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TTUHSC Faculty Take a Stand for Ergonomics

Posted: Jan 22, 2015

by Renee Witherspoon, MS, CSP, CIH, CHMM, South Plains Chapter President

Dr. Pelley with his Veridesk Sit/Stand Workstation

John Pelley, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Biochemistry at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock Texas is taking a stand for better health and wellness through ergonomics. Last August, Dr. Pelley started utilizing a Sit/Stand Workstation, also called a Veridesk. He now touts its benefits, including improved work performance.

“The change in position seems to help focus attention to the task at hand,” Pelley said. “I am already gaining from greater comfort and I would expect that this will wind up being healthier.”

Prior to using the workstation, his neck and lower back would get stiff. He realized how easily it set in, especially while working at the computer all day. “Stiffness in my legs was also noticeable,” Pelley said. Another useful tool he now uses is a Countdown Timer. The timer downloaded to his desktop reminds him to vary his position throughout the day, seated or standing, in 30-minute intervals.

“Yes, it is versatile enough that you can sit down and work as you are used to doing whenever needed, but it adds the option of standing to create some variety during the day,” Pelley said.

 He also would recommend the new workstation to a colleague if asked. He anticipates that having options for sit/stand workstations will become the norm, similar to providing a desk or computer. “People always do better when they have options over their work setting,” Pelley said.

Accident Survivor and Double Amputee Dr. Randy Gallaway Shares His Story

Posted: Jan 02, 2015

by Renee Witherspoon, CSP, CIH, CHMM, South Plains Chapter President

Dr. Randy Gallaway, Gallaway Safety Solutions, LLC, speaks on Changing Inner Attitudes about workplace safety at the December ASSE Chapter meeting.

On December 12, 2014 Dr. Randy Gallaway, CEO of Gallaway Safety Solutions, was the special guest speaker at the South Plains Chapter Christmas luncheon held at Ruby Tequila’s in Lubbock.  There were 16 members and guests in attendance.

Randy is an accident survivor and double amputee that has a wonderful safety message about how to change heart attitudes about safety.

The Accident that Changed Randy’s Life

It was March 27, 1966, he was 18 years old and about to graduate from high school.  His job at the time was as an electrical assistant as this would help him prepare for a career in mechanical engineering.  Prior to the accident, he was to help replace some of the transformers on an industrial building because of the overloaded circuits that needed repair on the connections.   He was trained in the hazards of electricity and had learned to respect it.  He and his colleague were up on tower that had 13,500 Volts and was assured by a Plant Foreman that power had been shut off.

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Ebola in Wastewater

Posted: Dec 05, 2014

By Renee Witherspoon, MS, CSP, CIH, CHMM, South Plains Chapter President

On November 20, 2014 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an “Interim Guidance for Managers and Workers Handling Untreated Sewage from Individuals with Ebola in the United States.”

Although the document discusses basic safety precautions, hygiene practices, and recommendations for personal protective equipment (PPE), much of the information about the survivability of Ebola in wastewater is still unknown.  Experts believe that the risk is low, but there is limited data and more research is needed.

In October there were several meetings with the EPA, the CDC, and water and wastewater stakeholders to discuss concerns for worker safety regarding Ebola in wastewater.  This article provides a review of key topics of discussion and recommendations on how we can proactively minimize worker exposure to Ebola as well as other pathogens. Read More