Environmental Health and Safety


The Environmental Health and Safety (E.H.S.) Office of LaGuardia Community College is committed to ensuring that our Students, Faculty and Staff are provided a safe and healthy environment by identifying, evaluating, and addressing harmful conditions and practices.

The E.H.S. Office also makes certain that College operations are conducted in compliance with the College and CUNY policies,  CITY,  STATE, and  FEDERAL regulations of environmental compliance and occupational safety.

COVID-19 Guidance (End of Pandemic)

As the Environmental Health and Safety department concludes its evaluation, assistance, and implementation of response protocols and procedures related to occupational safety and health on campus, we reflect on the collective efforts made during the pandemic. While the situation has improved, it remains important for all employees to stay informed and continue following guidance from relevant Federal, State, and Local agencies, as well as CUNY and LAGCC, to ensure the continued containment of COVID-19. Although the College’s protocols and procedures have been established, it is advisable for the College Community to stay updated by visiting the CUNY and Health Services Center COVID-19 pages periodically. The purpose of this EHS office COVID-19 site is to provide EHS Compliance-specific information related to COVID-19.

Each member of our community has played a crucial role in preventing the spread of COVID-19. We commend all faculty, staff, and students for their commitment to adhering to health and safety guidelines and serving as role models for others. It is important to note that guidelines, procedures, and recommendations from New York State, New York City, and public health officials may continue to evolve based on the status of COVID-19 spread in our region.

Infectious Disease

From time to time, students or employees may contract an infectious disease that can be spread through close contact. If you suspect that you or someone else on Campus has contracted an infectious disease, which can be spread through close contact or if you are unsure of which infectious diseases are reportable, immediately contact the Campus Health Services Director listed below:

Renee Fuseyamore
Campus Health Services Director
Office Location: MB40
Extension: 5280
Email: rfuseyamore@lagcc.cuny.edu

If you are unable to reach the above contact, inform the Public Safety Office by dialing 718-482-5555 or extension 5555.

For latest health alerts and additional information visit the Health Services Center web page.

Environmental Compliance

We offer a range of training programs, coordinates hazardous waste management, reviews recycling, reuse and pollution prevention activities, and supports the CUNY environmental compliance initiatives. Our goal is to eliminate, if not reduce, the impact on the environment from the College’s instructional and operational activities.

The following are the environmental policies being enforced by this office:

CUNY Environmental Management System

Waste Disposal Guidelines

Occupational Safety


Asbestos is a generic term for a group of minerals known for their strength, flame and heat resistance, and seemingly indestructible qualities.

Once considered a “miracle mineral,” asbestos was used for many years in building construction. It can be found in many forms and places. Asbestos was used in boiler and pipe insulation, plasters, floor tile, electrical insulation, and as a fireproofing material on structural members in buildings. It has also been sprayed on ceilings and walls as acoustic insulation.

Because of its indestructible qualities, asbestos is harmful to the human body. The body cannot digest, break down, or change asbestos; it can only attempt to encapsulate it with scar tissue.

Several types of asbestos were banned by the EPA in the mid-70’s due to concern over the health effects (especially cancer) associated with exposure to such materials. It is important to remember that asbestos generally has been found to be hazardous to humans when it is inhaled into the lungs.

Asbestos occurs naturally as a fiber; individual fibers are so small they are invisible to the naked eye. Most asbestos is not hazardous in its original, undisturbed state; only when it is disturbed or pulverized does it release asbestos fibers.

Symptoms of asbestos-related diseases do not occur soon after exposure. Those who are sick today because of asbestos may have been exposed 20 to 40 years ago. Controlling exposures now will prevent disease and suffering decades later.

The Environmental health and Safety Officer (EHSO) is responsible for coordinating asbestos removal projects at LaGuardia Community College. Asbestos is removed only when required for renovation, remodeling or maintenance. This usually involves repairing plumbing, removing floor tiles or anything else that contains asbestos in some areas on our college property. It is the responsibility of campus maintenance personnel, facilities planning and design personnel or contractors to coordinate with EHSO for inspection and/or removal of asbestos

Not every pipe and floor tile contains asbestos material, but whether it does or not cannot be determined by the naked eye. Samples of the suspect material collected by licensed consultants are analyzed under a microscope by a certified and independent laboratory. Every sample is considered positive until proven otherwise by a lab analysis. EHSO selects the vendors to provide the asbestos abatement work and to conduct the independent third party monitoring of the projects on behalf of the College. In order to avoid a conflict of interest, and to ensure the contractor adheres to all applicable rules and regulations, the abatement work and the monitoring are done by two different vendors who are not associated with each other.

