Environmental health and safety
Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center's Environmental Health and Safety Department is committed to maintaining a safe environment for all of staff, visitors and members of the public. We are also dedicated and committed to minimizing the impact of our operations on the environment, both locally and on a global aspect.
We believe that the foundation of a successful Environmental Health and Safety Department program depends on creating an understanding and awareness within our staff of the importance of these programs.
The main focus of the Kearney Research & Extension Center's Environmental Health and Safety Department can be broken down into:
Everyone is responsible for safety. Principal investigators and supervisors are responsible for conducting hazard assessments of their laboratories and work areas.
Principal investigators and supervisors are the baseline for the establishment of safe work practices and procedures within their areas. The assurance of proper safety training within each department would rest within the principal investigators and/or supervisors.
Staff and students are responsible for learning about and implementing safe working procedures. They are also responsible for promptly reporting unsafe conditions to the supervisor.
Regulations require employers to provide training to their employees in health and safety. The KARE EHS department provides a comprehensive training program that is available to all staff associated with the center, rarely with a charge.
Training enables staff to acquire the skills and knowledge that, with experience, makes them competent in the health and safety aspects of their work.
The EHS department provides information, instruction and training to provide a safe place to work. Certain courses lead to nationally recognized certification, examples are, the 10-hour OSHA Outreach Training Program, EPA, Workers Protection Standards (WPS), American Heart Association CPR and AED. courses.
Safety training courses are generally held each month. Courses are also tailored to meet the requirements of individual departments or specific tasks ranging from Forklift Driver Certification to basic hand tools. Participation from all UC Research Extension Centers are welcomed to attend. To see more go to: Safety training
Fire safety and prevention
Everyone is responsible for fire safety. EHS services in this area include: building inspections along with training in our Fire Prevention Plan and Emergency Action Plan. The KARE EHS department conducts annual building evacuation drills and fire extinguisher training.
Contact EHS if you have any questions or desire consultative assistance about fire safety, electrical safety and other fire related issues
EHS collects and manages the disposal of unwanted hazardous waste materials. Go here for: KARE Guidelines for Chemical Waste Storage, Packaging, Labeling,
Laboratories can present many hazards. Training of personnel and proper handling of these hazards can prevent accidents in the lab environment. Environmental Health and Safety conducts annual safety inspections of all laboratories on the center to ensure safety and compliance with state and local regulations, and university policies. Each laboratory is required to write and update a chemical hygiene plan which provides specific information on the hazards and chemicals in their lab. A generic chemical hygiene plan has been developed to assist each lab with the development of their lab's plan.
Agriculture ranks among the most hazardous industries. These include musculoskeletal injuries sustained through overexertion and/or poor task ergonomics. Accidents involving farm equipment, as well as exposure from applying chemicals. Heat and sun exposure is another major concern in agriculture.
ANR Safety Notes - More than 100 Safety Notes that can be used for "tail-gate" training
Safety Presentations - Downloadable PowerPoint presentations, videos and training aids.
EHS links - EHS policies, procedures and programs
For more information contact: