Since the start of 2021, over 6,500 wildfires have ravaged several parts of California, consuming over 1.5 million acres of land and destroying over 2000 structures. We are living in the present reality of ‘when’ as opposed to ‘if’ we will be affected by wildfire smoke.
The wildfire smoke legislation CalOSHA 5141.1 Wildfire Smoke only applies to workers within unfiltered spaces and when the air quality index (AQI) for particulate matter (PM) 2.5 um exceeds 151 for an excess of an hour.
Protect employees working in outdoor environments and workers within unfiltered spaces. Learn More
Though the CalOSHA 5141.1 Wildfire Smoke legislation covers requirements for outdoor workers, indoor air quality is often affected as a result of worsening smoke events. During such instances, UC Davis ensures recirculation of filtered indoor air wherever possible (i.e., office spaces, common areas): air is filtered through high efficiency filters as it enters the building, and is again filtered as it recirculates (image 1). Lab and animal spaces that have single-pass air (non-recirculated air) are equipped with high efficiency filters at the air intake that remove wildfire particulate to a great deal (image 2). Though odors are perceived within filtered office and lab spaces, it is not a true indicator of exposure to particulate matter.
While the ventilation requirements during a wildfire smoke event may seem counterintuitive to the ventilation requirements during the pandemic, prioritization of risk favors prevention of exposure to wildfire smoke during an emergency. Such exception is granted within CalOSHA 3205, COVID-19 Prevention. To find out more about filtration supporting your spaces, please visit Facilities Management’s Building Ventilation and Filtration website.
For further information related to wildfire smoke protection, please visit the FOA Summer Initiatives website.
RSS Profile 3: Training and Managing Rosters
The recent update to Risk & Safety Solutions Profile 3 changed how labs update personnel rosters and view trainings for the group.
The Lab Safety Review team created the following step-by-step guides to help navigate the changes:
Due to these changes, we recommend using Profile 3 (instead of LHAT) to manage your lab’s personnel roster. Once you have added someone to the roster, make sure to select their name and designate their roles.
Update: Eyewash/Safety Showers and Fire Extinguishers
When the Eyewash/Safety Shower and Fire Extinguisher (EW/SS/FE) Pilot Program was discontinued in early 2020, all pilot participants were notified to conduct their own monthly EW/SS activations and fire extinguisher inspections. As the campus prepares for fall 2021, departments are again reminded to continue monthly activations and inspections.
If your EW/SS has not been activated within the past month, you should allow it to run for 1-3 minutes to flush stagnant water from the line. If this is your first time flushing the station, you may have to run it longer to ensure that the water is clean.
While the EW/SS is flushing is an opportune time to review the tags on units to ensure that ES/SS and FE annual activations/inspections are current.
Cal/OSHA requires that standard operating procedures (SOPs) be established for work with any hazardous chemicals. This requirement is stated in 8 CCR §5191 (Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories, “Laboratory Standard”) under the provisions of the Chemical Hygiene Plan. SOPs document the laboratory-specific procedures for the safe handling, storage and disposal of hazardous chemicals.
In order to alleviate the need for hundreds or thousands of chemical-specific SOPs for all of the hazardous chemicals in an inventory, UC Davis has implemented a number of control-banded SOPs. While the control banded SOP library offered by EH&S aims to cover the most common hazards encountered in a lab, it cannot cover every hazard. Principal investigators and laboratory supervisors are responsible for establishing SOPs that involve hazardous chemicals regardless of whether a control banded template has been established. An SOP template is available for those hazardous materials in your lab that may not be included in one of the control banded SOPs.
Your lab may need additional SOPs beyond the control banded SOPs offered by UC Davis to ensure that procedures for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of laboratory-specific hazardous chemicals are covered.
Tim Annis has been promoted to UC Davis Fire Marshal, where he will oversee the Fire Prevention Services department within Safety Services.
Fire Prevention Services is responsible for state-regulated ﬁre prevention services on the Davis campus, including code enforcement that ensures life and property protection.
“Developing my team is a top priority, and I want each of them to feel empowered to make decisions that keep the university’s business safely moving forward,” remarked Annis. “As campus activity increases this fall, our team is expecting a barrage of questions and everyone will need to be ready because customer service is also atop my priority list.”
Starting in June 2021, the Laboratory Safety Review (LSR) program began a transition to in-person lab reviews and resumed using the full LSR checklist.
The LSR team is working to schedule all in-person lab safety reviews. The team is committed to the safety and well-being of our research community and has published Laboratory Safety Resources to help labs with this transition. They also provided the refresher course Return to In-Person Lab Safety Reviews during June's Safety Month.
The reviews will be completed by Laboratory Safety Professionals as scheduled. A follow-up will occur within 30 days to ensure findings are resolved, answer questions, and to finalize the review.
The Laboratory Safety Professionals are available to review safety documents, provide feedback, and answer any questions you may have.
Email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.