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Safety Inspection

Campus Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) personnel can provide health and safety inspections of any work space on campus. If you would like to schedule an inspection, simply fill out the form. The team will respond quickly to your request. Inspections are simple to schedule. The team works to complete all inspections promptly.

Lab Inspection Request Form

See how a recent inspection in the Art Department led to safer studio spaces

Art studios are busy places with lots of materials, active projects, and working artists coming and going. But Professor Andrew Redington saw some unkept areas in the Art Department studio, including a casting foundry, which seemed unsafe and potentially hazardous. He called the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s Occupational Safety Office (OSO) for an inspection that helped his department improve safety conditions for students, faculty and staff.

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 The Team

A group of campus EHS personnel conducted a thorough inspection of the areas of concern and discussed ways to improve safety in the classroom. The team included Evan Schwalbe, Occupational Safety Officer; Colleen McDermott, Professor of Biology; and Mark Haddock, Occupational Safety Specialist. McDermott also serves as co-chair of the Environmental Health and Safety Committee on campus.

Studio Inspection & recommendations

Working with a grading sheet for occupational hazards, the team assessed key areas for safety concerns such as hazardous materials storage, electrical safety and housekeeping. After completing the inspection, the team reviewed the grading sheet with the instructor and representatives. Areas of highest concern were discussed. Importantly, the team helped the department develop a plan for remediation. Schwalbe said this approach is aimed at identifying and correcting potential safety concerns, and helping departments get to compliance.

“It is understood that budgets are tight and items on the list may require dollars departments don't have,” Schwalbe said. “We ask the department to develop a list of those items and work in future budget years to address and correct those issues.”

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More safe, organized & creative

The Art Department followed through on the safety recommendations.Clutter, debris and unneeded equipment found their proper places. Electrical issues were resolved. Extension cords were removed and work orders were submitted for electrical upgrades. Foundry equipment received appropriate maintenance checks from experienced personnel on campus.

Redington said that the improvement not only made the studio clean, safe and organized, but it also made finding supplies and tools much easier, saving time.

“It was a joint effort of students and custodial crew – not something that one person can do,” Redington said, adding that the effort helped “cultivate a community of people that create or want that kind of environment – not only safe, but an environment where people can be creative.”

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Continuing safety improvements

Schwalbe noted how these improvements are part of ongoing efforts
with the Art Department to enhance safety in work spaces and the classroom.

“Previously, we had completed inspections with two other art professors and discussed improvements that would increase safety and bring us into OSHA compliance,” Schwalbe said. “We also visited with the department to discuss what the Environmental,Health and Safety Office and Lab, Shop and Studio Safety Team could do to help improve safety going forward.”

The successes in the Art Department exemplify how OSO can work with other departments on campus to improve working and learning environments.

“Safety is everyone's business,” Schwalbe said. “The appearance of a well-kept and safe work environment improves the quality of the university experience for all.”

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