The Big I Project and UNM Commuters
Reconstruction of the Interstates 40 WHAT YOU CAN DO
and 25 interchange is scheduled to
Start thinking now about how you could reduce your single oc-
officially begin on June 30, 2000.
cupant vehicle (SOV) commute travel to & from UNM by at
During the reconstruction effort, the
least 20% for the two-year period. SOV commute travel means
number of traffic lanes through that
driving a car back & forth to work with the driver as the only
interchange will be reduced. The
vehicle occupant. A person can achieve a 20% reduction by
New Mexico State Highway and
simply using alternate transportation just one day per work week.
If you need some ideas, consider the following transportation
(NMSHTD) Big I Reconstruction
alternatives which are probably already available to you:
Team predicts that the traffic ca-
pacity of the interchange will be re- 1. Ride the Bus: Sun Tran buses have routes all over the
duced by 20% during the estimated metro area. Several of the routes have stops right here at UNM.
two-year reconstruction period. Un- The normal fare each way is $0.75 and monthly passes are $21
less the current community-wide for non-students, and just $9 for students. The City Transit De-
effort to promote commuter travel alternatives succeeds, this partment and UNM are now working on an agreement to re-
traffic capacity reduction will create severe traffic congestion duce the monthly pass cost for UNM employees down from
like Albuquerque has never yet experienced. The traffic con- $21 to $15.
gestion will not just affect vehicles on the Interstates but also on
As of April 22, 2000, a few new bus routes will provide addi-
the arterial streets in the vicinity of the Interstates, such as Lomas
tional service to UNM. Furthermore, bus service will be ex-
Boulevard, University Boulevard and Central Avenue. Increased
tended to around 10:00 PM on most routes that serve UNM.
traffic congestion may create unhealthy air quality at UNM and
Some of the new routes will provide express and park and
in the other congested parts of the metro area.
ride service to UNM.
To address these foreseeable
Check out the Transit Depart-
problems, the Big I Project
ments website at http://
Team has asked all major em-
ployers in the metro area to
or call 843-9200 (v/tty) for bus
develop and implement plans to
route and schedule information.
reduce their employee com-
muter traffic by 20% during the 2. Carpool: Given that thou-
reconstruction period. UNM is sands of people work at UNM,
the largest employer in our com- its likely that youre commuting
munity and UNM is committed down nearly the same route at the
to doing its part to help our com- same time as other UNM em-
munity meet the upcoming chal- ployees. Why not share the ride,
lenges. Under the leadership of save gas and money, prevent air
the Facility Planning Depart- pollution and maybe even meet
ment, UNM has assembled its someone interesting? You dont
own Big I Project Committee even have to figure out who at
with campus-wide representation. The committee is assess- UNM it might be most convenient to carpool with because the
ing how UNM can best reduce its contribution to commuter Citys RideShare Program can do that for you. Call them at
time traffic by 20% and create a viable plan to attain that 243-RIDE (v/tty), give them some information on your com-
goal. The committee is working with the City of Albuquer- mute, and they can match you up with one or more other people
que Transit Department and the NMSHTDs Big I Recon- with whom it may be convenient to share the ride.
struction Team on collaborative efforts to improve alternate
3. Ride a Bike: The weather in Albuquerque is often pleas-
transportation options for UNM. Ultimately, for UNM to suc-
ant enough to make bike riding enjoyable and it is good exer-
ceed, all UNM employees will need to do their part, and make
cise. There are some designated bike routes connecting UNM
some changes in their commuting travel behavior.
continued on page 2
Big I Project . . . continued
to other parts of the metro area. Call 768-BIKE or check out SAFETY, HEALTH AND
http://www.cabq.gov/transit/cac.html, to get a map of the des- ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS STAFF
ignated bike routes in the metro area. (A Department of Risk Management)
4. Walk: Given our typically nice weather and if you live close
Administration and Training
enough, why not walk? Its good exercise too.
