Plan-Do-Check-Act: A University Laboratory Equipment Decontamination Case Study
- Erich Fruchtnicht (Texas A&M University) | Nancy Eaker (Texas A&M University) | John Fellers (Texas A&M University) | Brad Urbanczyk (Texas A&M University) | Christina Robertson (Texas A&M University) | Merina Dhakal (Spelman College) | Stephanie Colman (Texas A&M University) | Diana Freas-Lutz (Radford University) | Hiram Patterson (Texas A&M University) | Cristina Bazan (Texas A&M University) | Crystal Giles (Texas A&M University)
- Document ID
- American Society of Safety Engineers
- Professional Safety
- Publication Date
- October 2019
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 43 - 51
- 2019. American Society of Safety Professionals
- 0 in the last 30 days
- 21 since 2007
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- Texas A&M Health Science Center Risk Management identified public or nonlaboratory and nonclinic personnel exposure to potentially contaminated equipment as a risk to the institution.
- The university’s Environmental Health and Safety department developed a process, within given constraints, to address potentially contaminated equipment leaving the institution or moving between laboratories and clinics.
- Following plan-do-check-act methodology, key performance indicators were evaluated, and the process was revised to improve efficiency and more appropriately assign responsibility for laboratory and clinic equipment.
The Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) and Texas A&M University (TAMU) Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) departments are responsible for ensuring the safety of not only all faculty, staff, students and visitors to geographically dispersed campuses across the state of Texas, but also the public surrounding those campuses.
Because the university is a state entity, the preferred disposition route for all university assets is public auction administered by the Surplus department. Each research or academic department within the university determines which of its assets are no longer needed and schedules a pickup through its embedded property management team member. The removal of all unwanted assets is performed either by university personnel or by a private moving company. Although EHS had a policy in place for the decontamination of equipment prior to its release to Surplus, the process of equipment being sent to Surplus itself did not directly include EHS. Only in rare cases in which surplus or property management personnel suspected the asset to be contaminated with hazardous materials would they request EHS’s involvement.
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