HELP Meeting Minutes


Celltech R&D, Inc.


Presentation by Marty Scanlan of CerOx. CerOx makes a product which breaks down organic chemical waste products. The system is not designed to handle inorganics or fluorocarbons. Marty will send a "State of Washington" letter which they have received, indicating the state's position on this system. Power Point presentation is available.

Biohazardous Waste

Eric Earling of WBBA described the steps which should be taken by biotech companies encountering difficulties with biohazardous waste vendors. "Document, Document, Document." Keep a log of conversations or correspondence with the company. If delays in the pickup schedule are placing a company in violation of state regulations, this might be an area where WBBA could intervene. At the present time, biohazard waste pickup practices are not endangering health or public safety and are therefore, not a high priority for the state.

WBBA believes that their efforts to educate the legislature on this front have been effective. Bills which would be onerous to biotech companies have not been passed.

Alternative vendors are not moving into our state due to regulatory red tape. Permitting is done by each county. Disposal companies would need to obtain a permit for each county that they travel through. WBBA is not prepared to push for "regulatory reform."

Tony Smith from Immunex has had some success working with their vendor. Tony stressed the importance of understanding the scheduling process and persistence in making them understand our needs. He has placed many calls and has not had any real problems in 10 months.

Bill Rowe from the UW inspected the Morton site on 5/30/01. At the time he visited, the plant was shut down for the day. No problems were noted. The UW will continue to use this vendor for their small generator labs. Bill presented his findings to the IRAC & MIRT, Pharmaceuticals and Hazardous Wastes Workgroup. Tony Smith had visited the plant when it was in operation and felt that safety at the plant seemed to be under control.

Issues at the present time are not with the plant, but with corporate structure and customer service.

Job Hazard Analysis

Jim Denoven recently completed a WISHA audit of a biotech company. Per "Safety and Health Core Rules", WISHA 296-800 series, there needs to be written certification that Job Hazard Analysis has been done. The Job Hazard Analysis may be covered by the Safety Manual, however, companies will need a written certification to this effect.

Unborn Child

Jesse Mushen of CTI noted that the Washington State Appeals Court has ruled that an unborn child can sue if the mother is injured in the workplace.

Next Meeting

The next HELP meeting will be on Sept. 19 at Zymogenetics.

Automatic Sprinkler Head Recall Alert

Carol Sangster of Chubb Insurance sends an ALERT regarding the recall of certain

sprinkler heads. These sprinklers are questionable in their integrity due

to the use of "O" rings in the cap region of the assembly.

Apparently there have been 13 failures during fire events (in both wet and

dry sprinkler systems). The manufacturers of these sprinklers, Central,

Gem and Star, have implemented a voluntary recall of the sprinklers in

question (over 60 models) at the urging of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety

Commission - see the file below titled "Cpsc.pdf".

In order to assist with identification in the field, I've attached a few

pdf files produced by both the CPSC & the manufacturers. I have also

attached a claims form (from Central Sprinkler) for use by locations where

such sprinklers are identified. (If you would like these files, please contact Carol Sangster at The following information and attachments

were made available to our Loss Control Service offices by Chubb's

corporate fire protection engineering staff.



The replacement sprinkler should be listed or approved by a recognized

agency (i.e. UL or FM), and it should be acceptable to the authority having

jurisdiction. Be sure to also check your spare sprinkler heads.

It is essential that the replacement sprinklers have the same

characteristics (K-factor, spay pattern, operating temperature, etc.) as

those being replaced; if the original sprinkler design was acceptable. If

the sprinkler characteristics are different, such as a different K-factor,

it may be necessary to run a new set of hydraulic calculations to assure

that the proper density is achieved. In addition, due to the extent of

replacement, the sprinkler piping should undergo a pressurization test (to

200 psi or 50 psi above the maximum working pressure, whichever is

greater.) as required by NFPA 13 and 25.



The sprinklers in question will be found in nearly all types of occupancies

including offices, warehouse, manufacturing, hospitals, computer rooms,

retail stores, and residential occupancies. Estimates are in the magnitude

of 35+ million sprinklers affected by the recall. Of the sprinklers in

question, only 200,000 or so will be manufactured by Star or Gem.

For further information, please refer to the following References web