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Health and Safety

The Safety and Health office is responsible for occupational safety and health of the division's employees. Our responsibilities include:

  • Asbestos and lead inspections
  • Confined space identifications with assistance from EHS
  • Air monitoring for abatement projects when available
  • Coordinating training with EHS
  • Fall harness and rigging inspections
  • Maintaining safety equipment for use by various departments
  • Conducting periodic shop inspections
  • Maintaining federally required paperwork
  • Analyze injury loss data

Have an idea? See something that needs improvement? Send us your safety suggestions!

Overall division safety training completion




Rick Hale

Rick Hale is the Infrastructure Health and Safety Coordinator and began his career at Virginia Tech as an operator assistant at the Power Plant and proceeded through the ranks to a shift lead operator before advancing to his current role. With over 19 years of experience at the university and 25 years of volunteer fire and rescue experience, Hale brings a focus on safety to the Power Plant, Mechanical Utilities, Electric Services, and several other areas within Infrastructure.

In Hale’s spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, coaching baseball, hunting, kayaking, and grilling.

Mark Nester

Mark Nester is Facilities Operations Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator with the Division of Campus Planning, Infrastructure, and Facilities.

Prior to arriving to Blacksburg in June 2022, Nester was the Senior Occupational Safety and Health Specialist with the United States Congress in Washington, D.C., where he conducted safety and health inspections, performed safety-related injury and accident investigations, and enforced measures for controlling, abating, and qualifying risk for identified hazards. Nester gained previous experience with Nevada OSHA and Coca-Cola.

Nester graduated from Radford University with a focus in Health Education & Health Promotion.