MIT: Independent Activities Period: IAP

IAP 2017 Activities by Sponsor - Environment, Health and Safety Office

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Computer Ergonomics: How computers can hurt you and how to fight back!

David V. Diamond, CSS, MD, FACOEM, Associate Medical Director

Jan/30 Mon 10:00AM-11:00AM E25-117

Enrollment: Limited: First come, first served (no advance sign-up)
Limited to 40 participants

Based on 25 years of experience in the MIT community evaluating and treating repetitive strain injuries from computer overuse, MIT's Chief of Employee Health and Occupational Medicine will review the causes for overuse symptoms and how to avoid and treat injuries. There will be a comprehensive presentation but time will be left to allow questions and answers during the session and after.

Sponsor(s): Environment, Health and Safety Office, MIT Medical
Contact: Jessica Van, N52-496, 617 452-3233, JVAN@MIT.EDU

EHS Representative Orientation

Pam Greenley

Jan/19 Thu 01:00PM-04:00PM N52-496 Conf. Rm A/B

Enrollment: Register via MIT Learning Center
Sign-up by 01/11
Limited to 25 participants
Prereq: Registration required

This is a training course for new and existing EHS reps on their role in the EHS Management System, their responsibilities under the EHS-MS, and a brief overview of EHS issues they may be asked about by their lab mates.

Topics include:



Register at

Sponsor(s): Environment, Health and Safety Office
Contact: Jessica Van, N52-496, 617 452-3233, JVAN@MIT.EDU

EHS-MS: Building a toolbox for the EHS Coordinator

Jessica Van, EHS-MS Coordinator Liaison

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Limited to 20 participants
Attendance: Participants welcome at individual sessions

The DLC-EHS Coordinator plays a key role in the EHS-MS (Environment, Health and Safety Management System) and receives authority from the DLC Head to manage the EHS-MS functions within the DLC. This course is a series of 1 hour sessions covering various topics to build and/or enhance your Coordinator Toolbox. Main topics are: EHS-MS System (Atlas Apps), EHS Reports, Communication, Level II Inspection.  Participants will be encouraged to share experiences, discuss strengths and examine opportunities to improve delivery of EHS-MS requirements to the DLC.

Register via the MIT Learning Center: EHS00770 - IAP Coordinator Toolbox

Sponsor(s): Environment, Health and Safety Office
Contact: Jessica Van, N52-475, 617 452-3233, JVAN@MIT.EDU

Review of the EHS-MS System

Jan/09 Mon 02:00PM-03:00PM N52-496 Conf Rm A

Need a refresher on our various apps or have specific questions about our systems in Atlas this session is for you! This is an opportunity to bring your questions or share some of your own tips and tricks for using the EHS-MS Systems such as: PI Space, Inspection, Training, Supervisor Injury Reporting and/or DLC Preferences.

Jessica Van - EHS-MS Coordinator Liaison


Jan/12 Thu 01:00PM-02:00PM N52-496 Conf Rm A
Jan/19 Thu 11:00AM-12:00PM N52-496 Conf Rm A

1/12/17: Tools for Communicating: There are so many different technology tools available to enhance your interactions with EHS Reps and each other. During this session we will review a few tools that may help you in your day-to-day task or on a larger project scale. Some examples are: Doodle Poll, Trello, MailChimp etc.

1/19/17 EHS Coordinator Webpage: How can we provide you with all the information you need for your DLC

Jessica Van - EHS-MS Coordinator Liaison, EHS Communication Service Team

EHS-MS Level II Inspection Program

Jan/23 Mon 09:00AM-03:00PM N52-496

See course description in Atlas: Learning Center - EHS-MS Level II Inspection Program

Michael Labosky - Assistant to the Director, EHS

EHS Reports

Jan/24 Tue 10:00AM-11:00AM N52-496
Jan/26 Thu 10:00AM-11:00AM N52-496

During the session we will review the various EHS Reports available to you and how you can utilize this information to build metrics.

1/24/17: Review available EHS Reports

1/26/17: Future Reports with Discussion

Requirement: If you do not have authorizations to Data Warehouse information, please request for EHS Mgmt/Training data at IS&T Datawarehouse:

Jessica Van - EHS-MS Coordinator Liaison, Michael Dunn - Data Anaylst

Sharing Best Practices

Feb/01 Wed 10:00AM-11:00AM N52-419 Conf Rm D

Come and share your best practices and thoughts on what future topics may be helpful for you to fufill your role.

Mitch Galanek - Associate Director, EHS, Jessica Van - EHS-MS Coordinator Liaison

Green Laboratories - North American Freezer Challenge Kickoff

Emma Corbalan, Project Manager for Sustainable Design and Construction

Jan/09 Mon 12:00PM-01:00PM 76-259, Bring your own lunch!
Jan/11 Wed 12:00PM-01:00PM 76-659, Bring your own lunch!