All abatement and removal is conducted according to rules and regulations set forth by the New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL), unless otherwise required by a higher governing agency. The rules of the NYS DOL for asbestos removal can be accessed at: New York State Department of Labor Asbestos Rules and Regulations

Emergency removal is conducted when asbestos has been accidentally disturbed. Every effort is made to return the affected area to its normal occupancy as soon as possible.

Abatement is done inside enclosures to prevent the fibers from spreading. Air handling units serving the affected area are turned off until the work is completed to keep the fibers from spreading to other areas. To prevent any attached fibers from getting into the surrounding air, the work area is always kept under negative air pressure as required by the rules. During the work, only authorized personnel can access the work area and a 25 foot boundary is imposed for other occupants of the building.

When a job has been completed, samples of the surrounding air are analyzed under a phase-contrast microscope. Based upon the results, the area is either cleared or re-cleaned and re-sampled. If the area is declared “clear,” it is opened to normal occupancy and all warning signs are removed.


Various Federal, State, and local regulations require the College to inventory the types and quantities of hazardous materials. Our Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO) tracks and reports, as mandated, the on site storage and use of hazardous materials. Maintaining an up to date inventory assists in providing stakeholders with specific hazard and storage information and in emergency response.

Who needs to do a chemical inventory?

Principal Investigators, supervisors, storeroom managers, and anyone in charge of areas where hazardous materials are stored, must prepare and maintain a chemical inventory. Department administrators are responsible for ensuring that an accurate and current chemical inventory is available to the CHO upon request.

When is the inventory due?

Each department must submit an updated inventory to the CHO at least annually. All lists must be up to date as of January 1st of each year. The CHO sends reminders to departments at the beginning of the reporting period, along with instructions and specific due date.

In addition to the scheduled updates, if there are any significant changes such as room relocations, increased maximum amounts, new or dangerous chemicals added, or changes in names and phone numbers of key contacts, you must submit updates to EH&S within 30 days of the change. Contact your department safety liaison for assistance in getting started, or call EHS (5507) for assistance and training.

Which hazardous material must be inventoried?

A hazardous material is any material that, because of its quantity, concentration, physical characteristics, or chemical characteristics, poses a significant present or potential hazard to human health and safety or to the environment if released. Materials to report in a chemical inventory include, but are not limited to:

Laboratory Chemicals: acids, bases, solvents, mercury, metallic salts, halogenated compounds, toxic substances such as lead compounds and acrylamide, mixtures of hazardous chemicals

Compressed Gas: toxic gases, pressurized gas cylinders of pure gases or mixtures of gases

Liquids Under Pressure: liquid nitrogen, liquid oxygen, propane, aerosols, chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants (liquid/gas phases)

Paints and Inks: both water- and oil-based paints, spray paints, printing inks or pastes

Solvents and Spirits: degreasers, kerosene, paint thinners

Lubricants: pump oil, hydraulic oil, motor oil, brake fluid, greases

Finishes: varnishes, shellacs, floor waxes, lacquers

Fuels: gasoline, camping fuel, diesel fuel

Maintenance/Structural Materials: asphalt-containing roofing, adhesives, and bonding agents, cleaning products and de-greasers

Grounds/Landscape Materials: fertilizers, plant food supplements, soda ash

Pesticides: insecticides, rodenticides, acaricides, fungicides, defoliants, herbicides

Drugs: pharmaceuticals, controlled substances

Photographic Materials: developers, reducers, stabilizers, activators, fixers, stop bath

Custodial Materials: cleaning agents, bleaches, floor strippers, soaps and detergents, disinfectants, corrosive products, ammonia

Note: Other hazardous materials, such as biological agents and radioactive materials, should not be included in the chemical inventory since they are tracked under separate EHS programs. Very small quantities of hazardous materials (such as liquid toners and cleaners stored in offices) need not be reported. Call EHS at 5507 if you have questions about what material must be reported through the Chemical Inventory Program.

Where are hazardous materials found?

