CSHEMA's award recognizes outstanding involvement and support of senior administrators for their understanding of how important environmental stewardship and health and safety issues are to their institutions.
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CSHEMA Research Safety Awardees for 2018

The Campus Safety, Health, and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA) and APLU have partnered to recognize institutional leaders who are advancing a culture of safety on their campus with the Campus Leaders Who Care Award and to recognize institutions with outstanding programs that improve research safety on campus with the Innovations Awards. Institutions can be recognized at the highest honor as an Awardee of Honor or as an Awardee of Merit.

The CSHEMA Innovation Award honors the achievement of institutions across three innovation categories in safety:

  • Safety Culture recognizes institutional practices of faculty, staff, and students who are prompting a culture of safety. Applications are required to demonstrate how safety was incorporated into the project/program; observable and quantifiable changes in the culture; and how learning experiences could be transferred to other institutions to help facilitate promoting a culture of safety.
  • Resource Enhancement recognizes programs that have successfully reduced costs, increased revenues or improved environment, and/or developed/created a sustainability initiative in response to a campus need. Applications are required to demonstrate measurable and documented monetary savings and/or reduction in impact to the environment.
  • Process Improvement recognizes successfully designed or re-engineered program; innovative method of training or educational course; or improving a service in response to a campus need.

APLU congratulates these member institutions and all the awardees for their contributions to creating a safer research culture! Complete descriptions of the award-winning programs are below in the Innovation Awards section.

Awardees for 2018

  • Campus Leaders Who Care Awardee

    • Donald Sundgren, Associate Vice President and Chief Facilities Officer, University of Virginia
  • Innovation Awardees for Safety Culture

    Award of Honor - Arizona State University - Compliance Officer Program

    Arizona State University (ASU) launched the Compliance Officer (CO) Program in 2006 with 56 COs and has grown to 165 COs representing over 97 departments at ASU. Since the implementation of the CO program, safety training has increased by 789 percent. From 2007-2018, the rate of incidents per 1,000 employees at ASU has decreased, saving ASU an estimated $5.1 million in direct and indirect costs. COs have been instrumental in the development of safety campaigns and safety programs, community engagement, and green events at ASU. The ASU CO program has shown the ability to increase safety on campus at a minimal cost. Similar programs can be implemented at other institutions to promote a culture of safety at a national level. Learn more here.

    Award of Honor - Washington University in St. Louis -  Chemistry Department Safety Culture

    The Chemistry Department of Washington University in St. Louis is a leader in improving research safety culture at a department level and has become a model for other research departments at WUSTL. Their efforts are multi-pronged and are adaptable to similar departments at any institution. Learn more here. 

    Award of Merit - Northern Illinois University - Student Advisory Safety Committee

    Northern Illinois University’s graduate students in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have established the Student Advisory Safety Committee (SASC) and have advanced several safety initiatives. This group of graduate students are prime example of enhancing a safety culture in academia. Learn more here.

    Award of Merit - University of Washington - Accident Prevention Plans

    The UW Board of Regents supported a health and safety compliance project to improve the development and implementation of the Washington State requirement for all Departments to have a written accident prevention plan (APP). The revised APP addresses the core elements of a comprehensive health and safety plan and includes templates and tools to guide departments on how to identify, assess, and control specific hazards not covered in the core plan.  An introductory video communicating the information in the APP and collaborations with all safety programs on campus was launched with the redesign of the UW EH&S web page. Continued maintenance of the APP will be provided by EH&S with support of the health and safety committee structure. Learn more here.

    Award of Merit - University of Washington - Lab Safety Initiative

    University of Washington's EH&S launched a two-year Laboratory Safety Initiative (LSI) to build a stronger culture of safety in the 1000+ university research and teaching laboratories on campus with the goal of identifying and overcoming barriers to safety, developing and sharing best practices, and streamlining oversight processes to reduce administrative burden. Learn more here.

    Award of Merit - Stanford University - Risk Assessment

    Over the past year Stanford has spent many hours re-imagining their approach to risk assessment using Design Thinking as a framework, with an emphasis on learning and getting input from a variety of perspectives. Stanford sought to create an enduring understanding of risk within their research community and empower researchers to think critically about their own experiments, while reducing uncertainty and integrating into the experimental process. Learn more here.


  • Innovation Awardees for Resource Enhancements

    Award of HonorUniversity of California, Irvine - Personal Protective Equipment Mobile Van

    The University of California, Irvine (UCI) constantly seeks to improve the effectiveness and efficiency in delivering services to our campus customers. Campus customer feedback through surveys have indicated that the Environmental Health & Safety and Risk Services (EH&S and RS) building location is a deterrent to obtaining efficient services. The facility is geographically located outside of the campus central core, has limited parking, and has no bus stops nearby.  Early efforts to find suitable space more centrally located on campus to provide routine services, like hands on training, were unsuccessful due to additional costs and space availability. By utilizing a PPE Mobile Van, we provide combined PPE training with other EH&S and RS training programs to entice the researcher to fulfill two or more safety training requirements at once near their workplace. Learn more here. 

    Award of Merit - Texas A&M University - Lab Equipment Decontamination Policy

    Texas A&M University critically evaluated the efficacy of the existing laboratory equipment decontamination policy based on key performance indicators, new workers comp claims, and new injury reports resulting from laboratory equipment. Methods to improve the efficiency and safety of the process were identified resulting in a savings of 325 person-hours and $8,900 per year.  Learn more here.