Enrollment: Unlimited: Advance sign-up required
Attendance: Repeating event, participants welcome at any session

MIT plans to participate in the 2017 North American Freezer Challenge, an international competition hosted by I2SL to encourage optimized cold storage management practices in labs.  The competition is an opportunity to raise awareness about the impact of management practices and behaviors on energy efficiency in labs.  Participants will compete to improve cold storage in their labs by utilizing cutting edge management practices, considering temperature tuning, identifying opportunities for unit retirements and upgrades and implementing sample inventory practices. 

This IAP class will serve as the kick-off to the Freezer Challenge, which will run from January 15th – May 1, 2017. The course will provide lab users with the information they need to improve energy practices in their labs and succeed in the competition!

Sponsor(s): Office of Sustainability, Environment, Health and Safety Office, Department of Facilities
Contact: Emma Corbalan, NE49-3161F, 617 324-6059, CORBALAN@MIT.EDU

Health and Safety Issues of Nanomaterials

Marilyn Hallock, Susan Leite, Iraj Aalaei

Jan/19 Thu 11:00AM-12:00PM 46-3189

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up

The exciting field of nanotechnology is creating the next industrial revolution in engineering. It is also creating the new field of nanotoxicology. Are nanoparticles more toxic than dust particles we normally work with? Could carbon nanotubes possibly be the next asbestos? Come find out what we know and don't know and how to work safely in your laboratory with nanomaterials. No prerequisite.

Sponsor(s): Environment, Health and Safety Office
Contact: Marilyn Hallock, N52-496, x3-0344,

Introduction to sterile technique on the bench and biosafety cabinet

Lorena Altamirano, Biosafety Officer, EHS

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/06
Limited to 10 participants
Attendance: Participants must attend all sessions

Sterile or aseptic technique forms the basis of microbiology and tissue culturing method to prevent contamination of samples and safeguard people. This course is intended as an introduction to the theory and practice of sterile technique. This course would focus on sterile technique at the bench (basic bacteriology) as well as using a biological safety cabinet (BSC) for basic cell/tissue culturing.

Target audience: The course is intended for people from non-traditional biological sciences backgrounds such as engineering, physics, arts, architecture, etc.

Prereq: None; no biological experience is needed.


Sponsor(s): Environment, Health and Safety Office, Biology
Contact: Lorena Altamirano, 617-253-3844,


Jan/10 Tue 10:00AM-12:00PM N52-496, Conference Room A

Lecture on principles and practices, equipment basics, materials and methods and protocol review.

Lorena Altamirano - Biosafety Officer, EHS

Laboratory Practice

Jan/11 Wed 10:00AM-12:00PM 68-088
Jan/12 Thu 10:00AM-12:00PM 68-082
Jan/13 Fri 10:00AM-12:00PM 68-088

Laboratory practices, equipment, protocol application and biosafety. Discussion and troubleshooting.

Must attend all lab pratice dates.

Lorena Altamirano - Biosafety Officer, EHS

MIT Green Labs

Niamh Kelly, EMP Officer, EHS Office, Pam Greenley, Associate Director, EHS Office

Jan/17 Tue 12:00PM-01:00PM 66-360

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/13
Limited to 50 participants

Green Labs is about managing your research work in a way that maximizes resource conservation.  Come here the story of how 8 different labs competed for $5000 for greening their lab.  You can see what practices may work for your lab and learn how to get your lab involved in the MIT Green Lab Certification Program. 


Register at:

Sponsor(s): Environment, Health and Safety Office, Department of Facilities, Office of Sustainability
Contact: Niamh Kelly,

The Optimally Dismal Laboratory II: Now Even Worse!

Dr John F. Carrier, Sloan School of Management

Jan/25 Wed 02:00PM-03:00PM 66-110, bring a story and photo from your lab

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up

 Would you like to reduce your lab's output by 10%, 20%, or even as much as 50%?

Then Optimally Dismal Laboratory is a must attend event for you!


In this session, we provide an optimal approach for disrupting productivity, reducing safey, and dampening morale for your laboratory. We will explain the rationale behind these techniques through the systems and psychological studies of several notable MIT faculty, including Jay Forrester, John DC Little, Ed Schein, Douglas McGregor, and Kurt Lewin.  

Finally, we will show some "best practices" from several MIT labs. Also, feel free to submit photos of your lab's best productivity-disrupting activities for inclusion in the talk.

Finally, we'll issue a "playbook" for implementing it in your lab.

Common Questions

Q: I am worried about the impact on my colleagues' productivity.

A: No need to worry. It will reduce their productivity as well.

Q: Could these techniques be used in reverse to improve productivity, safety, and morale?

A: Yes, but that would require a modicum of consideration and self-discipline.

Q: Will I regret not attending?

A: Most likely, but if you don't come, you'll never know.


Help make MIT less un-Great again!





Sponsor(s): Chemical Engineering, Sloan School of Management, Environment, Health and Safety Office
Contact: John Carrier, JFCARRIE@MIT.EDU