Safety and risk management: Part two

Safety and Risk Management (SRM) is an important component of MSU’s University Services. The second article in a three part series, The Exponent takes a closer look at University Services and how the department focuses on the larger scheme of delivering essential, cost-effective and professional services to MSU students, faculty and staff.

SRM, which houses nine employees, is focused on “protecting MSU’s people, property and assets.” The department works in safety and health, risk management, fire safety, E-scrap and training and development.

SRM interim director Chris Cattlett stated that the department works to accommodate all “campus health and safety systems,” through focusing on three different sections. One of the areas is occupational individual hygiene, in which the office maintains a strong network of employees that keep surveillance on the many research facilities at MSU to ensure they are complying with rules and regulations.

A second component that SRM works hard to maintain is occupational safety. Cattlett noted that all of the construction and physical labor that takes place on campus is subject to occupational safety hazard analysis. The procedure allows SRM to evaluate situations that could be potentially hazardous and employs all the necessary precautions to ensure 100 percent safety. This could range from operating large equipment in engineering research to the construction taking place in the SUB.

A third section of the department, and one of their central focuses, is fire safety. SRM keeps in “close contact with the city of Bozeman fire department,” according to Cattlett. Everything that the campus experiences with anything having to do with fire safety comes from SRM. This includes fire drills in all of the residence halls and fire code inspections.

In addition to these primary components that SRM works to uphold, it also facilitates what is called E-scrap. E-scrap is a process that recycles and treats facilities that use any amount of hazardous waste. An SRM employee tests the waste to determine if it is hazardous then takes it and ships it to a treatment center where the waste is usually reclaimed and reused.

This includes both electronics recycling (computers, laptops, batteries), biological waste and universal waste. Cattlett noted that there is typically one SRM employee that handles E-scrap recycling, and he picks up more than 3,500 pounds of hazardous material, universal waste and electronics to be recycled in one month.

On the risk management side of things, SRM deals with campus property, liability, medical and non-medical insurance. For example, if pipes were to freeze in a building on campus, SRM would work with facilities services to handle necessary maintenance, and/or contract out to a company in Bozeman. SRM would process all of the paperwork including the insurance claims.

Worker compensation on campus as well as training for those who take part in an early return to work program is dealt with by SRM.

SRM has worked to uphold the University Service mission by striving to deliver essential and cost-effective services to MSU and maintaining a healthy and operational environment for all on campus.

Cattlett, who has been interim director of the department for eight months, said, “We strive to make sure that we send people home the same as they were when they came to work that day. And if we can make sure that work is not harming, we have done what we are here to do.”