NACUBO 2013 Innovation Award Winner – UNC-CH EHS Safe View 360

On July 14, 2013, the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) awarded the UNC-CH Environment, Health and Safety department its annual Innovation Award. Aaron Schmidt, Chemical Safety Specialist, accepted the award on behalf of the University.

Safe View 360 is the process of photographing the interiors of laboratories from floor to ceiling with a camera and software EHS purchased from an outside vendor. This process provides a 360-degree view of lab interiors so that fire and other emergency responders can view the interior of a room before they enter. They can see where flammable cabinets, fume hoods or other laboratory equipment is located as well as the ability to view behind doors and around corners, if they need to navigate through smoke. Additionally, it gives emergency responders some psychological support, because entering a room full of fire and smoke is unnerving, even for the best-trained responders.

This imagery is available onsite on a laptop or tablet, or in the EHS Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to aid in emergency management and planning, with the ability to easily pan completely around a room. In conjunction with geo-referenced floor plans as well as oblique and orthogonal exterior imagery, first responders and planners now have visual information about University buildings from a variety of perspectives.

While continuing to collect images for laboratory spaces, EHS is also interested in other applications of this technology. Possible examples include collaborating with public safety officials for security concerns such as the presence of an active shooter and taking images from mechanical rooms and rooftops for more thorough maintenance and facility services planning.

The UNC-CH Environment, Health and Safety department specializing in providing biosafety, chemical safety, fire safety and emergency response, radiological safety, environmental affairs, occupational and environmental hygiene, employee health and workplace safety. The UNC-CH department will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2014.

The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) Innovation Award seeks to honor the achievement of higher education institutions of each constituent type (community colleges, comprehensive and doctoral institutions, research universities and small institutions) in the following areas of business and financial administration:

  • Process Improvement to recognize higher education institutions that have successfully re-engineered or designed a program, improving service delivery of administrative activity in response to a campus need.
  • Resource Enhancement to recognize higher education institutions that have successfully reduced costs, increased revenues or improved productivity in response to a campus need.

CSHEMA Complete Safety Program Award of Honor

On July 16, 2013, the Campus Safety Health and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA) presented the 2013 CSHEMA Complete Safety Program Award of Honor to the UNC-CH Environment, Health and Safety department. Mary Beth Koza, Director, accepted the award on behalf of the department.

The Award of Honor for the Complete Safety Program is the highest award a member institution can receive from the association and is awarded only when one of its members meets the highest standards for the award. The award recognizes the University’s strive for excellence in designing and implementing safety programs including biological safety, laboratory safety, fire and life safety, chemical safety, environmental management, radiological safety, waste management, emergency preparedness, government relations, communications and administrative leadership.

Founded in 1953, CSHEMA has more than 3,000 members from more than 450 public and private colleges and universities and is the only association representing a broad range of health and safety issues at academic and research institutions.

Manager of Environmental, Safety and Health Program (MESH) Certificate

Mary Crabtree, Manager of EHS Workplace Safety, and Neah Tucker, EHS Occupational Field Hygienist, has received the Manager of Environmental, Safety and Health Program (MESH) certificate from NC State University and the NC Department of Labor. NC Labor Commissioner, Cherie K. Berry, said about the awards to Mary and Neah: “The Certificate reflects a commitment to workplace safety and health, an objective that we consider essential in making sure that workers in this state go home safe at the end of the workday.”

The MESH program is designed to increase the professionalism of environmental, safety and health managers at governmental, commercial, and manufacturing sties in North Carolina through a rigorous series of continuing education programs. The MESH program strives to recognize environmental managers and raise industry standards, and increase the value of these practitioners to their employers and others to whom their services are provided.

