UMSC January Minutes

January 2024 Meeting Minutes

The monthly meeting of the Union-Management Safety Committee was conducted on January 9th, 2024 by the Environmental Health and Safety department with the following individuals in attendance:

Josh Balfour A Dining Services
Kathy Cain-Babbitt A AFSCME
Cory Ghiringhelli A Environmental Health and Safety
Justin Keech A Custodial Services
Pat Lem A Maintenance Services
Keith Pung A Environmental Health and Safety
Vince Renda A Maintenance Services
Laura Weber VA Legal Affairs, Risk, and Compliance
Mark Weiss A Environmental Health and Safety
Jake Woods A Environmental Health and Safety

In-Person Attendance: (A)
Virtual Attendance: (VA)


Mark Weiss previously stated that an employee injury at the Valley Dining Center resulted in an onsite inspection by MIOSHA and issued citations. The source of injury was immediately rectified following the incident and the University has since posted the required abatement and correspondence documentation.

Pat Lem provided an update to the concern regarding a painted drivable curb located near the Valley Dining Center loading dock. The curb had been painted, post construction of the VDC per Dining Services request, to alert pedestrians and passenger vehicles of its presence. The paint has since worn off and instances of passenger vehicles driving over and potentially incurring damage have been observed; particularly during move-in week. Pat stated that Maintenance Services tradespersons will apply a new coat of paint to the curb this spring weather permitting.

Mark Weiss provided an update to the safety issue involving the obstruction of exit doors and pathways in the Fetzer Center. It was previously mentioned that an emergency exit and egress pathway had been found to be obstructed by catering racks and equipment during/after a large event at the facility. Mark investigated and followed up with Rob Pennock, Director of Auxiliary Enterprises. It was determined that an outside vendor was responsible and will be further educated on necessary fire safety and egress protocol. The EHS department will also conduct periodic visual assessments.


No updates.


Kathy Cain-Babbitt introduced a safety concern regarding transportation of waste materials and access to a locked space at Hadley Hall. Kathy stated that access to the locked space would afford greater safety to Maintenance Services personnel who are transporting materials to the outdoor waste roll-off container. Committee discussions mentioned that the space in question should be kept locked but that the necessary key should be available in the region shop key boxes. Pat Lem will investigate and provide a follow up.

Justin Keech expressed concerns regarding improper storage of construction materials in Miller Auditorium and the Gilmore Theatre Complex. Justin stated that the materials have been stored for some time directly in front of the lockable-fence crossing located in the basement level. It was unknown who was responsible for the materials or why they were being stored in the egress pathway. Jake Woods will investigate and provide a follow up.


Josh Balfour expressed appreciation to the EHS department for conducting Right to Know / Hazard Communication and Lock Out / Tag Out training that was attended by Dining Services personnel.

Mark Weiss reminded committee members the importance of safe walking while outdoors with the approaching significant winter weather storm. Employees are encouraged to contact the FM Service Center if areas requiring snow-ice removal are observed. University-wide statistics indicate that slips, trips, and falls are a leading cause of injury among WMU employees.

Laura Weber previously shared that the WMU Risk Management Office is bringing its loss control representative to campus to present on several topics January, 24, 2024, in room 2209 of the Student Center. All are welcome to attend any of the sessions: Heat Related Illness and Death 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., RSO Risk 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., and Social Media Risk 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Any questions, call (269) 387-4825.

Jake Woods shared that the National Safety Council recognizes Radon Safety during the month of January. National Radon Action Month is an annual observance held each year highlighting that about one in 15 homes in the U.S. has radon levels at or above the EPA action level, according to the National Cancer Institute. You can't see or smell radon, and scientists estimate 20,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year are attributed to it. Radon is produced from a natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. It enters homes, offices, schools and other buildings through cracks in floors and walls, construction joints or gaps around service pipes, electrical wires and sump pits. Further information can be found at:

The next UMSC meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 13th, 2024 in the shared conference room located on the ground floor of the E.W. Building at 10:00 a.m.; an invitation to attend via video conferencing platform (WebEx) will also be sent out with these minutes. Please send a substitute representative if you are unable to attend.

Published: 1/17/2024