March 2001

EDITORIAL: Research Compliance is here!

    What is Research Compliance?
    Federal regulations and ethical principles guide all research and sponsored programs activities at Creighton University.  The Research Compliance Program was established to help University personnel understand and abide by these regulations and principles.

    What is the Research Compliance Program?
    The Creighton University Research Compliance Program provides guidance on research compliance issues to University faculty, staff, and students.  The Program is designed to help research personnel conduct responsible research and meet the high ethical standards set forth in Creighton's mission.  The Code of Research Conduct and Research Compliance Policies and Procedures established by the Program, apply to all research and sponsored programs activities at Creighton University.  Functions of the Program include the following:

  • Providing resources on research compliance issues to the researchers and the various regulatory committees
  • Assess risk to the institution, while developing and implementing research compliance policies, procedures and guidelines
  • Developing the Code of Research Conduct
  • Developing and Implementing education and training programs
  • Monitoring and auditing research compliance
  • Reporting and responding to incidents of noncompliance
  • Recommending corrective action when incidents of noncompliance are identified

    What is the role of the Research Compliance Officer and the Committee?
    Kathy Taggart, the Research Compliance Officer chairs the Research Compliance Committee and reports directly to the President of Creighton University.  The Research Compliance Committee assists the Research Compliance Officer in developing, implementing, and overseeing the Research Compliance Program.  The Research Compliance Officer and the Committee work with the following University committees, boards and offices to monitor specific areas of research compliance:  Institutional Review Board, Animal Research Committee, Biosafety Committee, Radiation Safety Committee, Campus Safety Committee, Office of Grants Administration, and the Controller's Office.

    ~Kathy Diaz Taggart;  Assistant Vice President for Research and Compliance

Ergonomics Standard Repealed

With a show of solidarity with business, congress and the Bush Administration have KO'ed OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.900.  This is a move roundly opposed by organized labor.  Some of the repeal factor was along party lines, however, there were crossover votes in both parties.

What does this mean on the Creighton Campus?  Does it mean that the subject of ergonomics is dead?  No way!  Ergonomic reviews will be conducted by the Department of Environmental Health and Safety upon request of individuals, departments, or as directed by Risk Management.  Individual assessments of work station problems will be provided for respective supervisors, and to Katie Detrick, Risk Manager.  An additional copy is forwarded to Fran Reed in Purchasing who accomplishes a follow up to the work station based upon EH&S recommendations.  Fran coordinates purchases as necessary to bring the work station to an acceptable level for the comfort and convenience of the worker.  As in all things on a real world basis, cost is a major consideration in work station correction.  Some corrections may cost nothing or very little, while others can indeed require a whole new work station to accommodate the necessities of the employee.  In addition,  to the factor of ergonomics, accommodation with the American Disabilities Act (ADA) must also be considered.

The major emphasis regarding ergonomics on the Creighton Campus is computer work stations due to the large number of same.  Numerous factors are associated with reviews such as adequacy/ and adjustability of furniture (chairs/desks/stands), placement of keyboards, monitors and hard drives, height of keyboards, use of wrist pads, placement of telephones and numerous other factors.  Also considered are light, noise, air quality and room color.  Ergonomics is a very subjective issue.  When it comes to accommodating individuals regarding their comfort at work,  no two individuals are the same.  All to often, furniture and equipment has been ordered on the basis of "one size fits all", and that just is not true.  As an example, a chair that is non adjustable but is comfortable for a 5'1" female who weighs 110 lbs, will probably not work for a 6'3" male who weighs 250.

Work station reviews can be scheduled by contacting Environmental Health and Safety at 546-5400.

                                       ~ Paul A. Nichols; Dir. EH&S


Candle Safety

It is 11:00 p.m. in the evening you light a candle in your room to relax you while you study.  A friend calls you down to their room to watch a bad re-run of the Jerry Springer Show.  Thirty minutes later the fire alarm goes off.  Annoyed by the interruption, you and your friend trudge downstairs and out of the building. Later you learned that the fire was caused by the candle you left lit in your room.

Every year accidents like this happen on college campuses around the nation.  For instance, last year at Michigan State University a fire that damaged a resident assistant's room on the third floor of Snyder Hall was apparently started by a candle, Michigan State police Lt. Susan Bushnardo said.