2012 EHS Innovation Award

Cathy Brennan and Aaron Schmidt received the Innovation Award this year for their work on the Safe View 360 project. Safe View 360 is the process of photographing the interiors of laboratories from floors to ceilings with a camera and software. This provides a 360-degree view of lab interiors so that fire and other responders can view the interior of a room before they enter. They can see where a flammable cabinet, toxic gas cylinder or other equipment is located. They can see what is behind doors and around corners, so they can know how to navigate through smoke, if necessary. They can see where certain chemical and biological hazards are located, so they can take preventative measures. Additionally, it gives emergency responders some psychological support, because entering a room full of fire and smoke is unnerving, even for the best-trained responders. This unique innovation will dramatically improve the safety of emergency first responders in the event of a lab accident or fire.

2012 UNC Employee Forum Call of Duty Award

Mark Brueckner, Associate Radiation Safety Officer, received the UNC Employee Forum Call of Duty award.

2012 EHS Collaboration Award

Facilities Waste Handling and Disposal Posters: Frank Stillo, John Covely, Larry Daw, Sharon Myersand Steve Parker. CSHEMA Award Application Project: Mary Crabtree, Cathy Brennan, and John Covely. Limited Lab Access Decon and Move: Kara Milton, Penny Padgett, Constance Birden, Deb Howard and 10 UNC employee partners, who will receive an award certificate. Bringing the Kannapolis Lab Online: Deb Howard, Mary Beth Koza and 11 UNC employee partners, who will receive an award certificate. Hazardous Waste Poster: Cathy Brennan, Steve Parker, Frank Stillo,Ray Bond, Jonathan Moore and John Covely. University Campus Wide Flu Clinics: John Covely,Rebecca Watkins, Dr. James Hill, Amy Butler, Nelda Hamlett, Vanessa Wise, Janet Clarke, 34 UNC employee partners, 5 Maxim Healthcare employees and 21 Maxim Healthcare nurses, who will receive an award certificate. UNCH Wellness Center and UNC-CH Family Flu Clinic: John Covely, Roger Sit, Debra Bergman, John Murphy, Frank Stillo, Cathy Brennan, Mary Beth Koza, UNCH and UNCH Wellness Center employees and nine Maxim healthcare nurses.

2012 EHS Employee of the Year

Janet Clarke was selected 2012 EHS Employee of the Year because of an ability to combine her dedication to environmental compliance and protection of campus water resources with a passion for training, outstanding incident investigation and resolution skills. The ability to combine these important attributes has been a hallmark of her role as Stormwater Specialist. When a significant spill of cooking grease occurred due to poor grease storage and handling practices at a campus restaurant, Janet implemented a program for training employees of campus restaurant facilities and worked with restaurants to improve the way they manage their used cooking oil. She provided creative ideas, storage infrastructure and firm yet friendly compliance inspections. In doing so, the resolution of compliance problems became “teachable moments” that enhanced the environmental awareness of restaurant personnel in a non-punitive way.

2011 EHS Innovation Award

When maintenance or repair is needed for cesium and x ray irradiators, outside companies are hired to do the work. This means researchers often wait weeks for a repair that can cost thousands of dollars. Mark Brueckner took the initiative to learn how to do many of the incidental repair and maintenance tasks on these important research tools and realized that he could make the repairs. This proactive approach not only saved thousands of dollars for UNC researchers, it eliminated the downtime of the units. In one case, Mark’s effort saved three weeks of downtime. Another repair saved a world-class researcher more than $15,000 in maintenance costs. Mark’s innovative spirit enabled him to go beyond the norm to serve his customers and make the University a safer and healthier place to teach, learn and serve.

2011 EHS Collaboration Award

Becca Artinian, Mary Crabtree, Jim Hill, Dirk Kumashiro, Ann Law, Sherice Love, and Vanessa Wise were all instrumental in the development of a web-based online scheduling system for the UEOHC.

2011 EHS Employee of the Year

Ray Bond was selected 2011 EHS employee of the year because he emulates the mission and values of the organization every day, serving as the quarterback of the University’s Hazardous Materials Facility (HMF). He is an expert in classifying, packaging and bulking various waste chemicals and plays a critical role in maintaining compliance with applicable hazardous waste regulations. When a colleague left the team, Ray continued to perform his normal duties at HMF and then took on more responsibility by helping in coordinating and participating in the waste collection efforts. Aided by several of his Environmental Affairs associates, Ray selflessly stepped up and worked tirelessly to keep the waste management and disposal process moving as efficiently as possible. Ray’s expertise in hazardous materials and wastes, his teamwork, proficiency, and dedication to compliance proved to be make a major difference for the Environmental Affairs section.

