What We Do Here Matters

What it's all about: What you do each and every day matters because you are doing it alongside other people who care immensely, are dedicated to leading themselves and others, and share a common goal to leave a legacy at UGA.

Will you help us tell this story? We are looking for examples of F&A staff who model what it means to do something that matters. We want to tell the story of those who give their all to UGA every day so we are all inspired to do the same; because when we work together with a common purpose, we will achieve much more than we would on our own.

If you have an example of someone (or a group) who exemplifies the idea of “what we do here matters”, please email tawest@uga.edu for the opportunity for your story to be shared in an upcoming edition of the F&A Advisor.

Highlight: Staff at the Environmental Safety Division

A day in the life of the environmental safety occupation is a combination of problem solver, consummate professionalism, and unwavering resolve. The University of Georgia Environmental Safety Division (ESD), a division of Finance & Administration, is comprised of twenty-four full time staff and student interns serving vital roles for university-wide environmental safety programs. The Division consists of multiple groups within the scope of environmental safety including Fire Safety, Industrial Hygiene, Hazardous Waste, Information Systems, and Environmental Affairs.

Each member of the Environmental Safety Division contributes greatly to the overall functionality of the university network that encompasses academics, athletics, and extracurricular activities, all outlets that directly impact the lives of every student, faculty, and staff member at UGA. The Environmental Safety Division is a liaison with many university divisions like the University Architects Office, the Facilities Management Division, Dining Services, Auxiliary Services, Athletics, the Office of Emergency Preparedness, and University Police on special projects and day to day operations that are often unseen, but most certainly impact the university community on a broad scale.

Typical assignments for ESD rely on professional disciplines and knowledge to effectively respond and oversee fire code compliance, fire safety management, ergonomics, indoor air quality assessments, petroleum spill responses, hazardous waste pickups, environmental regulatory permits and compliance, Information Systems management for chemical inventories, and food inspections. ESD staff also communicate with a multitude of county, state, and federal agencies for permitting and regulatory compliance.

From the inception of the Environmental Safety Division in the early 1990’s, ESD has progressed into a robust cross-sectional department integrating years of industry knowledge and expertise and specializing in the many facets of university environmental health and safety. These disciplines, coupled with industry knowledge, have culminated to the current stature of ESD as a premier University service-oriented division. The Environmental Safety Division management team is led by:
  • Associate Vice President John McCollum
  • Director of Technical Services Bill Favaloro
  • Regulatory Program Coordinator Jim Ussery
  • Fire Safety Manager Russell Dukes
  • Industrial Hygiene Manager John Lambeth
  • Hazardous Materials Manager Brian Adams
  • Environmental Affairs Manager Matt Sammons
  • Information Systems Director Bill Megathlin
These individuals and their staff dedicate countless hours to ensure that the many safety programs run optimally in unison with maintaining the goal of a service-oriented approach to the inherent challenges of environmental safety for the University of Georgia. This past year, ESD conducted hundreds of environmental health inspections, ergonomic surveys, indoor air quality assessments, food service inspections, fume hood inspections, safety shower and eye wash inspections, fire extinguisher surveys, and pool inspections.

ESD has been directly involved in proactive measures to develop a university-wide Comprehensive Environmental Health and Safety Manual that serves as a guidance document on how environmental policy is made and how procedures are standardized based on proven industry benchmarks and practice. Other significant contributions have included permit renewals for the Title V air permit, drinking water systems, septic systems, underground fuel storage tank inspections, and hazardous waste programs. Environmental Safety has been instrumental in developing new training programs and standard operating procedures for hazardous waste disposal, spill prevention, Right to Know, industrial hygiene, and Chematix, the University of Georgia’s chemical inventory management system.

It is with great pride that every individual at Environmental Safety Division has embraced the “Elevate the G” philosophy by adopting the core values of integrity, teamwork, and excellence in service. The Environmental Safety Division’s main goal is to actively embrace the fundamental mission of providing excellent service and stewardship of the University of Georgia’s resources.