10.01 / Environmental Health and Safety Guidelines

  1. Preamble

    Wichita State University is committed to the philosophy that teaching and research are best conducted in laboratories where dedication to safety, health and environmental stewardship is exemplary.

  2. Policy

  3. It is the policy of Wichita State University (WSU) to operate in compliance with applicable federal, state, and local requirements which concern human health, animal welfare, and protection of the environment.

    1. Laws, regulations and guidelines

      WSU employees should be cognizant of and comply with the following laws, regulations, guidelines and/or publications:

      • Emergency Action Plan and Egress - 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.35 - .40
        A written plan that tells what to do in the event of a fire, tornado, chemical spill, bomb threat or other emergency; Emergency Building Coordinator Program.

      • Fire Prevention - 29 CFR 1910.38(b)
        A written plan describing the equipment and procedures used to prevent fires.

      • Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (Hazwoper) - 29 CFR 1910.120
        A written plan and training for those who handle hazardous wastes.

      • Blood Borne Pathogens - 29 CFR 1910.1030
        A written plan and training for those who may come in contact with human blood or body fluids.

      • Hazard Communication Program - 29 CFR 1910.1200
        A written plan identifying the hazardous materials at a job site and how to protect oneself from those materials.

      • Laboratory Standard - 29 CFR 1910.1450
        A written chemical hygiene plan which describes safety procedures to be followed in the laboratory.

      • Protection of the Environment - 40 CFR 260 to 299
        Describes the generation, accumulation, transport, and disposal requirements for hazardous wastes as well as training requirements.

      • Hazardous Waste - Kansas Statutes Annotated (K.S.A.) Chapter 65, Article 34
        Adopts by reference the guidelines in 40 CFR 260 to 299, the U.S. EPA Protection of the Environment, and additional requirements unique to Kansas.

      • Radiation Sources and Disposal - The Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE) Bureau of Air & Radiation (BAR) Radiation Control Program
        A program for control and monitoring of radioactive materials and radiation emitting equipment including lawful disposal from sites within the Central Interstate Radioactive Waste Compact.

      • Animal Use - The Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC), International guidelines require an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) to provide oversight for all animal use.
        The IACUC oversight is to ensure compliance with the AWA and USDA policies and AAALAC accreditation requirements.

      • Animal Activist Action - The National Association for Biomedical Research Crisis Management Manual will guide responses.

      • Biohazards -
        Use of any biohazardous material requires review and authorization by the Institutional Biosafety Committee.

      • Occupational Health and Environmental Control - 29 CFR 1910.94 - .98
        Provides guidelines governing ventilation, occupational noise, and non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation.

      • Hazardous Materials - 29 CFR 1910.101 - .111
        The Compressed Gas Association's Pamphlet P-1 for handling procedures and requirements for various hazardous materials and specific compressed gases.

      • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - 29 CFR 1910.132B - .139
        Eye and face (.133), Respiratory (.134), Hands (.138), Feet (.136).

      • General Environmental Controls - 29 CFR 1910.141 - .147
        Regulations concerning eating areas, water supplies, rest rooms and washing/shower facilities; color codes and safety signs (.144 and .145); confined space regulations; and Lock-out/Tag-out (.147).

      • Air Contaminants, Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) - 29 CFR 1910.1000
        Exposure limits for more than 600 chemicals and materials.

      Copies of the regulations and written plans are available in the Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) Office and in other administrative offices. Additional training, as appropriate for your job assignment, can also be obtained from EH&S.

    2. Accumulation of Hazardous Wastes

      There are only two areas where hazardous waste may be accumulated: satellite areas and the central storage accumulation area. These areas are defined and regulated by law (40 CFR 260 to 299; K.S.A. Chapter 65, Article 34; and K.A.R. Article 31). Individual laboratories and other sites that contain any chemicals are satellite areas.

      1. Individuals who handle hazardous waste must be properly trained and the training documented.

      2. Storage containers must be in good condition and kept closed when not in use.

      3. Containers of hazardous waste must be appropriately labeled with words "hazardous waste" and must be under the daily supervision of the operator in the satellite area.

      4. The accumulation start date must be added to a hazardous waste container that is full by the generator when removal to the central storage accumulation area is to take place.

      5. The satellite hazardous waste container must be removed from the satellite area within 72 hours of adding the accumulation start date and removed from the central storage accumulation area within 90 days.

      6. Only one satellite container of each hazardous waste can be present in a satellite area.

    3. Enforcement

      The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, as amended, prescribes fines for a variety of violations. Fines are typically $25,000 per day per violation but can go as high as $50,000 per day. Endangering someone by improper handling, storage, treatment, or disposal of hazardous waste could subject the responsible person to a $250,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Bureau of Waste Management can impose penalties.

      • Storing hazardous waste in a container in poor condition; $500-$5,000.

      • Failure to mark containers of hazardous waste with the accumulation start date; $500 + the number of containers x $100. One container would be $600.

      • Failure to label a container with the words "hazardous waste;" $500 + the number of containers x $200. One container would be $700.

      • Failure to maintain no more than a single container of a particular waste in a satellite area; $500 + the number of containers x $100. One container would be $600.

      Ignorance of the law is no excuse for violations. Courts have held that the responsibility to know the law lies with the individual. In the area of environmental law, lack of knowledge may result in fines or a jail term. For those who work with hazardous material, it is imperative that they know the regulations to ensure that operations comply with the law. Remember the government does not recognize ignorance of the law as a valid defense.