August 29, 2013
To the Texas Tech Community,
Texas Tech University is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors. I have been a faculty member and administrator at a number of institutions and one thing I have learned is that safety must be a top priority for everyone on campus.
As the new school year begins and we welcome hundreds of new faculty, staff and students to campus, I am using this letter to affirm my support of the university’s Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP).
The plan was revised in January of this year and I commend our faculty and staff for taking leadership roles in revising the document. The faculty and staff members of the Institutional Laboratory Safety Committee (ILSC) and the staff of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) spent hundreds of hours defining roles, responsibilities and procedures that will keep our laboratories, studios and work spaces safe. I applaud their efforts and thank them for their dedication.
I expect our deans, department chairs, directors, and faculty and staff supervisors to lead our safety efforts, but also ask all members of the TTU community to take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of those around them. Safety includes not only the chemicals in our labs, but also the electrical cords in our offices, the way we operate university-owned vehicles, and numerous other possible risks within our university environment.
Texas Tech has worked hard to institute a culture of safety since a serious accident in a chemistry lab in 2010 injured a student. The intervening three and a half years have brought many changes including the revision of the CHP and the establishment of the ILSC. But we are not done. Making safety a part of the everyday culture of Texas Tech takes a consistent and concerted effort by us all.
I expect our faculty to teach our students to assess the risks that accompany creative research and scholarship, our staff leaders to make safety a core component of their units, and our EH&S personnel to assist you with safety questions and concerns. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact the EH&S office or Alice Young in OVPR.
Thank you for your cooperation and let’s have a great and “safe” year.
M. Duane Nellis
Texas Tech University