Marc A. Gomez, Director (277-0895)
The UNM Big I Committee work is still in progress, and there Gail Kontak, Training Specialist (277-1362)
may be additional alternatives to those listed above, such as Sandra Medina, Supervisor, Administrative Support
altered work weeks, schedule changes, etc. The Committee (277-0305)
will be creating reward incentives for UNM employees that Eva Antonio, Environmental Health & Safety Assistant
make outstanding efforts to use and promote alternative trans- (277-2765)
portation. Margaret Marquez, Administrative Assistant (277-2753)
The number and types of additional alternatives may vary for Campus Safety
different UNM employees depending on the nature of their Robert Dunnington, Manager (277-1055)
work and other constraints. To learn about all the alternatives, Grandon Goertz, Safety Specialist (277-6764)
please take advantage of the workshops which are being held Vince Leonard, Fire Safety Specialist (277-4076)
on both the main and north campuses from March 28 through Frank Perez, Environmental Health & Safety Technician
May 10, 2000. A listing of the workshops is available at http:// (277-5368)
www.unm.edu.BigIWorkshops.html/. Human Resources related Jimmy Garcia, Fire Safety Technician (277-3856)
information is available at http://www.unm.edu/~hravp/
whatsnew/bigI.htm. Environmental Affairs
Larry Watson, Manager (277-5488)
We must all be ready to pitch in to help with UNMs Big I John Archuleta, Hazardous Materials Specialist
Project effort. Our community is depending on it. The neces- (277-8664)
sary commuting habit changes and sacrifices are not just for Vernon Hershberger, Environmental Health Specialist
someone else with more time, less obligations, different cir- (277-9756)
cumstances, more or less money, etc. Remember, for every- (Vacant), Environmental Health & Safety Technician
one else that someone else is you. (277-9511)
Patricia Theuer, Environmental Health & Safety
Watch for upcoming UNM Big I information bulletins in the Technician (277-0316)
next few months. If you have an interest in helping UNM to
be a good community member for the upcoming challenges, Industrial Hygiene
start using alternative transportation now and be vocal in en- Donii Fox, Manager (277-9757)
couraging others in your department to do likewise. If youre Wayne Bitner, Environmental Health & Safety
already using alternative transportation, you should feel proud Technician (277-9418)
of your contribution and we applaud your efforts! Renate Padilla, Database Coordinator (277-0306)
For more information on UNMs Big I issues, call UNMs 277-
BigI info-line or 1-877-the-BigI. On the Web, go to http:// Radiation Safety
www.unm.edu/bigi.html. Jim DeZetter, Radiation Safety Manager (277-0315)
Ralph Becker, Health Physicist (277-0312)
Larry Cleveland, Radiation Safety Specialist (277-0317)
Annie Chavez, Environmental Health & Safety
Marybeth Marcinkovich, Environmental Health &
Safety Technician (277-9782)
Tom Rolland, Environmental Health & Safety
Marjorie Walters, Environmental Health & Safety
Visit the SHEA Web Page
BASIC ANNUAL SAFETY TRAINING (BAST)
The Staff at Safety Health and Environmental Affairs would like to thank all the UNM employees
who participated in the 1999 Basic Annual Safety Training
We made great strides in Basic Annual Safety Training. Consider these
Over 7,000 UNM employees participated in the BAST 1999. Compare
this to the 4,000 employees who participated in 1998. In 1999, we offered
three types of BAST: self-study, class and on-line. Approximately 5,400
employees participated in the self-study version in 1999. The on-line version
of BAST was launched in August on our web page. Approximately 1,500
employees completed this version. A fire extinguisher was awarded to Ronda
Lee Johnson of the CRTC, the 1,000th employee to complete the on-line
training. Classes were offered on a limited, upon request basis. Approxi-
mately 120 employees participated in the BAST classes.
