Environmental Health & Safety Overview

Mission

The Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) serves to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all students, employees, and visitors to Wright State University in support of the university’s overall mission.

  • EHS will work to protect human health and, to the greatest extent possible, reduce the university’s impact on the environment and surrounding ecosystem.
  • EHS will develop programs and policies designed to meet or exceed compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations and guidelines.
  • EHS will provide unparalleled customer service to the university and surrounding community.

EHS will accomplish these goals through development and implementation of a comprehensive environmental health and safety management system that consists of a review of programs and policies, tracking performance metrics, information exchange, training, inspections, and continuous feedback.

Emergency Contacts

Emergency Contact Information

Main Office: 937-775-2215

Wright State Police: 937-775-2111

Staff Directory

Staff Directory

Staff

Stephen P. Farrell

Department:
Environmental Health & Safety
Title:
Director, Environmental Health & Safety
Address:
Biological Sciences Bldg II 043, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Dayton, OH 45435
Phone:
937-775-3118

Ron Hamilton

Department:
Environmental Health & Safety
Title:
Environmental Health and Safety Specialist, Environmental Health and Safety
Address:
Biological Sciences Bldg II 047A, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Dayton, OH 45435
Phone:
937-775-3810

Denise Lynette Kramer, M.S., M.T.

Department:
Environmental Health & Safety
Title:
Environmental Health and Safety Specialist
Address:
Biological Sciences II 047, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Phone:
937-775-2623

Marjorie Marie Markopoulos, M.S.

Department:
Environmental Health & Safety
Title:
Biological and Chemical Safety Officer
Address:
Biological Sciences Bldg II 047C, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Dayton, OH 45435
Phone:
937-775-2797

Greg A. Merkle

Department:
Environmental Health & Safety
Title:
Environmental Health & Safety Specialist, Environmental Health & Safety
Address:
Biological Sciences Bldg II 047D, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Dayton, OH 45435
Phone:
937-775-2217

Kimberly Kay Morris

Department:
Environmental Health & Safety
Title:
Radiation Safety Officer
Address:
Health Sciences Bldg 104, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy.
Phone:
937-775-2169

Bill Palmer

Department:
Environmental Health & Safety
Title:
Environmental Compliance Officer
Address:
Biological Sciences Bldg II 047B, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Dayton, OH 45435
Phone:
937-775-3788

Rachel Rebecca Seitz, B.S.

Department:
Environmental Health & Safety
Title:
Environmental Health and Safety Technician
Address:
Biological Sciences Bldg 047, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Phone:
937-775-4275

Joseph C. Whitlock

Department:
Environmental Health & Safety
Title:
Assistant Director, Environmental Health and Safety
Address:
Biological Sciences Bldg II 049, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Dayton, OH 45435
Phone:
937-775-4131

Student Employees

Joseph Franklin Dunn

Undergraduate Student
Student college:
College of Egr & Computer Sci
Student major:
Biomedical Engineering

Alex Kleine

Undergraduate Student
Student college:
College of Science & Math
Student major:
Earth & Environmental Sciences

Siddhartha Muddaluri

Graduate Student
Student college:
College of Egr & Computer Sci
Student major:
Computer Science

News & Announcements

Sep 12, 2014

Wright State University is closely monitoring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) information on the Ebola virus outbreak in five countries in West Africa: Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There is no significant risk to the United States or Wright State. 

 

Ebola, also known as Ebola virus disease, is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection by one of the Ebola virus strains (Zaire, Sudan, Bundibugyo, or Tai Forest virus). For information about the disease, including signs and symptoms, transmission, and risk of exposure, see the CDC Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever Page at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/.
 

The CDC has issued warnings to avoid non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone because of the worsening public health situation in those countries. Moreover, enhanced precautions are recommended for travel to Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 
 

The CDC recommends travelers returning from areas with Ebola cases monitor their health for 21 days. Those traveling to or from the region should check their temperature once daily and report any symptoms, including fever, headache, joint/muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, or lack of appetite.
 

In the event of onset of a fever of 100 degrees or higher, or any of the symptoms listed above, DO NOT REPORT TO WORK OR SCHOOL. Call your physician or Wright State Student Health Services.
 

