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ASU compliance officer volunteers recognized at recent event

Ray Jensen
April 10, 2013

A recent breakfast sponsored by ASU Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) paid tribute to compliance officers who volunteer to help ensure that laboratories and offices at the university are operated in a safe manner.

Compliance officers take training classes through EH&S, act as conduits for information from EH&S and notify EH&S of any unresolved compliance issues involving potential safety hazards, exposures, injuries or other issues.

ASU Athletics Director Steve Patterson welcomed the breakfast attendees. He paid tribute to compliance officers and highlighted recent successes in the Athletics department. Besides victories on the field, ASU athletes have shown a dramatic increase in academic performance with 80 percent of athletes graduating from the university, he said.

Ranko Richert, chemistry and biochemistry professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, received the EH&S award for excellence.  Richert has been instrumental in improving research labs through a committee that he chairs that addresses creating a culture of safety at the university. The committee addresses lab safety issues from improving overall safety to defining a process to shut down labs for serious safety violations.

“Ranko has done a wonderful job,” said Leon Igras, director of EH&S at ASU.

EH&S Industrial Hygienist John Lemanski also was recognized for receiving his Certified Industrial Hygienist Certification, an extremely arduous task with only 47 percent of applicants passing the fall of 2012 test to receive their certificate. 

In addition, Ray Jensen, ASU associate vice president of University Business Services, thanked compliance officers in attendance for their selfless service to the university.

“Compliance officers are an extraordinary example of what it is to be a Sun Devil. No one gets paid to be a compliance officer. You make a contribution every day and it’s a super thing,” he said.

Jensen also spoke of his 28 years at the university as he nears retirement and of directing excelling employees who all serve ASU in varying capacities.

“I have been blessed with extraordinary people who have worked with me,” Jensen said. “You all add value to the university.”

Also highlighted at the breakfast was the lab safety registration process at the Biodesign Institute that was simplified through a partnership between Biodesign and EH&S. Tools that were used included grouping lab registrations in a database and using online registrations with emergency contacts for each area.

Allen Clark, director of Emergency Preparedness at ASU, also introduced an online tool that the university will use for continuity of operations if an emergency interrupts academic and business functions at the university.