This year, we are continuing to improve with BAST 2000 by developing
different formats to better target specific UNM departments. We espe-
cially hope to improve the on-line version with an instant feedback option Ronda Lee Johnson, employee at the Cancer Re-
(so employees can get their grades) and a method for employees to give search and Treatment Center, is awarded a fire ex-
us comments on how we are doing. If you have comments about BAST, tinguisher by Gail Kontak for being UNMs 1000th
employee to complete BAST on-line. Congratula-
feel free to contact Gail Kontak at 277-1362 or e-mail email@example.com. tions Ronda!
On-line Ergonomics for 2000 Are You Planning On Driving A
UNM Vehicle Any Time Soon?
SHEA has just launched a new on-line program called ErgoClinic. This is If your job requires you to drive a UNM ve-
a brand new package focusing on office ergonomics that is available to hicle, remember, you must first take a Defen-
anyone having access to the UNM Intranet. So what is ergonomics? sive Driving Class (DDC) in order to obtain a
Ergonomics is simply how we fit to our UNM Drivers
work environment, in this case, the of- Permit. A permit
fice setting. Ergonomics is working more must be renewed
comfortably, with less stress on our bod- every five years.
ies, e.g., how we sit or hold our wrists Contact SHEA
and hands. The ErgoClinic package of- at 277-2753 for
fers us training on Adjusting our Work class registration,
Stations, Reducing Discomfort, Healthy or see the SHEA
Computing Exercises, Helpful Comput- web page for
ing Tips, Stretching Exercises for Com- course informa-
puter Users and Understanding Risk tion.
Factors We Can Control. Employee as-
sessments and course evaluations are
What’s wrong with this picture? also available. One extra nice feature is
the report writing option. SHEA will be able to create reports for depart-
ments, on a request basis, showing who completed the ErgoClinic. To lo-
cate ErgoClinic, go the SHEA web page at http://www.unm.edu/~sheaweb Margaret Marquez, SHEAs Administrative Assistant, will
and click on ErgoClinic. gladly assist you with DDC registration.
I JUST SPILLED A CHEMICAL! NOW WHAT?
There is always a potential for chemical spills in laboratories and other environments where
chemicals are stored or used. Such spills can result in significant risk to the safety and
EM health of students, faculty, staff or visitors from direct or indirect contact, including the
inhalation of fumes or vapors. An important aspect of handling spills is being able to react
calmly and quickly to lessen the impact of the spill. SHEA has developed a Chemical
Spill Response Program that should be followed by anyone who becomes aware of a
chemical spill of any size. You can access this program by consulting the SHEA
Manual which is located both on our department web page at http://
www.unm.edu/~sheaweb and in hard copy form in your departments admin-
istrative area. Look under the heading called Chemical Safety and Hazard-
ous Materials Management for Program #4.02. If you have any questions
regarding chemical spills, please contact SHEAs Environmental Affairs Division
at 277-2753. The following flow chart is from the SHEA Chemical Spill Response
Program and is a brief procedure on what to do in the event of a chemical spill.
CHEMICAL SPILL RESPONSE FLOW CHART
WHEN IN DOUBT . . . GET OUT!
DETERMINE THE TYPE OF SPILL AND HOW TO RESPOND
If all criteria are not met in this col-
umn, follow the E.A.R. steps in the
lower right hand flask.
• Spill is less than one foot in diam-
• Spill is
• Chemical has low acute toxicity.
one foot in
• Employee is comfortable cleaning
• Employee has been properly • Chemical is highly toxic or
trained. highly reactive.
• Personal Protective Equipment is • Spill may affect other areas
available. of the building. LARGE SPILLS
• Proper spill clean-up supplies are • Chemical is unknown. (Major)
• Employee is not experiencing any • Chemical has entered the sewer system.
symptoms of chemical exposure. • Spill has caused or may cause injury/death.
• Spill has spread beyond immediate area.
• Spill cannot be safely contained
or cleaned up.
L SP ) • Clean up the spill Follow the EAR steps:
AL inor using the appropriate E g Evacuate immediately affected
SM (M SHEA Spill Response area and close doors.