The RA lit the candle while praying and looked up later to see the flame had ignited a stereo, a mattress on the floor and the wall around the stereo.  All sustained major damage, Bushnardo said.  Smoke blackened the walls of the room, along with many of the RA's possessions.  Fortunately, no fatalities or injuries were caused by this accident.

It is impossible for Creighton authorities  to watch over the student body every second of everyday, making sure that they are practicing good safety procedures.  Be responsible and "think before you act!"  Use common sense and good judgment the next time you use a candle.  Use fire prevention in the same manner as you would use crime prevention to protect your personal property.

                       ~William D. Worthing, Fire Safety Specialist


Arrive Alive!

It is once again time for the "Arrive Alive" Campaign. In the coming months, you could be stopped as you enter a Creighton parking lot...if you are wearing your seatbelt you will receive a squeeze bottle filled with coupons from sponsors such as Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Convenient Food Mart.  Also included will be a "Grand Prize Entry Form" for a chance to win a 2001 Dodge Neon donated by Jim's Dodge Country.  Other sponsors include the Safety & Health Council of Omaha, KFAB and Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Remember...Buckle Up!


True or False: FIRE SAFETY

Ask yourself these three questions:

    *  Do false fire alarms interrupt my daily work routine?
    *  Do they cause me frustration when I'm working on an important project?
    *  Do they make me feel that every alarm that goes off is just a false one and not worth the effort of moving to a "safer" location?

If you answered yes to one or all of these questions, you are not alone. It is important to remember that your personal safety comes first and it is better to be safe than sorry.

How many times have you hid out in your dorm room, office or other parts of a building when a fire alarm goes off?  It seems to be happening a little more often lately.  Many problems can occur if you ignore these fire alarms.  One major concern is that time you spend contemplating on weather or not there is a real fire, the less time you have of escaping the building unharmed.

False fire alarms are frustrating and every effort is being made by facilities to minimize these occurrences.  Power surges, old equipment and accidental activations are the three major culprits of these false alarms.  Currently more building inspections are being conducted and the fire equipment is being checked, tested, updated and/or replaced.

The bottom line is, your life is more important than deadlines, grades, work and meetings.  When you hear the fire bells sound, evacuate!  Tragedies happen everyday, do not be the next statistic.


National Poison Prevention and Inhalants Awareness Week

 Instead of:


  ammonia based cleaners

 baking soda and water


 cedar chips, lavender flowers

 abrasive cleaners

 half a lemon in borax

  floor/furniture polish

1 part lemon to 2 parts olive oil

 drain cleaners

 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup vinegar in boiling water

 house plant insecticide

 dishwater or bar soap and water


March is also "National Inhalants and Poisons Awareness Week" The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported in 1996 that one in every five teenagers in America has used an inhalant to get high. More than 1,000 different products are commonly abused.  These cheap, legal and accessible products can have deadly effects on the brain and body when they are inhaled or "huffed."   Inhalants can kill suddenly, and it can kill those who sniff for the first time. 

  • Inhalant abuse is the deliberate inhaling or sniffing of common products found in homes and schools to obtain a "high".  Ordinary household products can be problematic in the hands of an inhalant abuser.  The following is a list of product categories commonly abused:
  • nail polish remover  
  • marking pens
  • paint thinner  
  • spray paint  
  • butane lighter fluid
  • gasoline  
  • propane gas  
  • correction fluid
  • household cleaners  
  • cooking sprays  
  • deodorants
  • fabric protectors  
  • whipping cream aerosol  
  • air conditioning coolants

How can you tell if a young person is an inhalant abuser?
If someone is an inhalant abuser, some or all of these symptoms may be evident:

    * Unusual breath odor or chemical odor on clothing
    * Slurred or disoriented speech.
    * Drunk, dazed, or dizzy appearance.
    * Signs of paint or other products where they wouldn't normally be, such as on the face or fingers.
    * Red or runny eyes or nose.
    * Spots and/or sores around the mouth.
    * Nausea and/or loss of appetite.
    * Chronic inhalant abusers may exhibit such symptoms as anxiety, excitability, irritability, or restlessness.

