November 2021 Minutes

Safety Committee Meeting

School of Engineering

November 11, 2021

In Attendance: Chris Bartlett, Glenn Craig, Dave Honard, Phil Jones, Brian Lani, Lucy Lenhardt, Steve Nozaki, Nancy Study, Joy Armbruster

Members Unavailable: Hussein Abdeltawab, Anne Gohn, Mario Loreti, Fred Nitterright

Phil Jones called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.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.

  • Brian reported that a Bearing Tester owned by SKF will be moved from Burke 118A to AMIC 120 to be used for research. He asked that a Standard Operating Procedure SOP be added to the USP for this piece of equipment.
  • Brian suggested that the non-working 3D printer in AMIC 120 might be used on trade for a new piece of equipment. Nancy will investigate the possibility.
  • The Micro Indenter in AMIC 117 has been returned from being repaired, but not yet set up.

Accident/Incident/Best Practices Report

No new injuries or near misses to report. Phil shared that he added fire extinguisher awareness questions to the safety checklist/quiz that he gives the students who request special lab/card access to the SOE labs.

Phil also noted that whenever labs are adjoining as AMIC 117, 118, 119, 120 do, the students receive safety training on all of these labs.

A safety violation was reported in the Plastics Lab where bottles of chemicals were found with multiple chemical names written and crossed out on the bottles creating a situation where it was not evident what chemical was in the container. The situation was resolved, and extra bottles have been purchased and made available for future use.

Continuing Business

The minutes from the October 2021 meeting were reviewed.

Update of the Lab Safety Timeline. Brief discussion continued regarding the reinstatement of the lab self-inspections in the SOE labs. These inspections would be in addition to the required EHS annual lab inspections. A tentative schedule to detail the assignments will be created. The committee shared their thoughts and will continue discussion at next month’s meeting. Lucy noted that EHS has begun lab safety program audits with the environmental audit that was performed in the Plastics Lab last month.

New Business

Lab Card Access to Burke 123 was discussed by the committee. Thoughts include the need for a documented written policy and detailed enforcement. It was suggested that the committee ask Dr. Onipede to detail the new policy at our next school meeting.

The new Senior Design Chemical and Equipment Form was discussed. This form was created to be filled out by students to better inform interested parties (lab coordinators, safety officers, faculty) of the activity that will take place in the labs due to Senior Design Projects.

Phil asked if anyone had any Concerns for the Campus Shutdown (December 17 to January 3). Lucy asked if eyewash stations will continue to be inspected over the break. Dave shared that generally they are not inspected when school is not in session. EHS will be asked to confirm.

Brian shared that Chetan Nikhare asked him to take ownership of the key for the MTS machine in AMIC 120, as he will not be teaching in the Spring. The MTS is locked out to allow the lab to be considered medium risk.

Previous Action Items:

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. Action item is ongoing.

The unit specific plans have been reviewed and signed in the labs. Fred shared concern that in Burke 118 more faculty and students are using the lab than he is aware of and would like a better list of who is assigned or approved to use the lab. Action item is ongoing.

Question of who can use sponsor-owned equipment within Penn State labs. Can others use the equipment for work outside of the intended research? This came up specifically concerning the SKF equipment in AMIC 117/118/119/120. Action item is ongoing.

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.

Mario reported that the card access lab doors for Burke 140 and 143 are not closing securely and can be accessed without using card swipe. A maintenance work order was previously submitted and will be investigated. Complete

The meeting concluded at 10:00 a.m. The next meeting will be scheduled for December.