To read the CDC's advice for colleges, universities, and students about Ebola visit http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/advice-for-colleges-universities-and-students-about-ebola-in-west-africa

Jun 25, 2014

This follow-up provides additional information for the acid spill that occurred Monday, June 23, 2014 in the hallway near Oelman Hall's Lab Stores.  

A 2.5-liter bottle of glacial acetic acid was spilled during transport.  Fortunately, no one was injured.  The first responders who initially had minor symptoms from exposure were medically evaluated and released.  Unfortunately, the resulting acetic acid vapors permeated Oelman Hall and the surrounding buildings via the tunnels.  This release required many of the campus buildings to be evacuated as a precaution.

The spilled acetic acid was completely cleaned up.  No additional concerns of contamination associated with this spill exist in any areas of the affected buildings.

As a result of the incident, campus chemical delivery, spill response, and evacuation procedures are currently being evaluated.

In the meantime, supervisors, faculty, principle investigators, and staff who work with chemicals should evaluate their own procedures.  Also remember to always wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and to use carts and sturdy containers when moving chemicals.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Environmental Health and Safety at 775-2215.

Thank you and have a safe day.

Stephen Farrell

Director, Environmental Health and Safety

Jun 18, 2014

Exposure to heat, from exertion or hot environments, can cause illness and death.  Heat illnesses include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat rashes.

Preventative Steps

  • Monitor your physical condition and that of your coworkers for signs or symptoms of heat illnesses.  
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing such as cotton.
    • Avoid non-breathable synthetic clothing.
  • Gradually build up to heavy work.
  • Schedule heavy work during the coolest parts of day.
  • Take more breaks when doing heavier work, and in the high heat and humidity.
    • Take breaks in the shade or a cool area.
  • Drink water frequently.  Drink enough water that you never become thirsty.
  • Be aware that protective clothing or personal protective equipment may increase the risk of heat-related illnesses.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a condition that occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature, and can cause death or permanent disability.  Heat stroke is a medical emergency that may result in death!

Symptoms
  • High body temperature
  • Confusion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
  • Throbbing headache
  • Seizures, coma

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is the body's response to an excessive loss of water and salt, usually through sweating.

Symptoms
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Heavy sweating
  • Extreme weakness or fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Slightly elevated body temperature
Heat Cramps

Heat cramps affect workers who sweat a lot during strenuous activity.  Sweating depletes the body's salt and moisture levels.

Symptoms
  • Muscle cramps, pain, or spasms in the abdomen, arms or legs

What to Do When a Worker is Ill from the Heat

  • Call a supervisor for help.  If the supervisor is not available call 9-1-1.
  • Have someone stay with the worker until help arrives.
  • Move the worker to a cooler/shaded area.
  • Remove outer clothing.
  • Fan and mist the worker with water; apply ice (ice bags or ice towels).
  • Provide cool drinking water, if able to drink.

Additional Information

Heat Stress QuickCard provided by Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)  Two-page summary that provides essential precautionary measures that employers should take any time temperatures are high and the job involves physical work.

OSHA's Heat Smartphone App Use your smartphone to check the heat index for your location and see reminders about the protective measures for the specified risk level.

NIOSH Fast Facts:  Protecting Yourself from Heat Stressa Two-page summary of Heat-related illnesses, symptoms, first aid, and prevention measures.

Contact:

Ron Hamilton 937-775-3810

 

 

 

 

 

Dont Fry Day
May 23, 2014
The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention Encourages Everyone to Protect Your Skin Today and Every Day

To help reduce rising rates of skin cancer from overexposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun, the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has designated the Friday before Memorial Day as “Don’t Fry Day” to encourage sun safety awareness and to remind everyone to protect their skin while enjoying the outdoors. Because no single step can fully protect you and your family from overexposure to UV radiation, follow as many of the following tips as possible:

  • Do Not Burn or Tan
  • Seek Shade
  • Wear Sun-Protective Clothing
  • Generously Apply Sunscreen
  • Use Extra Caution Near Water, Snow, and Sand
  • Get Vitamin D Safely

As warm weather approaches and millions of Americans prepare to enjoy the great outdoors, the risk for ultraviolet (UV) damage of the skin increases. Skin cancer is on the rise in the United States, and the American Cancer Society estimates that one American dies every hour from skin cancer. This year alone, the American Cancer Society estimates there will be more than 76,250 new cases of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, and more than two million new cases of basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers in the U.S.


