Excellence in Safety Award Honors Wooster’s PAAR Facility

Congratulations to the Wooster Campus Plant and Animal Agrosecurity Facility (PAAR) for earning the 2019 Group Award of the “Excellence in Safety” Award from the University Laboratory Safety Committee (ULSC).  The award recognizes individuals and groups who have made a considerable contribution to improving laboratory safety on the Ohio State campus.  CLICK HERE for information about the award and what the Administrative Group (Dr. Juliette Hanson, Kaitlynn Starr, Alden Sewell, and Willie Coblentz) and the Research Group (Dr. Chang Won Lee, John Ngunjiri, and Michael Abundo) have done to achieve this award.  If you see any of these folks around campus congratulate them for a job well done!


Heat Stress Injuries, Illness and Skin Cancer


It is field work season; as such, it is important to be reminded to stay cool and safe in the intense heat outdoors.

Check out the following links for some great information on what to look for and how to prevent heat related illness and skin cancer:


Heat Stress Injuries

Heat Stress Illness and Skin Cancer Prevention

Occupational Heat Exposure

Protect Your Skin Brochure


Also check out the Heat and Cold Stress Online Training, HERE.  This training program provides an introduction to heat and cold stress.  Topic areas include the definition of heat and cold stress, types of illness caused by heat and cold stress, and prevention.

As always let us know if you have any questions or concerns.  Stay safe and cool out there.



Agricultural Equipment & Machine Hazards

Check out this great message from Kent McGuire (CFAES Safety and Health Coordinator) about agriculture equipment and machine hazards.

Today’s agricultural equipment is powerful, very efficient and versatile in how it can be used. This includes tractors, tillage equipment, planting equipment, harvesting equipment, and extremely specialized machinery for specialty crop production. However, all agricultural equipment share many of the same hazards that can seriously injury someone if the hazards are not recognized. Farm equipment hazards can include:

Wrap Points: Any exposed equipment component that rotates at high speed or with a high degree of torque.  Injuries occur because of entanglement with the part. The most common wrap points are associated with drive shafts or power take – off shafts.
Shear / Cut Points: Shear points happen when two edges come together or move passed each other to create a cut. Cut points happen when a single edge moves rapidly and forcefully enough to make a cut or a solid object strikes a single edge. Injuries can range from severe cuts to amputation. Common equipment includes mower blades, disc coulters, cutter bars and parts with sharp edges.
Pinch Points: Any equipment that has two objects that come together with at least one of them moving in a circular motion. The point at which the two objects come together becomes the pinch point. Injuries can include abrasions, cuts, or being pulled further into the part. Most pinch points involve belts and pulleys, chains and sprockets, gear drives, or roller assemblies.
Crush Points: This occurs when two objects come together or a single object moves towards a stationary object creating a blunt impact. Injuries usually involve damage to tissue, bones, or internal organs. Crush points can include being caught under or between moving parts or equipment.
Burn Points: Any area on a piece of equipment that can generate enough heat to cause a burn to the skin if touched. It only takes 5 seconds to create a 3rd degree burn touching something at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Common burn points include exhaust mufflers, engine or hydraulic fluids, friction of moving parts, and worn out bearing assemblies.
Free – Wheeling Parts: Some mechanical systems will take time to come to a complete stop, after the power source has been shut off. Many times these parts are moving silently after the equipment operator has dismounted the equipment. These parts can include rotary mower blades, flywheels, and equipment that must go through a full revolution or cycle to come to a complete stop.
Stored Energy: Any amount of potential energy waiting to be released. Injuries occur when the energy is unintentionally or unknowingly released. This can include pressurized hydraulic systems, pneumatic systems, electrical circuits, spring tension, and chemical reactions.
Thrown Objects: Occurs when material or objects are discarded from the equipment with great force. Injuries occur when the object strikes the individual. Objects can be throw during mowing processes, from discharge chutes, or tossed from rapidly rotating parts.
By recognizing the hazards that can be present with farm equipment and respecting the power and speed of the equipment, potential for injuries can be significantly reduced.
Take the time to review with employees, any warning labels and hazard symbols that are located on each piece of equipment. Also ensure that all machine guards and shields are properly installed to minimize exposure to equipment and machine hazards.
OSU Employee Training
The College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has established a training program that can be accessed via OSU Environmental Health and Safety website. (www.ehs.osu.edu) The training curriculum is based on National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program content and OSHA training recommendations.
To start the Agricultural  Equipment Hazards Training (OSU employees / students):
1) Click on this link –  https://ehs.osu.edu/training
2) Cick on the Other content area.
3) Scroll down to locate the Equipment Hazard training course and click on “Take this Course”.
4) Sign in using your osu.edu login (last name.###).
5) At the end of the on-line training you will be prompted to take the quiz.
6) Once training has been completed, a list your training sessions will be listed under “My Training”.

