Central to Cal Poly is the well-known “Learn by Doing” philosophy that allows students to acquire knowledge and skills through active engagement and self-reflection in the classroom, lab and in the field. Such a hands-on learning environment can produce a lot of student success but also requires a great deal of safety and precaution.
Enter Environmental Health and Safety (EHS). This specialized group works hard to create a safe and healthful workplace so that faculty members can provide an environment for students to learn interactively. Alas, constructing such a dynamic and knowledgeable department is not so easy. With time and dedication from leaders like David Korpan, the director of EHS, the department was able to hire new specialists that will bring their unique expertise to the Cal Poly campus.
Industrial Hygiene Program specialist Aubrey Arain, pictured above comes to us all the way from Kalamazoo, Michigan where she previously worked at Oakland University. Arain specializes in occupational health and will be focusing on industrial hygiene programs including laboratory safety, chemical safety, hearing conservation, radiation safety, ergonomics, and biohazard safety. She is looking forward to serving Cal Poly’s wonderful community and is excited about the amazing hiking opportunities in the SLO area!
Safety Specialist Melonee Cruse joined the team during the pandemic. An expert in university safety with a focus is on fall protection, control of hazardous energy and confined space. She’s responsible for compliance with OSHA safety programs and conducting reviews and audits of university construction sites. Other OSHA programs she oversees include forklift safety, hot work permits, heat illness, laser safety and construction safety. Cruse previously worked at Mt. San Antonio College, Harvey Mudd College and USC.
Erin Winett previously lived in Southern California but just moved to SLO to be near family and enjoy the Central Coast. She recently joined EHS as the Environmental Protection Program specialist in which she supports the university’s Environmental Compliance Programs related to hazardous waste, wastewater discharges and air emissions. Prior to her role at Cal Poly, Winett worked for HTS Environmental Services/Triumvirate Environmental Services, as an EHS director for their California locations. She is excited for the new challenges and opportunities that working at a university will produce.
Mike Landvogt joined EHS in February as the university’s fire safety specialist. He lives in Santa Maria and previously worked at UC Santa Barbara as the campus deputy fire marshal. He will work on fire prevention activities, including the testing and repair of the campus fire alarms and sprinkler systems, implementing fire code requirements administered by the Office of the State Fire Marshal, and conducting fire drills.
These new staff members will work to create and develop written Environmental Health and Safety Programs to help the campus community be more aware of hazards and safety precautions. These programs will provide the necessary tools and information to operate safely in the workplace or classroom. Each program will also have metrics that can easily be collected and understood to help identify problems and risks.
EHS ultimately strives to offer collaborative customer service that in turn can help the campus achieve its goals. With these new staff and developed programs safety will become easier and more digestible for everyone.