Fortunately, skin cancer is highly curable if found early and can be prevented. Remember to Slip! Slop! Slap!...and Wrap when you’re outdoors — slip on a shirt, slop on broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, slap on a wide-brimmed hat, and wrap on sunglasses. The best way to detect skin cancer early is to examine your skin regularly and recognize changes in moles and skin growths.


Most skin cancers are caused by overexposure to UV radiation. Individuals with lighter-toned skin are more susceptible to UV damage, although people of all races and ethnicities can be at risk for skin cancer. Those who have a family history of skin cancer, plenty of moles or freckles, or a history of severe sunburns early in life are at a higher risk of skin cancer as well. To minimize the harmful effects of excessive and unprotected sun exposure, protection from intense UV radiation should be a life-long practice for everyone.


The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention is a united voice to reduce skin cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality, through awareness, prevention, early detection, research, and advocacy.

Visit http://skincancerprevention.org/to learn more.

Contact:  Marjorie Markopoulos at 937-775-2797

 

Laser Barcode Scanner
May 15, 2014

Laser barcode scanners use a visible and repetitive “flashing” laser light beam, commonly used to track inventory and to enter purchases into a computerized management system.  The scanner is a wonderful tool for providing fast and easy customer service in places like supermarkets and restaurants.  Most people have seen a laser barcode scanner as scanners have been in use since the mid-1970’s.

Class 2 and 2M laser barcode scanners are considered SAFE if the beam happens to hit the human eye.   Blinking and looking away from a bright light source are both a reflex adaptation that humans use to protect the eyes from damage.  BUT- consider this:

  • Physical limitations may cause some people the inability to blink quickly, to avert their eyes, or to turn their head away from the laser beam, causing pain and discomfort, or even temporary impairment of vision.

 
Consider people whose line of vision is counter-top level or other reasons their eyes are more sensitive to a Class 2 or Class 2M laser beam- 

  • Wheelchair-bound people, children, and people who are short in physical stature. 
  • People with special health issues that make their eyes especially sensitive.
  • People who may become dizzy or suffer from a seizure disorder while peering at a flashing light.
  • Certain prescription lenses that magnify or amplify the effects of a laser beam.

The laser barcode scanner may be safe for most human's eyesight but exceptions are always a possibility!  Businesses can better serve their clientele by assuring all laser barcode scanners are pointed down,or away from the line of vision, or shielded so not to hit people with the laser beam at eye level.  

Source:  ANSI Z136.1-2014, Laser Institute of America, 2014

Contact:  Kimberly Morris at 937-775-2169
 

flu
Jan 8, 2014

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following steps you can take for your protection:

  1. A flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.
  2. Take every day actions to help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses.
    1. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
    2. Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use and alcohol-based hand rub.
    3. Avoid touching your eye, nose and mouth.
    4. Stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading the flu to others.
  3. Seek medical care early.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

CDC's Flu and You Informational Brochure (PDF)

Jan 8, 2014

OSHA provides excellent information to protect you from hazards. Snowy and icy conditions can make routine tasks challenging. Help prevent accidents by following OSHA's recommendations:

To prevent slips, trips, and falls, clear walking surfaces of snow and ice, and spread deicer, as quickly as possible after a winter storm.

To reduce the likelihood of injuries:

  • Wear proper footwear when walking on snow or ice is unavoidable, because it is especially treacherous. A pair of insulated and water resistant boots with good rubber treads is a must for walking during or after a winter storm. Keeping a pair of rubber over-shoes with good treads which fit over your street shoes is a good idea during the winter months.
  • Take short steps and walk at a slower pace so you can react quickly to a change in traction, when walking on an icy or snow-covered walkway.
  • Make safety your first priority, in inclement weather only travel or or go outside when necessary.

Visit OSHA's website for more weather-related safety tips: OSHA

Help make Wright State safe:

  • Call Physical Plant at 775-4444, as soon as possible, to report slippery or wet walking surfaces -- inside or outside.
  • Find alternate routes that have been cleared.
  • Complete Wright State's Accident Injury Report when you trip or fall or almost trip or fall.

Contact our office with your safety concerns: (937) 775-2215 or ehs@wright.edu