Guide in Attachment C of A g Alert Campus Police by calling
the SHEA Program. 911 from a safe location.
R g Remain close to the phone, if
requested to do so, until
contacted by appropriate
• Dispose of spill clean-up materials emergency responders. Be
through the Department of Safety, prepared to relate appropriate
Health and Environmental Affairs. details regarding the spill,
including MSDS, if safe to do
COMPLETE CHEMICAL SPILL REPORT FORM LOCATED IN ATTACHMENT B OF SHEA PROGRAM
UNMs Radioactive Waste
Management and Disposal
Have you ever wondered what happens to the radioactive waste in corresponding activities must be documented when the material is
those five-gallon cans when SHEAs Radiation Safety Technicians shipped to the incineration facility, just as the material being shipped
wheel them away from the radioactive materials labs on their little red to a disposal site. UNM uses an incineration facility which uses the
carts? Off to WIPP? Nope. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is organic liquid as a fuel to produce cement in a rotary kiln.
a repository exclusively for waste generated by the federal govern-
ment at DOE and DOD facilities. Off into a black hole or oblivion? We Currently, there are very few commercial radioactive waste dis-
wish! Actually, approximately 77% of the waste collected contains posal sites available in the United States. Additional disposal fa-
short half-life radionuclides (those isotopes in which the radioactiv- cilities are difficult to establish. Areas where acceptable geological
ity decreases by half in ninety days or less) and is held in SHEAs conditions exist may not be acceptable as disposal sites due to
radioactive material warehouse for decay-in-storage. The remaining community and political considerations. Sometimes, even when all
23% contains radionuclides which have half-lives in excess of 90 other conditions for establishing a site are favorable, it may not be
days and are considered to be long half-life waste. economically feasible for a waste disposal company to open that
site due to a stringent licensing process in which DOE, NRC, EPA,
All short half-life radioactive waste is held to decay for a minimum of and USGS regulations must be met. In addition to the cost of open-
ten half-lives, carefully monitored, and is then properly disposed of ing the site, the applicant must be able to prove that it will be able to
by the Radiation Safety staff at SHEA. The remaining long half-life maintain security at the site well into the future, as some of the
waste and liquid scintillation waste (xylene or toluene based organic material will remain radioactive for thousands of years.
compounds usually containing 14C or 3H, but may contain other ra-
dionuclides) are not disposed of nearly so easily or inexpensively. In June, 1997, the average cost to UNM for disposal of one 55-
While the liquid scintillation cocktail can simply be shipped to an gallon drum of dry waste, at the Richland, WA, site operated by US
incineration site in central Florida when properly segregated, pack- Ecology, was $1,150. Today the cost of shipping that same drum of
aged and characterized, other long half-life radioactive waste dis- waste has increased to $2,423. SHEA is currently holding 17 drums
posal requires a much more complicated and costly process. for disposal. Recently, the cost to incinerate nine 55-gallon drums
of liquid scintillation cocktail was approximately $2,800.
Long half-life radioactive waste must be characterized and properly
packaged, with dry waste being compacted to 400 psi and all aque- Now that you know the rest of the story, please dont think too
ous liquids being solidified as concrete before being shipped to a harshly of the Radiation Safety staff when they ask you to carefully
disposal site. At this site, the waste will be permanently isolated follow the radioactive waste segregation and record-keeping rules.
from humans and wildlife. Documentation must list radioactive con- They are only trying to minimize the cost of radioactive waste dis-
taminants and respective activities for each item contained in every posal to the University and, in the end, to your lab. Should you
barrel of radioactive waste. The waste may not contain any chemi- have any questions regarding radioactive waste disposal or any
cals classified as hazardous by the US EPA. other radiation issue, please feel free to call us at 277-2753 or visit
our web site at www.unm.edu/~sheaweb/rad/radweb.html.
