Safety Technician (Biohazard and Chemical Safety)

1.  Give a short summary of the duties and responsibilities of your job.

a) Assist with the day-to-day operations of the biohazard safety program in accordance with applicable legislation, standards and University policy and procedures. This includes:

Perform inspections in all laboratories and locations related to permits issued by the University Biohazard Committee to ensure that both facilities and operational practices with biohazardous materials conforms to established standards, policy and procedures.  This would include preparing inspection reports and compliance checklists from regulatory agencies, and making recommendations to correct noted deficiencies.

Assist in providing advice to the University community on biohazard safety matters.

Assist in maintaining the records related to the biohazard safety program (inspection reports, permits, authorized personnel attestations, orders, training records, and general correspondence) in the established filing system within the Department of Environmental Health & Safety.

Under the direction of the Manager, Biohazard, Radiation and Chemical Safety investigate complaints regarding violations of the relevant biohazard safety standards.

Assist the Manager, Biohazard, Radiation and Chemical Safety in the creation of manuals, standards and guidelines to ensure the biohazard safety program meets the requirements of the applicable legislation and the conditions of the university's permit.  In particular compliance needs to be assured with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Human Pathogens and Toxins Act, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Acts and Regulations regarding imported animal products, foreign animal diseases, aquatic animal pathogens and plant pests.

b)  Assist with the day-to-day operations of the chemical laboratory safety program in accordance with applicable legislation, standards and University policy and procedures, primarily in laboratories that also have biohazards.  This includes:

Perform inspections in biohazard laboratories and locations to ensure that facility and use of chemicals conforms to established standards, policy and procedures.  This would include preparing inspection reports and making recommendations to correct noted deficiencies.

Assist in providing advice to the University community on laboratory safety matters.

Assist in maintaining the records related to the chemical laboratory safety program for biohazard laboratories (inspection reports, general correspondence, training, etc) in the established filing system within the Department of Environmental Health & Safety.

Under the direction of the Manager, Biohazard, Radiation and Chemical Safety investigating complaints regarding violations of the relevant legislation standards and guidelines.

Assists the Manager, Biohazard, Radiation and Chemical Safety and the Safety Technician (Radiation and Chemical Safety), in the creation of manuals, standards and guidelines to ensure the chemical laboratory safety program meets the requirement of the application legislation.

c) Serve as a member of the University's HAZMAT Team.

d) Assist other departmental staff as required.

e) Undertake other duties as delegated in support of the unit or department.

2. To fulfill your duties what knowledge, skills and specialized techniques are required? How would each be normally acquired? How long would it take to become proficient in each of the areas of your work?

To fulfill the duties of the position a three-year Biotechnology diploma with a minimum of two years of experience using biohazardous material and hazardous chemicals in a laboratory setting is required.

Familiarity with PHAC and CFIA legislation, the Ontario Occupational Health & Safety Act, Transportation of Dangerous Goods Legislation, and CSA and ANSI Standards is required.

The incumbent must complete Biohazard Safety level 1 and 2, Human Blood Borne Pathogens course, WHMIS and Transportation of Dangerous training.

Good working knowledge of computers for word processing, spreadsheet management, e-mail and database management.

Well-developed oral and written communication skills.

A valid driver's license is required.

The incumbent must be physically capable of performing the job duties.

3. Is it necessary in this position to oversee the work or to instruct other staff? If so, what does this involve?

The Safety Technician may occasionally oversee the work of summer students.

4. What other people must you deal with in this job and why (i.e. is there direct contact

with students, teaching staff, other departments, people outside the university community)?

Contact with administrative staff, researchers, technicians and graduate students in various technical buildings and departments will be required on an ongoing basis.

Direct contact and liaison with personnel from the PHAC, CFIA, MOL, MOE may be required.

5. How is your work assigned to you and how closely does someone else check your work?

Priorities are established through discussions with the Manager, Biohazard, Radiation and Chemical Safety at regular one-on-one meetings.

Tasks and duties are scheduled by the incumbent according to priorities, work load and department policy and procedures.

Annual inspections are scheduled on an annual basis based on the previous dates and legislative requirements.

The incumbent's progress at completing tasks and fulfilling the duties of the job are tracked through regular meetings with the Manager.

Matters that require changes in policy or a new policy are brought to the attention of the Manager Biohazard, Radiation, and Chemical Safety.

6. a) Are the sorts of problems encountered in this job usually covered by established procedures or do you frequently have to develop or invent solutions to problems yourself?

Most problems have procedures and policies established by codes, regulations, standards, policies or procedures.  However, in situations where problems are not completely covered by procedures and/or policies, the safety technician will resolve these issues in consultation with the Manager and other members of the department, since it may be necessary to interpret the  meaning of the code, regulation or standard.

6. b) Are you involved in establishing standard procedures? (give examples)

Under the direction of the Manager, Biohazard, Radiation and Chemical Safety, the safety technician assists in the drafting of procedures, which receive wide distribution in their edited form.

7. a) What is the size of your department (i.e., no. of classes for which you are involved with labs, no. of students, no. of staff you might come in contact with, no. of technicians in the department.)

Number of Clerical Staff:

0

Number of Administrative Staff:

2

Number of Technical Staff:

5

Number of Non-Technical Staff:

4

7. b) What kind of equipment or material are you responsible for? Are you solely responsible for and what is its approximate value?

 

The safety technician could be required to use gas detection and monitoring equipment valued at approximately $15,000.  The safety technician will also be required to use, in conjunction with other departmental staff, Hazardous Materials response equipment valued at $100,000.  The safety technician will also be required to use the departmental truck with a replacement value of $25,000.

The safety technician shares the responsibility, along with all other technical staff in the department, for the maintenance and proper use of all of the equipment.

8. Give details of any unusual factors affecting this job, i.e. - hazards, unusual working conditions, requirements for a high degree of manual dexterity, etc.

Due to the varied nature of the research on campus, the incumbent may be in close proximity to pathogenic agents, small and large animals, radiation, and carcinogenic chemicals as well as standard hazardous chemicals.  The work poses acceptable levels of exposure provided the work is carried out properly and that all relevant safety procedures are followed.

9.  Do you have any general comments about this position that may not be covered by the preceding questions?

The safety technician must be a mature person and be able to work carefully and with great attention to detail and consistency.  Since the health and safety of faculty, staff and students is at stake, it is essential that high quality work be done at all times.  The incumbent must be able to communicate effectively with faculty, staff and graduate students and must have sufficient self­ confidence to accept questioning and criticism from these clients.