Community College of Rhode Island

Environmental/Safety Committee Meeting Minutes

April 27, 2004

TO:                 Bill Mercer, Bob Antonson, Kathy Twining, Manny Terezakis ,

Edna O’Neill Mattson, Barbara Legg, George Sousa, Jim Ellis, Janet Anderson, Richard Robinson, Joanne Jacobs, Dennis Melander, Tracy Karasinski,

FROM:            Stephen F. Marginson

                        Dean of Administration

RE:                  Environmental/Safety Committee Meeting Minutes

DATE:            May 25, 2004

Meeting called to order at 10:00 a.m. on April 27, 2004 in the Flanagan Campus

Attendees:     Stephen Marginson (KC), Manny Terezakis (FC), Joanne Jacobs (FC),

Richard Robinson (FC), Mary Pecchia (FC), Edna Mattson

George Sousa(FC), Bill Mercer(KC), Bob Antonson(FC), Dennis Melander(KC), Janet Anderson(KC), David Dugan(RI AIA), Carl Toft(RIBGHE)

PLEASE NOTE:  Bulleted comments require action.  Please be prepared to update the committee at the next meeting or by date listed where applicable.  Thanks.

Dean Marginson opened the meeting by introducing David Dugan from the RI Association of Insurance Agents as well as Carl Toft from the RI Board of Governors for Higher Education.  Both were invited to sit it on our meeting to gain a perspective as to how CCRI conducts all campuses with regards to safety, security and environmental issues.  Steve asked Dave to speak a little about how The Hartford Insurance Company views the Safety and Security of CCRI. 

Dave explained that the Hartford Insurance Company views a claim from three different aspects:

LIABILITY:  Steve Petrolati their Executive Loss Control Consultant follows up on incident reports that are filed at the college and visits each campus and site where incident occurred.  After his visit he sends a list of recommendations to be acted upon to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.  Dave mentioned that the college has been efficient in responding to these recommendations and hopes that we continue to do so.   Dave mentioned that the property insurance that covers the college is through multiple companies who share percentages of coverage. 

            LOSSES:   Losses are sent to Dave’s office and monitored.

            NEW EXPOSURES:  Are considered to be anything not covered.  The Hartford is always investigating new hazards that may surface at the college as a preventative measure.   

Steve asked Manny Terezakis to discuss actions taken since the last committee meeting regarding cancer concerns at the Flanagan Campus.  On February 3, 2004, two RIDOH representatives sat before a panel of concerned CCRI employees regarding a possible environmental cause for the incidence of breast cancer cases in the Flanagan Campus Enrollment Services area.  Previous to this meeting and since the last meeting with the RIDOH in 2001, Manny had an outside lab test the Flanagan Campus for PCB’s and the results were negative.  The RIDOH team answered questions posed by those gathered and let employees know there are no known environmental causes to explain the observed incidence of cancer.  After the meeting, Manny tested the Enrollment Services air and found a high rate of fresh air intake in all areas of concern.  He researched the rumor that the Flanagan Campus was built on an old waste dumpsite.  Officials at Davies Vocational School and the Rhode Island Department of Education have no knowledge of any toxic dumping at this site.  Manny will continue testing as necessary and will continue to refer staff concerns to the appropriate officials. 

In response to the action taken to lock all labs and physical plant areas, both George and Bill stated that directives have gone out from their offices to have the aforementioned areas locked at all times when staff is not present. 

In response to the action taken regarding the air quality in the Accounting and Payroll departments of the Knight Campus, Manny has replaced the micro-encoding printer which was emitting a styrene smell into that area with  a newer model which emits less and Janet Anderson agreed that the air quality has gotten better.  Testing is still going on to bring that emission to an acceptable level.

George Sousa let the committee know that with regards to a fire alarm sounding in the Flanagan Campus darkroom, no new devices could be added to the system at this time.  He did confirm that during a fire alarm, a security guard is dispatched to that room to check it. 

With regards to the fire alarm in the fieldhouse at Flanagan not alerting the Security Department:

  • George has spoken to Honeywell to install a dial-up which will ring with a distinctive sound between the Operations Department and Security Department to alert of an alarm at the fieldhouse.  This should be installed ASAP.
  • Richard Robinson was asked by Steve to look into emergency wall phones at the Liston Campus and the fieldhouses at both the Knight and Flanagan campus. 

