CHTM holds safety to be a top priority, and is committed to operating in a manner that ensures the safety of our members and our community.
Potential hazards at CHTM are chemical, laser and electrical, in addition to those hazards normally encountered in a laboratory, industrial and office environment. There are also hazards associated with the incorrect use of respirators - do not use these without medical clearance, fit-testing and training.
Please familiarize yourself with the appropriate safety precautions for the area you work in. CHTM's Safety Officer is Joel Straquadine. Contact him with any safety concerns or questions you may have. A copy of the UNM SHEA safety manual is available in his office and can be used for reference by any student, staff or faculty at the chtm facility. Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are located in the MSDS vestibule, opposite Room 126B, the Electrical Shop. A database of MSDS are available online for CHTM users.
For your own protection, if you have any accident, however minor, you MUST report it on the First Report of Accident - WCA E1.1 form within 24 hours. To report other incidents, such as damage to personal or university property, or automobile damage, select the appropriate form from this page.
For further information, see the UNM Department of Safety & Risk Services.
Safety - your own and your colleagues' - is YOUR responsibility!
A range of gases is in use at CHTM. If you use these, inform yourself as to their safe usage, and always follow CHTM Procedures for Safe Handling of Gas Cylinders.
Andrew Frauenglass (Tel:505-272-7885), chairman of UNMs Laser Safety Subcommittee, will help to interpret specific laser safety issues you may have, and can provide safety guidance upon request. For general questions please refer to the Laser Institute of America Laser Applications and Safety Page, available on-line.
You must have medical clearance, fit-testing and training before using a respirator. Contact Mark Denis at 277-0306 for information about the Respiratory Protection Program, and to obtain a medical clearance form.
A medical questionnaire is to be filled out and submitted through Employee Occupational Health Services. EOHS then reviews the questionnaire and approves the person for respirator use. It is then the responsibility of SHEA to fit test the person for a respirator.
The problem that arises is, do we know what the person is going to use the respirator for? Normally we need to know the exposure level. As you know respiratory protection is assigned protection factors, e.g., 5, 10, 25, 50, 1000, 2000, 10,000; depending on the design.
Without knowing the exposure level we cannot legally fit test a person and issue respiratory protection. If the contaminant is Gallium Arsenide, the material is treated as if it were Arsenic (inorganic) with a permissible exposure level of 0.01 mg/m3. If HEPA filtration is used to remove the dust generated as it is scraped off the interior of the chamber, then we are not truly relying on respiratory protection but on an engineering control. The mask is then not necessary. However, it is strongly recommended to monitor the operation to assure there aren't any fugitive emissions out to the chamber when they are cleaning. We need to prove we can control it to the PEL in the breathing zone of the person doing the cleaning with the vacuum cleaner.