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K-State Today

June 2, 2011

Campus-wide safety inspections to continue, initial results announced

Submitted by Steven Galitzer

Recently the Kansas Department of Labor visited the campus to begin a comprehensive on-site safety inspection. The department regulates the university with regard to occupational safety and health. Under K.S.A. 44-636, the department, by reference, applies the Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards as found in the Code of Federal Regulations. These OSHA standards are found in 29 CFR 1910 (General Industry), 29 CFR 1926 (Construction Industry) and 29 CFR 1928 (Agriculture Industry).

This visit was the first of many repeat visits to inspect the university in its entirety. This inspection covered primarily maintenance shops in the division of facilities and department of housing and dining services. The following general deficiencies were found:

1.      Defective powered equipment in use
2.      Missing or improper guards on powered equipment
3.      Use of defective or improper extension cords
4.      Unguarded lamps in light fixtures within seven feet of work surfaces
5.      Lifts in use without proper markings
6.      Nonexistent or improper railings on platforms
7.      Defective electrical systems, e.g., exposed wires, open electrical panels or electrical boxes with missing knock-outs
8.      Improper use of power strips
9.      High pressure blow guns with no pressure limiting device
10.    Improper storage of pressurized gas cylinders and
11.    Improper storage of respirators.

The one that will surprise people is item 8 above. Power strips are approved for use with audio equipment, computer equipment and household appliances only. The industrial use of power strips is not permitted under the regulations.

Future inspections will cover other maintenance rooms, departmental shops, storerooms, main offices and laboratories. Departments should review these areas to ensure compliance with worker safety rules. Other areas of compliance include adherence to the Hazard Communication Standard, the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard and the Laboratory Safety Standard. We suggest you take the time to review your own area of responsibility to ensure compliance.