Be alert for symptoms of inhalant abuse.  If you suspect there's a problem, consider seeking professional help.

   ~Adapted from "A Parent's Guide to Preventing Inhalant Abuse";         
                                  Consumer Product Safety Commission


Playground Safety week

This year marks the 40th observance of "National Poison Prevention Week". Each year, accidental poisonings from household chemicals and medicines kill approximately thirty children each year and prompt more than one million calls to poison control centers.

Try using some of these substitutes for your more hazardous household cleaners:
Each year more that 200,000 children are injured on playgrounds in the United States,  about one every 2.5 minutes.  About two-thirds of the injuries occurred
 to those in the the 5-14 year old age group.  Climbing equipment had the highest incidence rate with injuries to the arm and hand being the most prevalent.  The second highest injury group was the 0-4 age group.  Swings had the highest incidence rate with injuries to the face and head as most prevalent.  When searching for outdoor activities to enjoy with your children, look for playgrounds/parks that have age appropriate equipment.  More and more playgrounds
have equipment grouped together in areas that keep the younger children together and away from the older ones.  Not only will the kids enjoy their day more, you may even be able to relax too!


Ten Tips to Protect Children from Pesticide and Lead Poisonings around the Home

The simple steps offered by the "United States Environmental Protection Agency" can help save children from environmental hazards around the home:

  1. Always store pesticides and other household chemicals, including chlorine bleach, out of children's reach--preferably in a locked cabinet.
  2. Always read directions carefully because pesticide products, household cleaning products, and pet products can be "dangerous" or ineffective if too much or too little is used.
  3. Before applying pesticides or other household chemicals, remove children and their toys, as well as pets, from the area.  Keep children and pets away until the pesticide has dried or as long as is recommended on the label.
  4. If your use of a pesticide or other household chemical is interrupted (perhaps by a phone call), properly reclose the container and remove it from children's reach.  Always use household products in child-resistant packaging.
  5. Never transfer pesticides to other containers that children may associate with food or drink (like soda bottles), and never place rodent or insect baits where small children can get to them.
  6. When applying insect repellents to children, read all directions first; do not apply over cuts wounds or irritated skin; do not apply to eyes, mouth, hands or directly on the face; and use just enough to cover exposed skin or clothing, but do not use under clothing.
  7. Wash children's hands, bottles, pacifiers, and toys often, and regularly clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces to reduce potential exposure to lead dust.
  8. Get your child tested for lead if you suspect he or she has been exposed to lead in either your home or neighborhood.
  9. Inquire about lead hazards.  When buying or renting a home or apartment built before 1978, the seller or landlord is now required to disclose known lead hazards.
  10. If you suspect that lead-based paint has been used in your home or if you plan to remodel or renovate, get you home tested.  Do not attempt to remove lead paint yourself.  Call 1-(800)-424-Lead for guidelines.

Campus Safety Committee as of January 2001

Vice President for Academic Affairs:

  -Dean Morss Ph.D.        
  Dept. of Environmental &
  Atmospheric Sciences

- Mr. Littleton Alston        
  Fine & Performing Arts
Vice President for Admin. and Finance:
 -Ms. Bonnie Mordhorst    
  Accounts Payable

-Mr. Brian Besack            
 Carpenter Shop
 Facilities Management

Vice President for Health Sciences:  

-Marie Schneider R.N.     
Division of Cardiology
School of Medicine

-Ms. Linda Anderzhon
School of Pharmacy/AHP

-Ms. Cindy Adams
School of Nursing

-Dr. James Howard
School of Dentistry

Vice President for Information Systems  

-Mr. Roderick Brokofsky
Technical Services
Vice President for Student Services  


-Ms. Julie Grindey

-Mr. Jim Buhrman
Skutt Student Center

Vice President for University Relations  

-Ms. Cindy Workman
Public Relations

Vice President for University Ministry  

-Ms. Tracy Jackson
Campus Ministry

Ex-officio Members  Ms. Jayne Bray
Radiation Safety

Ms. Katie Detrick
Risk Management

Ms. Mindy Foster
Environmental Health & Safety

Mr. Ron Roling
Sodexho Marriott Service