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The Soil Drainage Research Unit is committed to providing a safe and productive work environment for its employees.  The importance of safety is communicated to all employees by making it part of their annual performance evaluation plans and requiring them to complete safety courses to meet both ARS and Ohio State University safety requirements.  One component of the required safety training includes first aid, CPR, and AED training for all employees.  We also have a dedicated Safety Committee that consists of four to five people.  The Safety Committee activities include: 1) providing annual safety training for all employees; 2) vehicle safety inspections and maintenance; 3) conducting laboratory and office safety inspections; 4) development of chemical hygiene plan, pandemic plan, and business continuity plan; 5) review of fire alarm evacuation routes; 6) conducting chemical inventories; 7) ensuring all laboratories have the required personal protective equipment and safety related information; 8) review and identification of needed safety training courses; 9) development of emergency information for offsite field locations; and 10) safety and hazardous waste disposal training for new employees.  Additionally, we promote individual study of selected safety topics by encouraging employees to develop safety related presentations to be given during our monthly staff meetings, to develop safety related handouts for distribution to all employees, and to develop safety courses.  Topics of the contributed presentations, handouts, and safety courses have included:  1) sun safety, 2) winter driving safety; 3) cold weather safety factors; 4) legal issues related to responding to emergencies; 5) pesticide safety; 6) roadside safety and spare tire inspections, and 7) field safety.  Additionally, one of our employees was invited to teach a field safety course for faculty, staff, and students within the Ohio State University College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences and for employees of all three ARS research units in Ohio.  Thus, for us safety is a top priority because it enables us to collect the high quality data needed to fulfill our research mission.  We have provided pdf files below of some of the safety courses we have offered to our employees:


Annual Laboratory Refresher Training Course

Field Safety Course

Refresher Field Safety Course with emphasis on pesticide safety