2011 Star Heel Awards

Rebecca Watkins and Dan Vick received Star Heel awards for work on online flu clinic information and the I-129 process, respectively.

2010 EHS Innovation Award

Janet Phillips and Kim Haley, Industrial Hygienists, won the 2010 EHS Innovation Award for their work in putting asbestos and lead information in SPOTS. Management of the University’s data concerning the location and abatement of asbestos and lead is an enormous task. Kim and Janet wanted to find a way to store and then easily access the data. They evaluated the possibilities and decided to use a Facilities Services program called SPOTS, for Space Planning and Occupancy Tracking System. SPOTS is a web-based real time information system that allows facilities services personnel access to facility ploor plans, including electrical and plumbing information with dynamic highlighting and labeling of every single building on campus. The task then was to put asbestos and lead information into SPOTS so it could graphically and photographically display the information for all televant campus buildings. EHS can now easily track asbestos and lead data being generated by environmental consultants and remediation contractors. Afte abatement of the areas, EHS is able to update SPOTS without losing the historical data. The asbestos and lead data can be found prior to renovation/demolition activities and/or maintenance activities. Architects and engineering firms can access the information prior to scheduled projects.

2010 EHS Collaboration Award

Janet Clarke, Fire Safety Inspector, won the 2010 EHS Collaboration Award for her work on reducing false fire alarms. As Fire Safety Inspector, Janet compiled statistics to determine the causes and prevention of fire alarms in residence halls and developed training for the Resident Advisors. She gathered the following groups to work together on this project and each group brought their technical expertise to the team meetings and implemented the actions needed to reduce fire alarms.

2010 EHS Employee of the Year

Mark Brueckner, Health Physicist, won the 2010 EHS Employee of the Year Award. Mark emulates the mission and values of the organization every day and provides consistent high balue service to his customers. The implementation of the security upgrades pertaining to the irradiators, the daily operations and maintenance of the irradiators as well as the training of the users were contributing factors to his selection. Mark’s role in overseeing the radiation protection program for the manufacture and testing of the latest emerging imaging technology (carbon nanotube based x-ray devices) demonstrates his willingness to accept additional responsibilities and increase his knowledge.

2010 Star Heel Awards

Joe Sutton, Daniel Gilleski, and Debra Bergman won Star Heel Awards for their H1N1 personal protective equipment fit-testing preparations.

2010 UNC Leadership Certificate with Human Resources

Kitty Lynn received this certificate after completing a class of 56 hours geared towards teamwork and management skills.

2009 CSHEMA Campus Leaders Who Care Award

This award has been established to recognize outstanding involvement and support of senior administrators for their understanding of how important environmental stewardship and health and safety issues are to their institutions. In 2009, Carolyn Elfland won this prestigious award from CSHEMA.

2009 Employee of the Year

Kitty Lynn was awarded the 2009 Employee of the Year. Kitty’s success in securing a major grant from the Federal Emergency Management Association for improving fire safety was cited as a major reason for her award. Read more about Kitty’s FEMA grant.

2009 Star Heel Awards

Star Heel Awards were presented to Aaron Gunsalus, Health Physics Technician, and John Covely, Public Communication Specialist during the departments In-Service Day training event on April 27.

2008 Employee of the Year

At the 2009 EHS In-Service day event, Mike Soles, Lead Health Physics Technician, was presented with the 2008 Employee of the Year Award.

UNC Wins CSHEMA Award of Recognition

The Campus Hazardous Environment Signage System has received a 2008 Award of Recognition from the Campus Safety Health and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA). The award was in CSHEMA’s “Solutions at Work” category which promotes interest in developing programs that solve or improve specific safety problems at colleges and universities, and encourages institutions to share ideas or projects that work for them.