    Award of Merit - West Virginia University - Explosive Day Boxes

    WVU has implemented the use of explosive day boxes for managing our waste chemicals that require stabilization prior to transport. These boxes also allow accumulation time to be extended, in turn allowing for significant cost reductions. Learn more here.


  • Innovation Awardees for Process Improvements

    Award of Honor - University of California, Riverside - EHS Workshop

    The EH&S Professional workshop is a one-day, in-person workshop (held at various UC campuses), which provides an overview of advanced topics in Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S). Participants review concepts from the EH&S Generalist online modules, and transform this knowledge into practical skills through hands-on exercises. In addition, they network with colleagues from other campuses and dialogue about EH&S core competencies such as communication, influence & negotiation, program management, technical skills, leadership, and teamwork. Learn more here. 

    Award of Merit - North Carolina State University - Business Continuity

    In 2017, NC State’s Business Continuity Department was eliminated and a new department of Emergency Management and Mission Continuity (EMMC) was established. The goal of this restructuring was to improve institutional emergency planning and continuity by expanding emergency planning outreach and to fortify university preparedness and response. EMMC oversees risk assessment, plan development, testing and plan auditing - via comprehensive emergency planning coined Pack Plans. This program produced substantial resource enhancements, including fiscal and human resource reduction, with increased customer participation, data management and sustainable programming while utilizing existing campus resources and infrastructure.   Learn more here.

    Award of Merit - Texas A&M University - Agrilife Inspection Report Program

    The Agrilife Safety division within Texas A&M University's EHS office developed an inspection report program that used the existing electronic inspection data and cut report generation and delivery time by 83% resulting in a savings of 620 person-hours and $14,614 per year.  Learn more here.

    Award of Merit - University of Alabama at Birmingham - Lab Safety and Emergency Response Team

    This innovative training model was developed to enhance safety in research and teaching laboratories. The tiered approach (two tiers) divides graduate students and teaching assistants (TAs) into an advanced tier (Tier II) and undergraduate students into a basic tier (Tier I) of training. Tier II students are enrolled into an online R.A.M.P. based training and a daylong hands-on workshop. Tier I students will take an online basic safety course and be trained in class by the TAs on emergency response and use of safety equipment. The training program is very cost effective ($1.43 per student), easy to implement, practical enough to train thousands of students per year while linking theory and practice.  This will help to improve safety conditions in laboratories and other work places along with saving time and resources. Any institution can easily implement this training method to provide cost effective and efficient hands-on and face-to-face safety training to many students.  Learn more here.

    Award of Merit - University of California, Davis - Pre-Inspection Report

    The Pre-Inspection Report saves lab inspectors considerable time and energy by pulling information from a variety of systems into a central place that provides important information on a lab such as researchers' required PPE, which hazardous chemicals are in a lab, if their chemical inventory has been certified, and what findings inspectors may have noted during previous inspections.  Learn more here.

    Award of Merit - University of California, Davis - Chemical Inventory Solution

    The Risk and Safety Solutions Chemical Inventory Solution facilitates streamlined, accurate chemical data reporting in real-time, reducing administrative burden and providing valuable insight into the hazards and locations of chemicals on each UC campus.  Learn more here.

    Award of Merit - University of Kentucky - Ergo Corner

    The UK Occupational Health and Safety Division has the Ergo Corner, a free program designed to reduce ergonomic risks and prevent potential injuries (such as cumulative trauma disorders and repetitive motion injuries).  Learn more here.

    Award of Merit - Virginia Tech - Training Management System

    Beginning in 2014, EHS at Virginia Tech began development of a robust Training Management System. The TMS now hosts 40 on-line training programs, with more in development. Implementation of the TMS is estimated to have saved more than 6,000 EHS employee hours over the past forty-four months.  Learn more here.

    Award of Merit - Carleton College -  Custodial Training Guide

    The Carleton College Custodial Department created a Custodial Training Guide to be used by all 51 members of the custodial department.  It took three years to create the guide because it was worked on during the monthly labor management committee meetings since Carleton's custodial department is a union operation.  The guide contains many sections, four of which contain information which directly addresses safety in the workplace. Learn more here.

    Award of Merit - Columbia University - Print and Go Guidance Sheets

    To identify the immediate first aid treatment options by medical providers, EH&S has developed a series of “Print & Go” guidance sheets in pdf format, which can be printed and taken to the emergency room (ER) by individuals following occupational exposure to biological, chemical or radiological hazardous material. The sheets address the issue of emergency room physicians not typically seeing many cases of exposure to chemicals such as cyanide and hydrofluoric acid, or biologicals such as diphtheria toxin, lentiviral vectors and Macacine herpes virus 1. Our goal was to address potential issues of under-treatment or over-treatment of patients. The sheets provide information that medical personnel can reference but do not provide individualized medical care or treatment. The content includes immediate measures to take, types of specimen to collect, medication and countermeasure options, sources of additional information/ expertise and next steps. No sheet is longer than two pages. The sheets have been promoted to the University community and enthusiastically endorsed by the medical directors of the local ER.  Learn more here.

    Award of Merit - Stanford University - Stretch and Flex

    In 2015, Stanford University R&DE devoted resources to implement a Stretch and Flex (S/F) program for custodial staff. The S/F program provides work-specific stretches to help employees increase their overall flexibility and range-of-motion.  These measurable preventative efforts help promote safety as an organization value and priority.  Learn more here.