Community College of Rhode Island

Environmental/Safety Committee Meeting Minutes

November 2, 1999



Bill Mercer, George Sousa, Manny Terezakis, Dennis Melander, Jim Ellis,  Edna O’Neill Mattson, Kathy Twining, Joanne Jacobs, Robert Antonson  Lou Rainone, Richard Tessier


Stephen F. Marginson
Dean of Administration


Environmental/Safety Committee Meeting Notes


Meeting called to order at 11:05 a.m. on Thursday, October 28, 1999, Flanagan Campus  

Attendees: Stephen Marginson, Bill Mercer (KC), Robert Antonson (FC), Kathy Twining (KC),
Manny Terezakis (FC), Edna O’Neill Mattson (KC), James Ellis (KC), George Sousa (FC),Lou Rainone (KC), Joanne Jacobs (FC), Cathy Tessier (FC), Dennis Melander (KC), Richard Tessier (FC)

New members representing the Association of Classified Employees, Robert Antonson and
Lou Rainone


  1. Update given by Dean Marginson:
  • Knight Campus Addition and Renovations: Construction will commence the middle of November. The project may create some security and safety issues. Keep your constituency informed on the progress as reported. All individuals will need to be patient and cooperative.
  • Providence Campus Renovations: Looking for people to form a committee pertaining to the Providence Campus Renovation project. Seeking suggestions for the renovations. Project will be in design and out to bid by the summer.
  • Newport Campus: Discussion with City and State Officials.
  1. Concern regarding above projects:
  • Kathy Twining questioned renovations scheduled for the 4th floor area. Dean Marginson reported that there would be demolition of the 4th floor area. Work will commence soon.
     3.        Committee Reports and Concerns:
  • Issue of workplace safety:  Money has been set aside to purchase necessary safety equipment and to offer training programs.  Manny indicated that we have always had respirators available for employees' use.  A physician approval is needed in order to use them. Employees will be required to wear them. Have contracted with our insurer to train staff and supervisors (session is scheduled some time in December).

  • Knight Campus water problem: Have tested water and all is satisfactory with the Warwick Sewer Authority.  Indicated that water discoloration is not happening any longer at KC.

  • Compressed Gas: The policy on the proper handling and storage of compressed has been addressed since last meeting.  A training session will be scheduled.

  • Campus Chemicals:  Manny indicated that there has been a 90% reduction in chemicals used and stored at the College campuses. 

  • Other items of concern to members:  Lou Rainone questioned safety issues of concern to members of ACE union.  It was noted that some items had been addressed or corrected; a progress report will be submitted within a reasonable about of time.  It was requested that when spraying for bugs on campus (KC) the time of day be changed to after work hours. 

  • Chemicals leaking into work area (Math Lab - FC):  It was indicated that an individual had observed chemicals leaking into her work area from the Biology Lab (one floor above).  Dean Marginson instructed George Sousa to check into that complaint and correct the problem if there is chemicals leaking.  Also instructed that appropriate MSDS sheets are provided to the individual in question.

  •  4th floor Area:  Issue of cleanliness in that area.  Kathy Twining inquired if the area was going to be cleaned; namely, the air vents.  The entire area will be under construction in the near future, but any air vents in the area will be cleaned and re-filtered as requested.   Was indicated that air quality in that area is adequate for the space but that overcrowding is a problem.

  • Trash Room Door:  The door must remain closed to eliminate the odors from permeating the ground floor area.  Security will schedule that the doors be closed after the cleaning crew finishes their work for the evening.  Dennis Melander indicated that the ventilation in that area would be scheduled to start earlier in the morning.

  • Joanne Jacobs commended the Security Department, Jim Ellis, on the training of their officers in the proper use of the Epi Pens, a device used to administer Epinephrine to individuals who might otherwise suffer anaphylactic shock from an allergic reaction.

  • Faculty Association questioning office space:  Suggested a study on the ideal way of setting up faculty offices so that they are more effective for working.  Are there Industry Standards?  At the Knight Campus, additional offices are in the plans for the addition.  Will reduce a four-person office to a three-person office and so on.  Providence Campus was addressed during the last renovation project.  Flanagan Campus under review by the master planning committee.  

  • Smoking in undesignated areas:  A more active role will need to be taken by everyone, Security and College staff.  If someone is observed smoking in an undesignated area, ID's should be pulled and disciplinary action taken when necessary (for students and employees alike).  Richard Tessier suggested setting up a committee comprised of representatives from the three bargaining units to inform members of the "NO SMOKING" Policies and possibly assist individuals in "kicking the habit".  

  •  Elevator inspection:  Lou Rainone questioned the absence of inspection certificates in the elevators at the KC, also the FC certificates have expired.  Valid certificates are available in the Physical Plant office at KC, as indicated, for anyone's inspection.  FC elevators have been inspected, waiting for the new certificates to arrive.   

  • Water Fountain Cleanliness:  It was noted that people are dumping things in the water fountains.  Bill Mercer indicated that drinking water fountains are cleaned daily.

  1. Safety equipment:  Additional concerns about safety equipment was brought up.

  • All necessary safety equipment is either on campus or has been ordered.
  • It was indicated that there were not enough back braces in stock. Dean Marginson indicated that any individual who could not perform their job because of a lack of safety equipment, should see him; and he would get them what they needed while waiting for the ordered equipment to be received.



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