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The University of Texas Environmental Health & Safety Academy Origins and Objectives. Robert Emery, DrPH, CHP, CIH, CSP, RBP, CHMM, CPP, ARM Vice President for Safety, Health, Environment & risk Management Associate Professor of Occupational Health.

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the university of texas environmental health safety academy origins and objectives

The University of Texas Environmental Health & Safety AcademyOrigins and Objectives

Robert Emery, DrPH, CHP, CIH, CSP, RBP, CHMM, CPP, ARM

Vice President for

Safety, Health, Environment & risk Management

Associate Professor of Occupational Health

colleges and universities as worksettings
Colleges and Universities as Worksettings
  • Very unique places of work due to the potential for simultaneous exposures to all four hazards types
    • Physical
    • Chemical
    • Radiological
    • Biological
  • And a diverse “population at risk”
    • Students, faculty, staff, visitors, “others”
  • No one trained on how universities work
  • Also unique due to existence in US in culturally distinct settings – HBCU/MI’s
the public health significance of safety and the workplace
The Public Health Significance of Safety and the Workplace
  • In 2007 there were:
    • 5,657 workplace fatalities
      • That’s 15 people per day that left for work and didn’t come home
    • 4,002,700 recordable workplace injuries or illnesses
      • That’s a workplace injury or illness being recorded every 10 seconds
    • Fires, which are only one of many property “perils", resulting in $14,639,000,000 in direct property loss

Sources bls.gov, nfpa.org

course origins key research question
Course Origins: Key Research Question
  • Does a difference in health and safety program staffing exist between minority and non-minority universities?
  • If so, what predicts the difference?
    • Minority status?
    • OSHA regulatory status?
    • Institution size?
research findings
Research Findings
  • Assumption of unique exposure risk validated
  • Staffing differences noted: 1.14 vs. 3.12 FTE
  • Institution size found to be only reliable predictor
    • Not minority status
    • Not OSHA status
  • Need for generalist training identified
    • 1 person addressing a variety of potential hazards
    • Emery, R.J., Delclos, G.L., Cooper, S. P., Hardy, R., "Evaluating the Relative Status of Health and Safety Programs for Minority Academic and Research Institutions", American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal, 59(12): 882-888, 1998.
fulfilling the need
Fulfilling the Need
  • Pilot Comprehensive Hazardous Waste Management course developed with seed support from SWCOEH and UTHSC-H
  • Held in New Orleans in September 1998
  • Attendees from 4 regional states
  • Feedback very positive!
fulfilling the need7
Fulfilling the Need
  • Feedback from pilot used to support grant request from NIOSH to create 40 hour Comprehensive EH&S for Educational Institutions generalist course
  • Funding awarded, including
    • Tuition assistance for targeted schools
    • Graduate research assistant to help with electronic networking feature
first edition
First Edition

Held in October 1999,

28 participants from 10 states and Puerto Rico

first edition9
First Edition

23 different schools : 11 “underserved”, 13 “small”

12 course instructors, all practicing professionals, included EPA, OSHA representatives

subsequent editions
Subsequent Editions
  • Hundreds of individuals trained to date
  • Worldwide representation – all the way to Singapore. All regions of the country – extending from Alaska to Florida, and Puerto Rico!
  • Course reviews continue to be very positive
  • Content continually tweaked based on feedback
course content
Course overview

How universities work

50 questions

Risk management and insurance

Fire and life safety

Physical safety

Ergonomics

OSHA perspective

Chemical safety

Underexposed

Radiation safety

Biological safety

Occupational health programs

Environmental programs

Hazardous waste management

Course Content
course content12
EPA perspective

Emergency response

Security for safety professionals

Measures and metrics that matter

Communicating through the mass media

Professional development

Avoiding common violations

Course Content
course materials resources
Course Materials/Resources
  • Copies of all powerpoint slides
  • List of key references for each hazard area and useful contact information
  • Answers to the famous 50 questions
  • Materials from regulatory agencies
  • Contact information for future professional networking
instructors
Instructors
  • Faculty from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health
  • Staff from UTHSC-H and other UT Component EH&S Departments
  • Local practicing professionals
  • Representatives from regulatory agencies
feedback to date
Feedback to Date
  • Course evaluations continue to be overwhelmingly positive
  • Generalist approach greatly appreciated (special topics lite)!
  • Cost-effectiveness greatly appreciated as well!
feedback to date16
Feedback to Date
  • Noted attractive features include
    • Comprehensive hazardous waste management
    • Effective communications
    • Metrics and data displays
    • Regulatory perspective
    • Common violation data
getting started
Getting Started
  • Participant introductions
    • Name
    • Institution
    • Role within institution
    • Institution size
    • Challenges currently facing of existing program
    • What you hope to get from this course