AU forming safety committee to remain current with compliance
Augustana is currently in the process of creating a safety committee that, once active, would oversee safety compliance across campus.
“As we learn more about our requirements, we are taking steps to ensure we are in compliance and also creating the culture of safety on campus,” safety committee member and Director of Campus Safety Rick Tupper said.
Along with Tupper, the safety committee is being organized by the chemistry stockroom manager and lab prep supervisor Brandon Gustafson, director of facility operations Lonnie Hoefert, chemistry professor Cyndey Johnson-Edler and gallery coordinator John Peters. The number of Safety Committee members will increase during its design process.
“We’re trying to identify what that right number is,” Tupper said. “Looks like it will be about 15 [members].”
When deciding who will be on the committee, the main goal is making sure every aspect of campus life is represented. Keeping this in mind, Tupper does not want the committee to be too large.
“You can get a committee too big,” Tupper said. “We want it to be effective and efficient.”
The risk management committee is currently monitoring campus safety until a safety committee is established. Tupper also serves on that team.
Similar to Tupper, Johnson-Edler is on the risk management committee and is organizing the safety committee. Johnson-Edler serves as the academic chemical hygiene technician for the risk management committee.
“We deal with faculty members to assess some situations that the students need to have more general education and awareness,” Johnson-Edler said.
The risk management committee focuses on accident and injury prevention—especially in labs. Johnson-Edler said accidents can be prevented by asking questions such as, “Are you letting your students know that this is hazardous?” when dealing with certain chemicals.
In addition to keeping students safe during their time on campus, Johnson-Edler also wants to help students set lifelong safety habits.
“Our goal is to give [students] enough information that they can actually take and apply to the rest of their lives,” Johnson-Edler said.
At this time, the exact date of the completion of the safety committee is uncertain. Given the attention to detail organizers want to give the committee, they expect it will take months.
“We will continue to work on the responsibilities for the committee, [its] structure and identify committee members over the summer months,” Tupper said.