2008 Star Heel Award

Eric Zack, Safety Officer, has been chosen to receive the Star Heel award in recognition of his dedication to the department and the University. He has taken the initiative to make improvements to long standing processes which resulted in increased operational efficiency. Eric’s contributions include improvements to the radiation dosimetry report process and the internal bioassay analytical process. These improvements decrease the amount of work that staff needs to commit in order to generate data for calculation, evaluation, and dissemination. He has also used his exceptional computer skills to perform operations such as CLIP management activities. We thank Eric for all he does each day.

2008 CSHEMA Award of Distinction

In 2008, Environment, Health and Safety won the CSHEMA Award of Distinction under Solutions That Work for its Online Ergonomic Self Evaluation application.

2006 Star Heel Award

Kitty Lynn, Fire Safety Officer, has been chosen to receive the Star Heel award in recognition of her dedication to the department and the University. As an employee of EHS, she works daily to ensure the safety of the students and employees. One of the ways this is accomplished is through the publishing of a semiannual newsletter called Safety First at UNC. She does an excellent job of preparing this document and distributing it to Emergency Coordinators and Building Facilitators all across campus. We thank you for your hard work on this important ongoing project.

Her outstanding efforts on behalf of the University and the State of North Carolina are greatly appreciated, and we are pleased that she have been chosen as a Star Heel!

2006 Employee of the Year

Ronald J. Howell, Indoor Air Quality Specialist, has done an exceptional job this year by going beyond his Indoor Air Quality responsibilities to chair a committee to evaluate the Facility Services’ new OS1 housekeeping process. This process focuses on cleaning for health. He worked many odd hours to accommodate work place exposure assessments and first hand observations of the effectiveness of the program. Working with a diverse group of committee participants, he was able to provide a detailed final report to his leadership, the OS1 has received broader worker acceptance. It will become a stronger program because of the committee’s involvement with the startup.

Jim Alty, Director of Facilities Services expressed his appreciation with accolades including “absolutely tremendous work” and “congratulations for a job well done.” We at EHS want to further express our appreciation for his exceptional contributions on behalf of the Department and the University, with the OS1 project as another clear example of job performance excellence.

2006 Exceptional Performance Award

Larry Daw, Geophysicist/Licensed Geologist. 2006 brought about an important change for UNC’s Department of Environment, Health, and Safety: a change of address. In the spring of 2006, EHS moved from its long-time office on Finley Golf Course Road to its new building on Estes Drive Extension. This is thanks in large part to Larry Daw, who organized and coordinated much of the move.

In appreciation of his hard work, EHS and Director Pete Reinhardt presented him with this award:

In sincere appreciation of
J. Laurence Daw
Exceptional Performance
in making our wonderful new workplace a reality
Department of Environment, Health and Safety
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2006 C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Ray Hackney, Industrial Hygiene Manager, is a recipient of the 2006 C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Awards, one of the most coveted honors bestowed upon university faculty and staff. Dr. Hackney, a native of Gastonia, is the manager of the industrial hygiene biological safety section of the department of environment, health and safety.

Hackney earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at UNC, starting his 27 years at Carolina by working in the health and safety office while in graduate school. He decodes complex federal and state regulations from multiple agencies. When the Occupational Health and Safety Administration extended its rules to university labs, one colleague wrote, “he saved us all.”

Hackney’s staff evaluated dozens of suspicious letters identified on campus in 2001 during the national anthrax scare. When a contract worker had SARS in 2003, Hackney helped public health officials find two people with whom the person had been in contact. Also an adjunct faculty member in the School of Public Health’s department of environmental sciences and engineering, Hackney mentors graduate students who are interested in occupational hygiene.

The late C. Knox Massey of Durham created the Massey awards in 1980 to recognize “unusual, meritorious or superior contributions” by university employees. Recipients are based on nominations submitted by the campus community. Each honoree receives an award citation and a $6,000 stipend.

