UMS Safety Management (SM), in partnership with the UMaine Office of Research Compliance, works with researchers to encourage and support the safety of employees throughout the state and beyond. Safety Management supports the research community in a multitude of ways including; working with UMaine and UMS Human Resources, UMS Risk Management, and the UMaine researcher’s chain of command.
Some more detailed examples include: examining job descriptions with Human Resources (HR), assisting supervisors with the evaluation of the health and safety checklists, conducting site visits for Principal Investigators, performing client observations for the Office of Research Compliance, reviewing Fieldwork Hazard Assessments and Safety Plans, answering specialized or unique occupational safety training questions for personnel, and monitoring chemical purchases behind the scenes. SM supports the UMaine chain of command by remaining active on organized committees (e.g., UMaine Radiation Safety Committee, Institutional Biological Committee, and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee) which help link the compliance structure between the campus and the system.
In addition to the aforementioned activities, SM also receives Proposal Approval Routing System (PARS) notifications surrounding specialized or unique concerns that UMaine research has chosen to address directly. Some examples are:
- The use of radioactive isotopes (e.g. benchtop or field work), equipment containing radioactive materials (sealed sources), or ionizing radiation-producing equipment (e.g. electron microscopes, x-ray equipment)
- The use of Class 3b or 4 lasers
- Activities which require medical evaluations for potential exposure to Particularly Hazardous Substances defined in the UMS chemical hygiene plan template, specific OSHA regulated substances (e.g. lead, asbestos), and pesticides (e.g. acute toxicity single exposure category 1 and 2)
- Any project activities involve human underwater activities (scuba diving, hookah diving, or breath-hold/free diving)
- Activities where respiratory protection (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus, elastomeric or filtering face piece respirators) are necessary due to health exposures or lack of engineering controls (chemical fume hoods) in place
- Activities which have excessive noise in excess of 85db (e.g. having to shout or raise your voice when within 6’ of another person)
- Activities which require interaction with human blood, tuberculosis, wild animals, possible exposure to zoonotic diseases and infectious material
- Activities which require special SM training requirements
- Activities which generate hazardous waste paid for through indirect cost recovery
SM may reach out by way of automatic emails through PARS or directly from Safety Management. The guidance and suggestions provided in those communications are only as good as the information you provide as an input to PARS. If you are working with the concerns above, and have had no contact with SM post 3 weeks from submitting your research proposal, contact safety management at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is especially important to verify that the SM recommendations have been completed prior to grant award to prevent interruptions or postponements to your research. If you are working with the noted concerns above, and not involved with PARS, you should also be proactively communicating with your chain of command and UMS Safety Management.
For more information (such as Policies/Guidance/Programs, training information, and SM Staff) please visit the Safety Management webpage.