Most dry radioactive waste generated at UNM is considered low-
level, Class A waste, as defined by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
Commission (NRC). This means that the waste is either shorter
half-life waste or, long half-life waste in relatively low concentra-
tions that are less than NRC limits. Unlike Class B or C waste, it
does not require extensive waste processing or exotic containers
for disposal. Despite this fact, the UNM Class A waste does re-
quire detailed characterization and careful packaging to ensure safe
transportation and proper disposal.
Low level radioactive waste is stored in shallow land burial sites.
Fifty-five gallon barrels of dry waste are situated in trenches several
feet below the surface of the land. Spaces between the barrels are
filled with sand or other material that will leach moisture away from
the barrels, keeping them intact. Diverting water from the trenches is
a major concern because water leaching from an interment trench can
carry radioactive material if the integrity of a container is compro-
mised. UNM pays an annual disposal site access fee, whether or not
any waste is actually disposed of during that year.
Radioactive organic waste, such as liquid scintillation cocktails, Marj Walters, Radiation Safety Technician, checks
must be burned at high temperatures. Again the radionuclides and radiation levels on decay-in-storage waste drum.
On December 1, 1999
OSHAs new forklift truck
SEATBELTS: DO WE WEAR THEM OR NOT? regulations became effec-
tive. UNM has forklift
SHEA recently conducted a survey to see just how many people choose to increase their chances trucks in many departments
of surviving a vehicle accident by buckling up. The survey was conducted by an organization from and after this date, no one
Los Lunas High School known as Students Against Destructive Decisions (S.A.D.D.). This en- may operate a forklift unless
ergetic group of students are organized to bring back positive life decisions to the youth of today. they are certified by SHEA.
Their goal is zero tolerance for any decision an individual may make that could adversely affect To become certified, one
their future. The SADD group studied several high traffic areas on the UNM campus armed only must attend a training ses-
with a checklist and their observation skills. Their task was to identify, at random, vehicles in sion, pass a written test,
which drivers were or were not wearing seatbelts. They checked university buses, UNM ve- pass a proficiency demon-
stration, and get a physical
hicles and personal vehicles as they drove in and out of various UNM parking lots. Using only exam at EOHS. SHEA has
those vehicles in which they could clearly tell that a seatbelt was worn (determined by the shoul- offered a number of training
der strap), they observed over 1,837 vehicles in a 3-hour period. Here is what they found: sessions in the past year.
We have offered profi-
Individuals Individuals ciency demonstrations but
Wearing Not Wearing not all staff members have
People in: Seatbelts % Seatbelts % passed these demonstra-
Privately owned vehicles 1,125 72 442 28 tions. If you have to com-
plete this part of the certifi-
UNM vehicles 125 46 145 54 cation process, please call
Total drivers observed 1,250 68 587 32 us to arrange an appoint-
ment. A number of other
staff members still have to
SADD members also noted that on buses during the early morning hours, people sometimes were stand- get their physical exams. If
ing in front of the white line inside the front of the bus.The white line indicates a safety area. If a bus is you have any questions on
overcrowded, crossing this line would cause safety hazards in case of an accident. your status in this program,
please contact Frank Perez
SADDly to say, what we learned from this small survey is that, after all the efforts to educate people, at 277-5368 or by e-mail at
approximately one-third of the drivers observed, still havent gotten the message. SEATBELTS SAVE firstname.lastname@example.org.
LIVES. If youre not wearing yours, whats holding you back?
A Note About
This issue of the SHEA
Newsletter has been printed on
paper that is made of 30% post
consumer recycled paper
Are you a female or male that is planning to
Awareness have children? Are you a female that is al-
A Hantavirus through SHEA. ready pregnant? Are you a mother that is
handout is av 53 or stop by breastfeeding?
Call 27 7-27
for your copy There are chemical agents that can affect fe-
male and male reproductive organs, a devel-
oping fetus or a nursing baby. If you are
working with chemicals, SHEA, in conjunc-
tion with EOHS, can provide a reproductive
health hazard evaluation of your work site.
If you are interested in this service, please
contact Donii Fox at 277-9757.