2006 Star Heel Award

Ronald J. Howell, IAQ Specialist. As an industrial hygienist specializing in indoor air quality, Ron Howell has been selected to receive the Star Heel award as an expression of our appreciation for his persistent efforts in a very challenging segment of EHS activity. Since Ron came to the University in April of 2003, he has conducted about 180 indoor air quality investigations in the old and new buildings on campus. His knowledge and skill in dealing with IAQ issues is recognized both within the department, the campus and outside of the University.

He has been instrumental in carrying out the University IAQ Policy. He has developed practical work practices and training for workers who perform mold remediation. He has diligently addressed some nagging building issues which have resulted in important changes to the mechanical systems and cleanliness of work environments. Consequently, the health and wellbeing of many UNC employees has improved. Further, for the long term, he continues to lead the IAQ committee which establishes the priorities for resource allocations for upgrades to problem buildings.

All of us at EHS enjoy working with Ron. We look forward to his continuing contributions in indoor air quality for many years to come.

2005 EHS Employee of the Year

Donii D. Fox, Biological Safety Officer, has made a wonderful impact on our biological safety program. She has demonstrated great skill in coordinating the activities of the Institutional Biosafety Committee as well as working with BSL-3 laboratories to improve their safety and compliance with biosafety standards and regulations. Donii developed biosafety level 3 requirements for facilities and practices on campus that has improved our BSL-3 program greatly. She has worked closely with Facilities Services, Facilities Planning, and Medical School Planning to evaluate and prioritize for renovation existing BSL-3 laboratories. She has gone beyond her normal duties and taken initiative to develop a biological safety cabinet (BSC) certification contract and has developed a BSC database. Not only is Donii’s work excellent, but she is fun to work with and has a great sense of humor.

2005 Star Heel Award

Keith Bilger, Safety Officer, has been chosen to receive the Star Heel award in recognition of his dedication to the department and the University. To note the outstanding service to patients who must undergo some form of medical radiation procedure, we recognize him as the Safety Officer who serviced the most radioactive patients in the year 2004. Each medical procedure is different and some of the more complex medical cases occurred on his watch. His contribution greatly enhances the Radiation Safety Section as well as EHS’s reputation of service to the UNC Hospital complex. We thank him for his efforts and dedication to the EHS mission.

2004 EHS Employee of the Year

Jonathan D. Moore, Associate Radiation Safety Officer, manager of the Collaborative Laboratory Inspection Program (CLIP), achieves by quiet perseverance and dedication. The CLIP program is impressive in itself: Each month, it integrates the multi-disciplinary laboratory safety inspections of approximately 85 Principal Investigators. Jonathan makes assignments, organizes individual PI data for inspectors’ use, reviews each and every inspection result, communicates with PIs who have questions and citations, and resolves safety and health concerns. He successfully manages program resources whom he does not actively supervise-which is quite an accomplishment. This past year, Jonathan revived regular CLIPers meetings to refresh training and review the latest EHS issues. Jonathan’s commitment to the success of the CLIP program is a vital resource to the success of EHS.

2004 Star Heel Award

Steve Parker, Hazardous Materials Manager, has been chosen to receive the Star Heel award in recognition of his dedication to the department and the University. He championed the development and implementation of the two electronic submittal forms e-510 for hazardous materials and the e-102 for radioactive waste materials. He does an excellent job in managing all the technical/financial areas (invoices,special bids, etc.) for all waste vendors and keep accurate records of all types of waste handled and/or recycled. Recently, he was instrumental in the selection process of two new vendors which in the long run will result in considerable savings to the University. He has a great sense of humor and his attitude provides leadership to others at EHS. We are very fortunate to have him with us day in and day out.

Steve Parker’s outstanding efforts on behalf of the University and the State of North Carolina are greatly appreciated, and we are pleased that he has been chosen as a Star Heel!

