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Campuswide Health & Safety Fair Set for September 23

By Dawn Finch, University Health Services
posted September 9, 1998

Whether you are a computer user interested in a mouse alternative, a department safety coordinator in need of training or a staff member looking for a more healthful lifestyle, you'll be able to find what you are seeking at Work Smart, Safe, Well: Cal Health & Safety Fair '98, Wednesday, Sept. 23, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This first-ever campuswide event for faculty and staff will be headquartered in Pauley Ballroom on the third floor of the Martin Luther King Student Union and Upper Sproul Plaza, with additional activities taking place on the fourth and fifth floors of the student union.

"Both the campus and community have embraced this event whole-heartedly," says Trish Ratto, manager of Health*Matters, which is coordinating the fair.

About 80 campus departments and community vendors will have booths. The event offer screenings, demonstrations and activities on subjects such as ergonomics, workplace safety and personal health, earthquake preparedness, crime prevention, personal security, laboratory safety, work/life issues and stress management.

The agenda also includes workshops throughout the day, a video festival, free mini-massages, health screenings, flu shots for $10 and the opportunity to win a drawing for an ergonomic chair and other prizes.

"I think I speak for all of the sponsors when I say we're excited about this," says Mark Freiberg, manager of health and safety in Environment, Health & Safety, which is sponsoring the fair along with University Health Services and the UC Police Department. "The campus is committed to the well-being of its employees, and there are a number of specific programs related to health and safety. The importance of this fair is making these resources known to faculty and staff."

Work Smart, Safe, Well: Cal Health & Safety Fair '98 combines several fairs and educational activities from the past. As an example of how these events can be helpful, David Hernes, health and safety coordinator for the Department of Mathematics, tells of his department's experience at last year's Ergonomics Fair. "I had been hearing complaints about minor aches and pains I thought might be related to the aging chairs the faculty were using," Hernes says. He convinced half a dozen faculty members to attend the fair and try out new furniture. Following the fair, all six professors acquired ergonomic chairs similar to those they tried -- as did 13 other people in the department.

Chancellor Berdahl has granted two hours of staff release time for Cal Health & Safety Fair '98. Berdahl, who earlier this month sent out a letter encouraging faculty and staff to attend the event, will make his own appearance shortly before noon.

For complete information, including detailed descriptions of activities, prizes, workshop schedules and campus and community participants, see or refer to the flyer that was mailed along with the Chancellor's letter to all faculty and staff.

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