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December 5, 2005

ON THE JOB with Environmental Health and Safety

The Bulletin sat down with Steve Leland, the industrial hygienist in the Sacramento State Office of Environmental Health and Safety.

What do people think you do?

People assume that I deal mostly with ergonomic issues and with indoor and outdoor pathogens.

What do you really do?

I’m in charge of monitoring and testing the indoor air quality on campus, dealing with hazardous waste, ergonomic adjustments and with training the faculty and staff about the risks of these elements on campus. When the Occupational Safety Hazard Agency and the Environmental Protection Agency come to campus I assist them in evaluating the safety status of the campus.

Describe your office.

There are five of us here in the office and we all have our areas of expertise. Kirtland Stout is our occupation safety specialist and he handles fire safety and the electric systems. Tom Custer is responsible for radiation safety and laser safety on campus. Stacie Louie is our administrative assistant who coordinates the classes and programs for the campus community. Mike Christiansen is our director and he also handles a variety of responsibilities.

What surprises people?

People on campus are surprised that Sacramento State has a department that is looking out for their safety. We’re an important service to have and people are shocked to hear about the services that we offer.

What is your biggest challenge?

Our biggest challenge is getting faculty and staff to complete the required safety training course. It’s a very quick course on some basic safety necessities that is required by California OSHA. It’s difficult because many people on campus are not full-time employees so they don’t always have the opportunity to complete the training. But we are offering easier ways to complete it. Now there is an online course that people can take to fulfill the requirement.

What do you get asked the most?

It depends on what season it is. The spring and fall are the busiest time of the year because school is in session and that’s when there are the most people on campus. Mainly people are asking for ergonomic and workstation evaluations. But we also get many requests to test indoor air quality.


California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
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