Fire extinguishers throughout each campus have been inspected.

With regards to the NEXTEL phones which Security uses that don’t have great reception throughout the building, Steve asked Dick to:

  • Look into finding another vendor
  • Research the option of a cell phone calling each pager
  • Look into the option of an antennae being installed on the campus for reception

Dennis Melander mentioned that the email sent regarding “no admittance” in construction sites throughout the campuses has worked well.

Fire in Flanagan Campus Fieldhouse:  On April 12, 2004 the visiting men’s sauna in the fieldhouse at the Flanagan Campus caught fire confirmed to be from a bathing suit left on the sauna heater.  George gave an update:

Just for the committee’s information George mentioned that there are three other saunas on campus.  One is in the visiting women’s locker room, the men’s faculty/staff locker room as well as women’s faculty/staff locker room.

Signs will now be made and posted to read “please do not place any clothing or other articles on sauna heaters”.

George will speak to the Athletic Department about visitors, etc. with regards to the sauna area.

Proposals are being gathered for the rebuilding of the sauna.

Steve spoke of the campus safety inspections that have been done and will continue to go on in the form of a walk-about through different areas that may be cluttered, blocked off from exits or entrances or pose fire or safety hazards.  Manny spoke of the Theatre Department being one of the biggest offenders leaving costumes in a storage room with electrical wires.  The Theatre Department has been asked to remove all of the costumes and have done so.  To that end, Manny tries to counsel all to reduce inventory if possible. 

  • Steve would like to make a note of reducing inventory and getting the word out formally.

Joann Jacobs spoke about the smoking issues on all campuses.  The new policy has made all aware of the expectations of CCRI and though it is not perfect, we are getting there.  JoAnn spoke about the rear of the new addition at the Knight Campus being littered with cigarette butts since it must be a popular smoke break area. 

  • Bill Mercer will look into the area in question and will see if signage needs to be posted.
  • November 18th is the “Great American Smokeout” for 2004.  Joann has a student interning with the American Cancer Society who is providing us with information that Joann will present at the next meeting with some ideas on how to join in the effort.  
  • PA announcements should be made in September for the incoming students as to the smoking policy at all campuses along with the re-publication of the policy in all school publications.  Joann noticed that the smoking policy disappeared from the Student Handbook and will check into getting it put back in.  She has also forwarded to Public Relations the RI Board of Governors for Higher Ed’s wording of the policy.  Joann will also remind Student Services to discuss the policy at the student orientations.

Janet Anderson will be replacing Lou Rainone on this committee.  Janet brought a comment to the committee sent by Lou.  His comment was that he had gotten complaints from custodial that they always have an enormous amount of cigarette butts to pick up every morning at the entrances to the building.  Steve responded saying that unfortunately overnight can’t be as controlled as the daytime assuming we are all diligent in helping this effort, so for now custodial will have to continue to respond to that need the best they can. 

  • In response to that there was a discussion of how best to ask everyone’s cooperation in confronting a smoker.

Barbara Legg brought to the committee the fact that a leak in the roof had forced a leak onto computers at the Flanagan campus.  George Sousa said that the leak was not in the classroom, but right outside in the corridor and is now repaired.

Barbara also mentioned that the snow plow trucks idle quite a long time on the south side of the building at the Knight Campus allowing fumes from the trucks directly into the building.  Steve responded saying he was sure that it was easier for them to keep them idling for a bit in lieu of shutting each truck off, but that the length of time they idle can be checked out next year when they reappear. 

  • There was an issue at the Knight campus at approximately 9:20p.m. in which a person slipped on a wet floor that had just been washed.  Barbara wonders if it is possible for them to just wash the floors or areas that they know people are not occupying.  Steve said it would be impossible to work around everyone in the building but that Bill and George can discuss with the cleaning contractors whether they can try to stay away from areas that they know will be occupied for a time. 
  • Carl Toft mentioned the catastrophic freezes/related issues at the Knight Campus.  Bill Mercer is still waiting for prices on those repairs. 
  • George Sousa has scheduled a re-fitting/training for PPE(Personal Protection Equipment).

The meeting was adjourned at 11:25a.m.

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