February 2022 Minutes

Safety Committee Meeting

School of Engineering

February 22, 2022

In Attendance: Hussein Abdeltawab, Chris Bartlett, Dave Honard, Phil Jones, Lucy Lenhardt, Mario Loreti, Fred Nitterright, Steve Nozaki, Nancy Study, Joy Armbruster

Members Unavailable: Glenn Craig, Brian Lani

Phil Jones called the meeting to order at 2:30 p.m.

Each committee member covered their Lab/s Risk Assessment /Activity Report. Any reports of new, moved, or deleted equipment will be added to the equipment database. Any lab concerns/new business reported on the forms will be addressed.

  • Lucy reported adding a new first aid kit to the lab, and several pieces of new equipment.
  • Fred reported that the two new Tinius Olsen machines added to Burke 118 are still not up and running. Shannon is in contact with Tinius Olsen.
  • Nancy reported that the PC attached to the MicroScribe in Burke 119 is not reading/writing data properly. IT is working with Nancy to resolve the problem. Nancy asked that student card access to the lab be revoked for students not following safety guidelines during this time in the lab. Nancy will continue to monitor the situation.
  • Fred and Phil discussed the possibility of adding a desiccant dehumidifier to Burke 118 to control moisture. Phil will review with Shannon and Dave Honard as well.

Accident/Incident/Best Practices Report

No new injuries or near misses to report.

Phil shared a card access event that occurred recently that shows how well the card access/safety assessment works for student safety in the labs. Phil met with several students from a senior design team, two of whom were not interested in the safety discussion. Phil did not sign for card access approval and contacted the faculty advisers who met with the students and provided additional training including attitude toward lab/equipment safety. The students met with Phil again and successfully completed the card access process. This process was designed to have several layers of approval, including sign-off by the faculty researcher/adviser, the person who trains the student on the equipment, and finally the card access coordinator who meets with the students to complete a safety assessment.

It was reported that students are being seen in the Innovation Commons with no masks and no glasses while working with what appeared to be a grinder. The committee will reach out to the lab coordinator to address the concerns.

Fred asked if lab coordinators get notified if someone is injured or an accident occurs in their lab. He also asked about reviewing incident reports with the safety committee. The committee discussed and will review the current incident/accident report at our next meeting with this question in mind. A change may need to be made if it does not include the coordinator in the notification process.

Continuing Business

The minutes from our January 2022 meeting were reviewed.

Brief follow-up discussion regarding the exhaust in Burke 145 continued. The possibility of adding a fume hood is on hold for further review. EHS recommends that the smoke eaters for soldering remain in place and that the ceiling exhaust not be substituted for expelling soldering smoke exhaust.

New Business

The possibility of using the fume hood in Burke 116 is being considered. Past painting in the fume hood in 116 was discussed. Fred stressed that no spray painting should be happening in that lab, as the fumes could be combustible. Signs will be posted.

Dave asked about an unused/donated electroplating kit left from a prior project. It has been sitting in Burke 116. Update…Brandi from EHS reached out to the Penn State Shenango campus and they would like to take the kit for use at their campus. The kit will be boxed and she will deliver it to them. Resolved.

Previous Action Items

Internal lab audit mid-year. Further discussion is needed. Action item is ongoing.

Lab Card Access to Burke 123. No new discussion took place during this meeting. Action item is ongoing.

Brian and Chetan are developing the plan for the MTS while Chetan is out. Update…The key to the MTS was given to Greg Dillon and Hamid Sanei in Chetan Nikhare’s absence. Training documentation is being addressed. Action item is ongoing.

The committee had a discussion on sponsor-owned equipment. Lucy noted that the contract should include maintenance and usage protocol. Action item is ongoing.

Mario suggested that students using Burke 145 should have training on soldering before using the lab. He also suggested that we ask maintenance to look at the ventilation in the space. There is currently a fume vent in the lab…Update…students are being trained by the faculty, and signs have been posted to stress the safety protocol in the lab. Resolved.

Card Access. The committee discussed the card access process for Burke 117. The Supermileage and Robotics clubs have grown to 30–40 students and the normal card access procedure where each student is required to meet with the lab access coordinator has become very difficult. Action item is ongoing.


The meeting concluded at 3:30 p.m. The next meeting will be scheduled for March.