2004 Star Heel Award

EHS Construction Specialist Gary Shaver‘s contributions to the department have been broad, and that he is a valuable EHS resource to planning, construction and facilities staff. Gary was outstanding in his response to the Kenan Lab exhaust odors complaints. He also prevented a potential major complaint episode(s) at the Health Science Library construction site by identifying the lack of ventilation control in occupied areas. He was able to address the problem with contractors to install exhaust fans, and monitor negative pressure in the work areas. There have been no significant complaints related to this project. Gary’s conscientious efforts to ensure that EHS requirements are incorporated into new construction on campus will positively impact the health and safety of UNC employees for many years to come.

2003 EHS Employee of the Year

Mary C. Crabtree, Workplace Safety Manager, is recognized for her leadership (and sleep-deprived nights) in responding to the SARS scare at UNC, by arranging for emergency fit-testing of physicians and coordinating with UNC Hospitals to establish a mobile fit-testing facility for the emergency SARS screening facility; for her crafting and getting approval of a new Training and Occupational Health Enforcement Policy; and for her instrumental role in creating and implementing a new program to provide flu shots to 2,503 UNC faculty and staff.

2003 Star Heel Award

Sharon Myers, Environmental Specialist, has been selected as a Star Heel because she is widely recognized in the EHS Department and on campus as the person who successfully developed and implemented a campus-wide water quality program. She continues to represent not only the Department but the University on stormwater and campus growth issues. She is a dedicated and conscientious employee who strives to produce not only high quality work but high quality results. Everyone in the Department enjoys working with her.

2003 Star Heel Award

Shelley Kutia, Receptionist, is recognized for her many years of conscientious, high quality work, and for her ready and unselfish assumption of additional responsibilities due to a coworker’s recent absence.

2003 Catch a Star Award

Tiffany Mitchell, Receptionist at the University Employee Occupational Health Clinic, is recognized by patients of the Ambulatory Care Center for outstanding customer service.

2002 EHS Employee of the Year

Wanda G. Hughes, Safety Officer, is well recognized as an exceptional safety officer for her professionalism, thoroughness and friendliness, in 2002 Wanda Hughes led the Department in holding its first-ever campuswide Safety Fair. The Fair was supported by 35 vendors, attended by 200 Carolina students, faculty and staff, and provided safety training to 271 UNC employees. Headlining the University Gazette, the Fair promoted a safe campus far beyond its time and place. In presenting this award, we also wish to recognize the support of Mary Crabtree (her supervisor) and the assistance of many other EHS employees who assisted Wanda and helped make the Safety Fair possible.

2002 Star Heel Award

Jonathan Moore, Associate Radiation Safety Officer, has served as acting Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) for a period of almost 9 months during this past year in the absence of an appointed RSO for this University. During this time, he has successfully fulfilled the responsibilities of two jobs, both of which carry a very high duty factor. The evidence of his success in carrying out these duties is the preliminary results of a recent inspection conducted by the Radiation Protection Section of the North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources. The results indicate that Jonathan was very vigilant and dedicated in carrying out his additional duties with excellence for the University.

2002 Star Heel Award

Tommy Holms, Fire Safety Officer, has been chosen to receive the Star Heel award because he represent what EHS is all about. He works to help everyone on campus have a safe work environment. In the office, he is always ready to do what is necessary to help others carry out the mission of EHS. For his dedication to the Department and the University, we thank him.

2001 EHS Employee of the Year

Kathy E. Schwabauer, Business Manager and Department of Environment, Health and Safety human resources facilitator, budget manager and onsite IT support person. Kathy’s work benefits everyone who works at EHS. She facilitates hiring and other personnel actions. She had made an extra effort-in a year of many budget difficulties-to manage and plan EHS’s budget. Her behind-the-scenes responsibilities are faithfully executed through hard work and prudent decisionmaking. We are all proud to work with her.

2001 Star Heel Award

John Worthington, Industrial Hygienist, has provided outstanding customer service in responding to employee requests for indoor air quality investigations and employee concerns about suspicious packages.

2001 Star Heel Award

Fletcher (Ray) Bond, Senior Hazardous Materials Specialist, has been selected as a Star Heel because he is widely recognized in the EHS Department as an exceptionally dedicated, conscientious employee who strives to produce high quality work. He displays energy in his job, is open to new ideas, asks questions, is always willing to help and is cheerful. His attitude provides leadership to others at EHS. Everyone in his department enjoys working with him.

