” as commercial research, in which a commercial entity will directly provide partial or complete funding for the development of chemicals.  If Jacksonville University personnel import or export chemicals for any purpose, the chemicals must be accompanied by TSCA import/export rule certifications.  In most cases, JU research activities are either exempt from TSCA rules pertaining to the significant new use rule and/or the pre-manufacture notice, or those activities are subject to fewer demands than those made on manufacturing.  JU must meet the safety and recordkeeping requirements within Title 40 CFR 720.36 and 720.78 to maintain exemption from TSCA reporting for small quality research chemical creation/development.
  • Spill Prevention, Control & Countermeasure, SPCC, Plan
    • Jacksonville University is required to implement and comply the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) standards for spill prevention control and countermeasure.  Spill Prevention, Control & Countermeasure Plan (SPCC) was written to prevent pollutants, such as oil, from being released into the environment.  A SPCC plan provides the university with general guidance for preventing the accidental and/or intended release of oil and other listed polluting materials into the environment, inspection standards for oil reservoirs, preventive maintenance standards, and emergency response procedures that will be implemented in the event of a spill/accidental release.
  • Storm Water Pollution Control
    • The Storm water Management Program (SWMP) is prepared as a requirement to comply with both state and federal regulations.  This plan primary goal is to minimize and/or eliminate unpermitted storm water discharges in and around Jacksonville University.  Our SWMP complies with best management practices for minimizing the discharge of pollutants from the campus into the storm water drainage systems and adjacent receiving waterways.  
  • Wastewater Management
    • The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) regulates discharges of wastewater to/onto the ground within the State of Florida.  Any project/task at Jacksonville University that may involve the accidental release of waste water into the environment must be communicate to university administration prior to the start of the project so that best management practices can be established to prevent/control any potential release.

Training

Jacksonville University recognizes that safety training improves individual and organizational performance.  These safety training sessions allow the university to achieve and maintain its institutional goals.  For the Division of Science and Math, the primary investigators/supervisors/managers identify general and specialized training needs based on job tasks and hazards associated with that the employee/student’s role.  The Division of Science and Math is responsible for developing, implementing, and monitoring the overall safety training programs and provide compliance/specialized training for all students and personnel within the Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Marine Sciences, and Physics departments.  Please note that all academic and administrative departments are responsible for providing department-level, job-specific training for faculty, staff, and student workers.  Training will be delivered through a mixture of methods including Instructor-led classroom sessions, hands-on applications, video-based lectures, or computer-based online training systems.

To request Laboratory Safety Training, please email Mr. Blake Preston Doiron at bsmith66@ju.edu.

Please include your name, the department or division you report to, the Principle Investigator that you will be working with, the name of the project you will be working on, and a means to contact you.  Thank you.

Incident Reporting