• Research and teaching labs

• Building operations mechanical and storage areas

• Above and underground storage tanks

• Workshops

• Custodial closets

• Stockrooms/storerooms

• Swimming pools

• Containers under pressure such as liquid nitrogen tanks and gas cylinders

• Darkrooms

• Animal care

• Fine and performing arts areas

Work Place Environment

The Environmental Health and Safety personnel provides technical assistance in evaluating and mitigating indoor air quality (IAQ) problems on the campus. EHS can perform inspections and/or air monitoring to help confirm the presence and determine the cause of an IAQ issue. EH&S specialists meet regularly with representatives of Administrative & Support Services, Building Operations and Planning & Design to provide comprehensive solutions to IAQ problems.

The Office Environmental Health and Safety provides guidance and information to mitigate risks associated with the use of electrical energy. This includes identifying specific safety precautions to follow and protective equipment to be used by personnel at LaGuardia using, installing, constructing, repairing, inspecting or maintaining electrical equipment.

Electrical hazards can cause burns, shocks and electrocution (death).

OSHA Electrical Safety Fact Sheet

Each year, there are an increasing number of fire-related emergencies that take place on college campuses. They may be due to several causes, but are primarily associated with a lack of knowledge regarding fire safety and prevention.

There are many factors that contribute to fires on campus, the repercussions of which are often serious injury or death.


–  Electrical Circuitry
–  Unsafe Laboratory Practices
–  Other


PLEASE NOTE: It is illegal to purchase, store or bring any type of pest control on campus

LAGCC Bed Bug Response Procedure

Bed Bug Guide – Published by City of New York

For Pest control issues please contact housekeeping at extension 5550 or 5557

For all general temperature complaints, whether hot or cold, please contact Building Operations at ext. 5580.


Slips, Trips and Falls are one of the most common forms of accidents on campus

Please report any of the following conditions to:


  • Wet surfaces
  • Slippery surfaces
  • Spilled foods or drinks
  • Carpets and rugs that are pulled up and pose a tripping hazard
  • Tripping hazards due to clutter


  • Tripping hazards due to uneven surfaces
  • Tiles that are broken or lose that pose a tripping hazard


  • Electrical cords crossing walkways that are not taped down
  • And any of the above conditions

Please report all accidents to Public Safety (ext. 5555) and all near misses to EHS (ext. 5507)

Emergency Notification System

CUNY Alert allows you to receive text, email and/or voice alerts of emergencies or weather related closings on your campus; you can choose your campus or office locations, phones for voice and text messages, and/or email addresses for instant emergency communication.

Visit the Emergency Preparedness page for more information.


Be prepared. Get familiar with…

LaGuardia’s Emergency Response Guide
Federal Active Shooter Guide

NYC Office of Emergency Management

FDNY CPR & First Aid Training

Hurricanes and New York City

Ready NYC app

Based on the Ready New York campaign, Ready NYC is a mobile application that allows users to make an emergency plan.

Download the Apple iOS version

Download the Android version

In accordance with the University’s commitment to the prevention of workplace violence, LaGuardia Community College adopts the following as its Work Place Violence Policy

In order to maintain a safe working environment, incidents of workplace violence must be reported promptly to a supervisor and/or the Office of Public Safety.

The College’s Office of Public Safety can be reached at extension: 5555. Members of the College community are also encouraged to report other behavior they believe may lead to potential workplace violence. After an incident occurs or upon receipt of a complaint, an investigation will be conducted by the Office of Public Safety. Complaints involving the Public Safety Office will be investigated by The Human Resources Office.

Please be sure to meet your yearly workplace violence training requirements.

Department Contacts

Environmental Health and Safety Director
Peter Jayasekara
E-mail: pjayasek@lagcc.cuny.edu

Environmental Health and Safety Assistant

Zakaria Ahmed (Zak)
E-mail: zahmed@lagcc.cuny.edu

Environmental Health and Safety Assistant

Nicholas Koundourakis
E-mail: nkoundourakis@lagcc.cuny.edu


Lab Safety
Chief College Laboratory Technician
Office Location: M200A
Extension: 5757
Email: acifuentes@lagcc.cuny.edu

If you have any questions regarding lab safety contact the Environmental Heath and Safety Office via email: ehs_services@lagcc.cuny.edu or phone: (718) 482 5507

Campus Health Services Director
Renee Fuseyamore
Office Location: MB40
Extension: 5280
Email: rfuseyamore@lagcc.cuny.edu