2000 EHS Employee of the Year

Deborah M. Howard, Safety Officer: in recognition of her valuable contributions to the Department, including volunteering to server as co-chair (with Kathy Schwabauer) the Department’s 2000 State Employees Combined Campaign (to a new fundraising record), volunteering to chair the Department’s Web Task Force, volunteering to co-lead (with James Gilbert) the Department’s name change campaign, as well as numerous kudos from faculty, staff and students for being an excellent EHS trainer.

2000 Star Heel Award

Lisa Perry, Information Assistant, is widely recognized in the Department as an exceptionally dedicated, conscientious employee who strives to produce high quality work. She displays energy for her job, is always willing to help, is open to new things, asks questions and is cheerful. Her attitude provides leadership to others in the Department. Everyone in the Department enjoys working with her.

UNC Wins CSHEMA Award of Recognition

Dirk Kumashiro (ITS), Tinesh Tailor (ITS), Kelly Gallagher (ITS), Mary Crabtree (EHS), John Rawlings (ITS), Mimi Bennett (ITS) and Pete Reinhardt (EHS) receive the CSHEMA Award of Recognition. The following was reprinted from January 2005 The HUB, the UNC ITS newsletter.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Wins Award for its Health and Safety Information System (HASMIS)
Unique and Innovative Safety Program Award of Recognition
Campus Safety, Health and Environmental Management Association
A Division of the National Safety Council
Awarded July 2004

John Rawlings is a manager in Information Technology Services at UNC-Chapel Hill. His team supports Environment, Health & Safety (EHS), a very diverse department involved in such activities as biological, chemical, laboratory, and radiation safety; fire prevention; environmental affairs; and workers’ compensation. Mary Crabtree, Workplace Safety Manager at EHS and the department’s IT liaison, credits ITS with having developed a powerful, flexible application (client server and Web) that supports most of the department’s activities. The system goes by the name HASMIS (Health and Safety Management Information System).

“HASMIS helps us monitor compliance with OSHA, EPA, JCAHO, State, and miscellaneous regulations,” says Crabtree. “Things like inspections, medical surveillance (job-required physical, health care environments, etc.), radioactive and chemical waste pickup, radiation and chemical inventories, safety training-it’s a long list.”

HASMIS was developed in the early 1990s. At the time, EHS either kept manual records or had to write its own database programs. When this approach was less than satisfactory, the department considered various vendors’ programs, but none of them adequately addressed workers’ compensation. “Now it’s all integrated,” says Crabtree. “Anyone in the office can review any of the modules, and there are checks and balances. If someone tries to log in to request a waste pickup, for example, and we don’t have them in our database, they have to be added to the system before we pick up the waste. We can’t be everywhere, so this is a big help.” The program is continuously being expanded; current modules in development include a Web-based lab safety plan and an ergonomic self-evaluation.

“No other university has this,” says Crabtree. “We can run both defined and customizable reports through Oracle VB/Crystal, looking at 2 or up to 20 modules. It’s much more powerful than just a manual search.”

So pleased was Crabtree with the application that she nominated it for an award at EHS’s national professional organization, the Campus Safety and Health and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA). CSHEMA is a division of the National Safety Council and counts as members major universities in the U.S., Canada, and several other countries. The software earned UNC-CH the Unique or Innovative Program award. “It’s one of CSHEMA’s higher awards,” says Crabtree. “It’s pretty exciting when the CEO of the National Safety Council presents it!”

“HASMIS has had a number of hands in its writing,” says John Rawlings, “but it was re-written several years ago (VB 6 and Oracle), and it has grown and expanded into new EHS functions and the Web since then. What I tell anyone who will listen is that these guys (Dirk Kumashiro, Kelly Gallagher, and Tinesh Tailor, with Group Leader Mimi Bennett) did all the work; they deserve the credit.”