Environmental Health & Safety

The Environmental Health and Safety Shared Resource conducts programs to provide a safe and healthy research and clinical environment for investigators, staff, patients, their family members and other visitors that minimizes exposure to biological, chemical, radiological and other hazards.

Services include:

  • Risk assessment surveys of research laboratories
  • Assistance to investigators on biocontainment issues
  • Field testing and certification of biological safety cabinets (BSCs)
  • Employee safety training
  • Collection and disposal of infectious, chemical and radioactive wastes
  • Online availability of material safety data sheets for laboratory chemicals

Environmental Health and Safety comprises four divisions:

The Biological Safety division provides a safe work environment that minimizes the risk of biological exposures for researchers, staff and patients. It provides the following services:

  • Laboratory surveillance for biosafety
  • Assistance in preparation and review of IBC projects
  • Assistance in obtaining permits for import of transfer of infectious agents
  • Compliance with National Institute of Health (NIH) rDNA Guidelines and other biologically-related regulatory agencies
  • Biological safety training
  • Biohazard risk assessments
  • Select agent registration and guidance
  • Shipment of dangerous goods

The General Safety division strives to provide a safe environment for all St. Jude employees, patients and visitors by developing safety policies/procedures, conducting compliance audits and drills. Its services include:

  • Occupational safety
  • Fire/life safety
  • Disaster/emergency preparedness and response
  • JCAHO Environment of Care compliance

The General Safety Officer (GSO) assists departments in achieving/maintaining a safe workplace by providing information, investigating occurrences, conducting training, interpreting codes and granting approvals. The GSO has the duty and the authority to take action whenever conditions exist that could result in injury to individuals or damage to property.

The Industrial Hygiene division is responsible for the following services:

  • Air quality studies
  • Chemical safety
  • Containment equipment (fume hoods and BSCs)
  • Dangerous goods shipping
  • Pest control
  • Respiratory protection
  • Waste services

The Radiation Safety division maintains a research license, human use license, and radiation equipment registrations with the Tennessee Division of Radiological Health. These licenses and registrations permit the use of radioactive materials and radiation-producing equipment for research and clinical purposes.

In managing these programs, the Radiation Safety staff must:

  • Comply with State and Federal regulations
  • Provide assurance to institutional personnel, patients and the public that radiation sources are managed responsibly
  • Provide services to laboratories and clinics using radiation sources

To accomplish these goals, duties performed by the Radiation Safety staff include:

  • Approval of procedures, facilities, and protective devices for radiation sources
  • Routine personnel monitoring and environmental surveillance
  • Documentation of the receipt and use of radiation sources
  • Collection, processing and disposal of radioactive waste
  • Evaluation and/or calibration of radiation producing units and survey equipment
  • A 24-hour emergency response team
  • A comprehensive training and continuing education program
  • Periodic audits of the Radiation Safety Program for review by regulatory agencies