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2020 CSURMA Safety-Risk Forum

Recent system-wide safety program evaluations have identified the need for additional laboratory safety spill response training for ISTs and student employees working in the instructional and research laboratory environment. Additionally, Executive Order 1039 mandates the responsibility of each campus to ensure the safety of students. The campus safety policies and procedures in place to accomplish this will be scrutinized should an injury occur in the learning environment. A subsequent accident investigation and compliance review will involve a thorough examination of current work practices in the instructional and research labs and any associated field research environment.

In 2019, the Risk Management and EHS WRECS Affinity Group was awarded a grant from CSURMA to sponsor a 2-day academic lab safety and risk training forum.  This training forum will be held at select campuses and offered as an open invitation to all ISTs, EHS staff and faculty in the CSU system. Travel costs for attendees and expenses for each host campus would be reimbursed through the CSURMA grant.

Learn more about the presenter: Vance Kekoa

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 Current CSU host campuses:     FRESNO STATE                    April 14th and 15th

                                                                CAL POLY POMONA          Dates TBD

                                                                SAC STATE                           Dates TBD


 This bilateral forum is a unique opportunity for CSU faculty, safety managers, and ISTs to reevaluate the effectiveness of procedural safety in the lab. These presentations will include an overview of hazard assessment, safety equipment, process safety, resources, and the safety delivery platform for students and student employees.

 The goal is to elevate procedural integrity and professional vigilance to the acceptable level of risk every campus stakeholder can support when challenged.



ISTs, Faculty, and Student Employees handle flammable, corrosive, toxic and reactive chemicals regularly and will eventually encounter lab-scale incidents involving these hazardous materials in the course of performing their work. In that moment, the employee will be faced with several choices that will influence potential exposures, operational disruption, property damage and public perception of the campus safety policies. Understanding what actions to take when a chemical spill occurs in their work area will improve the safe and effective response to an incident involving hazardous materials.


An interactive presentation with Faculty and EHS staff on practices and strategies that shape acceptable risk in the academic laboratory. Talking points will include how compliance, due diligence and safety at the procedural level calibrate exposure to risk. This will provide an opportunity for faculty to examine if current work practices in the instructional and research labs under their direct supervision will satisfy regulators, the CSU Office of the Chancellor, the President of their campus, and expectations of the public.