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CNSM Safety Program Overview

The safety of each individual is of PRIMARY IMPORTANCE in the College of Natural Sciences (CNSM). In the spirit of this endeavor, it is of great importance that everybody understands that any observed safety or health incident (or potential incident) should be immediately reported to the CNSM Safety Office. The CNSM Safety Officers are John de la Cuesta and Chris Frost. You can contact them at (562) 985-5623. John's wireless phone is (714) 222-0963. You can also notify the University's Environmental Health and Safety Office at (562) 985-2283. If you observe any unlawful act or other type of emergency please call University Police at 911, from any campus phone, or (562) 985-4101 from your cell phone.

All employees in the College are required to participate in the "CNSM Safety Program" prior to beginning work. This training may consist of a live safety training session or PowerPoint presentation, followed by the required reading of our Safety Manual and also a quiz, the latter given to ensure that the manual was read and understood. In addition to this, anyone who wishes to use any of our very strictly regulated materials such as human blood or blood products, gas cylinders, liquid nitrogen, lasers, radioactive material, X-ray units, electron microscopes, certain extremely hazardous chemicals etc. is required to attend a separate training class dedicated solely to the item in question. The law also requires an annual "refresher training" session for anyone using especially closely regulated materials such as human blood or blood products, radioactive materials etc. Entire committees have been formed whose sole task is to oversee and regulate activities pertaining to certain regulated items; for example we have a "Radiation Safety Committee", an "Institutional Biosafety Committee" etc.

Our standards of safety do not just apply to employees. We take the safety of all individuals very seriously and extend the same level of protection to our students that we give to employees, even though this is not required by law (students are not covered by the laws requiring safety training of employees). For example, all students who work unsupervised in a lab are strongly encouraged to participate in the CNSM Safety Program Training as described above. Your department may require it. Any student whose project involves any of the above regulated materials must attend the pertinent safety training session, just as employees must. Other student activities in the College are also very tightly controlled, for example anyone wishing to lead a Field Trip or similar outing must review the "CNSM Field Trip Safety Manual" with the class and document this training. Perhaps more importantly for the parent concerned, all instructors who teach labs must review each pertinent item of the "Student Safety Verification Form" with the class during the first week of class, and are also required to give ongoing safety training throughout the year as appropriate to lab activity. For example, if the lab will use acid one day and has not used it previously, the instructor is required to discuss the hazards associated with acid use and ensure that the laboratory safety shower and eyewash are operational.

Any inquiries into these safety issues are always welcome!