Supervisor note: This training may also be conducted on an individual basis or in a classroom group setting using lecture and discussion. Training materials for supervisors to conduct this training can be obtained from the resources links below or contact the OSU CFAES Safety and Health Coordinator to schedule a training session for your staff.

If you have any questions, please contact Kent McGuire (CFAES Safety and Health Coordinator) at mcguire.225@osu.edu or (614) 292-0588. You may also contact the OSU Environmental Health and Safety Office online at http://ehs.osu.edu/ or by phone at (614) 292-1284.

Reviewed / Updated: 2/4/18 K. McGuire

ORAT (Online Risk Assessment Tool)

The ORAT (Online Risk Assessment Tool) was released in November 2017; this replaces the Occupational Health Registry used in the past.  The ORAT will walk you through the process for assessing potential risks due to contact with animals, hazardous agents, operation or environments.  The ORAT employs a simple question and answer model that builds a personalized risk assessment designed to the specific hazards that may be encountered as part of work-related responsibilities.  You will be contacted if it is determined a medical examination is required.

It is recommended that ALL new employees and any employee that has changed positions to fill out the ORAT.  Any employee that has not filled out the old Occupational Health Registry should also fill the ORAT out.  You will receive an annual renewal reminder thereafter.

To fill the ORAT out please follow this link.



Safety Tips for Using an Autoclave

It’s no secret that autoclaves can be very dangerous to work around.  I compare them to a pressure cooker in my mind and remember what my mother told me about how dangerous those can be.  As a child I locked the lid on ours and the water inside boiled so violently the whole pot was dancing around on the stove top.  I released the lid, bad idea, and boiling hot water went everywhere!  Luckily, no one was hurt which is an absolute miracle!

The following articles are from Lab Manager magazine about the safety hazards of autoclaves and what you can do to stay safe while using them.  For example, did you know that if you use your autoclave to inactivate substances such as human pathogens, blood, tissues, and clinical samples, testing is required after every 40 hours of use?  Autoclaves used to sterilize other materials must be tested every six months.  Check out these articles to learn more and help keep yourself and others that work in your lab safe.

12 Scalding Hot Safety Tips for Using an Autoclave

Safe Use of Autoclave Sterilizers


Prevent Winter House Fires and CO Poisoning

Winter is a time for holiday decorations and staying warm.  Many of us live and/or work in older structures and use alternative means of heat such as; wood burning stoves and fireplaces, space heaters, and fuel fired furnaces.  The National Fire Protection Association has some great information and infographics on how to avoid potential disastrous events during this cold but happy time of year.  Read more here.  You can also check out this video of a Christmas tree fire, it is very eye opening.

Also check out this great article by Lisa Pfeifer from OSU Ag Safety and Health Education about carbon monoxide and ways to protect yourself against this silent killer.

Stay safe out there and enjoy this winter season!

First Aid Kits

It is important to check your first aid kit regularly to be sure all items are fully stocked, unexpired (yes; antibiotic ointment and antiseptic wipes DO expire), and in good working order.

Have your first aid kit well stocked and ready when you need it.  Don’t be caught off guard with old useless supplies in a time of need.


A basic first aid kit may contain:

  • absorbent compress dressings
  • adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
  • adhesive cloth tape
  • antiseptic wipes
  • antibiotic ointment packets
  • instant cold compress
  • non-latex gloves
  • scissors
  • rolled bandages
  • sterile gauze pads
  • tweezers

Of course, you are welcome to add any other items you would like to help in a situation that first aid is needed.  Feel free to add items that pertain to the type of work you do or the place in which work is being done.  If you are in an area that involves mostly outdoor work adding some hydrocortisone ointment packets and calamine lotion may be helpful for seasonal allergies, insect bits or stings.

Many people are unaware that OARDC Store Room offers first aid kits and refill supplies for first aid kits free for campus use.  Fill out an erequest with the proper information from the online catalog if you are in need of a new first aid kit or refills for your current first aid kit.

Check out this link for a great infographic from Cleveland Clinic on first aid kits and their use.


Flu Season

  • Body or muscle aches
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat

Is it a cold or the flu?  Colds rarely cause a fever or headaches.  Flu almost never causes an upset stomach.  And “stomach flu” isn’t really flu at all, but gastroenteritis.

Most people with the flu recover on their own without medical care.  People with mild cases of the flu should stay home and avoid contact with others, except to get medical care.  If you get the flu, your healthcare provider may prescribe medicine to help your body fight the infection and lessen symptoms.

The main way to keep from getting the flu is to get a yearly flu vaccine.  Good hygiene, including hand washing, can also help.

Source: National Institutes of Health (NIH): National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Where to get a Flu Vaccine:

  • contact your Primary Care Provider for an appointment
  • contact your local Health Department for flu vaccine clinic locations and hours
  • most pharmacies have a walk-in, no appointment necessary flu vaccine clinic


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