Category: Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)
Contact: Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) - ext. 71111
The University engages in a program of voluntary compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act of North Carolina and with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations and codes. To be effective, this program must be proactive and must embody the proper attitudes toward injury and illness prevention on the part of all members of the University community.
The program is designed to provide not only a safe and healthy working, teaching and learning environment, but also an atmosphere of safety and health awareness through training and employee and student involvement. The participation and earnest cooperation of all faculty, staff, students and visitors are actively encouraged.
All members of the University community share the responsibility to provide and maintain a safe and healthful working, teaching, and learning environment and to reduce or eliminate known hazards.
Certain areas of University activity have been identified as requiring special attention to environmental health and safety considerations. Such areas have unique procedures and special features designed to increase safety and reduce the risk of injury.
All members of the University community are expected to comply with this plan. Supervisors are responsible for enforcing environmental health and safety standards and supplying appropriate equipment and training to affected employees.
Safety and Health Committees
The University Safety and Health Committee is appointed by the Chancellor to serve as a forum to discuss environmental health and safety issues and to develop University-wide policy concerning environmental health and safety.
Departments are strongly encouraged to contact the EHS office to develop departmental safety committees to further promote injury and illness prevention. Primary responsibilities should be to assure that jobs are planned with safety in mind, employees are receiving proper training, and employees are involved in incident prevention, response and remediation.
Departmental Hazard Assessment
Management at all levels must ensure environmental health and safety are prime considerations in the development, planning and completing of all tasks to be performed by University employees. It is the responsibility of each department to conduct a hazard assessment of each job or task and implement injury prevention measures. The EHS office is available to assist in completing hazard assessments.
All new buildings, equipment, and materials introduced to the work environment are to be evaluated for potential safety and health concerns. The Materials Management Department will forward copies of applicable purchase requests for hazardous materials to the EHS office for review. The Materials Management Department should also forward applicable copies of Safety Data Sheets (SDS).
The department head is responsible for notifying the EHS office prior to changes in buildings, equipment and materials.
Health and Occupational Hygiene Surveys
Employees must be protected from environmental hazards that arise out of or during the course of employment. Work areas must be surveyed to sample known or suspected health hazards (such as noise, airborne contaminants, toxic materials, solvents, and radiation).
It is the responsibility of each department to identify potential exposures during routine operations as well as unusual circumstances. The EHS office should be notified of any potential exposure.
The EHS office will survey suspected health hazard work environments. The surveys may consist of assessing sampling methods and results.
Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery
All members of the campus community should be prepared and respond accordingly to emergencies. The Risk Management Safety and Security department has developed emergency procedure manuals, evacuation plans and business continuity recovery plans to assist individual campus community members and departments.
A direct relationship exists between the number of incidents, severity of incidents and the attention given to appropriate safety and health training.
Training programs are to be established by each department to ensure each employee is instructed regarding his or her work hazards and the methods by which these hazards are controlled. EHS office has established tools to assist managers in establishing training programs.
Communication and Consultation
All members of the campus community should communicate any unsafe acts or unsafe conditions observed on campus property. EHS office will consult with various departments, agencies or other personnel to evaluate the concern. EHS office will also periodically communicate incident prevention best practices to campus community.
Investigations, Inspections and Audits
EHS office will investigate all reported unsafe acts, unsafe conditions, near-miss, fires, chemical spills or other similar incidents. EHS office will also inspect buildings on a regular basis and audit applicable safety programs to ensure continuous improvement and regulatory compliance. Notification of findings will be given to the person in charge of the building, department, laboratory and/or the appropriate department manager. The responsible person will be required to document implemented corrective action(s) as soon as possible and communicate to EHS office within a reasonable timeframe but no later than 30 days. If incident corrective actions are not resolved within a reasonable time frame, the incident will be escalated to the next level of management.
Medical Surveillance and Records Access
EHS office conducts numerous industrial hygiene surveys to evaluate employee’s potential exposure to toxic substances or harmful physical agent. In some instances where engineering controls are not adequate to eliminate exposure medical surveillance may be required. If so, EHS office will notify employees and follow Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) regulatory requirement for administering medical surveillance. The employee will have the right to access relevant medical records. All requests for access to work-related exposure to toxic substances or harmful physical agents medical records should be referred to the EHS office.
EHS office will maintain records in accordance with the Records Retention and Disposition policy.
Procedures have been established to provide for the discipline of employees who repeatedly violate environmental, health and safety requirements. See STATE PERSONNEL MANUAL-Disciplinary Action, Suspension and Dismissal. Environmental Health and Safety requirements are established and enforced to protect employees by preventing injuries and illnesses.
In most cases employees who violate safety and health requirements will be disciplined in the successive disciplinary concept with the JOB PERFORMANCE category of discipline. On occasion, an employee may commit a violation of a safety and health requirement that is so careless and reckless, or that so endangers life or property that it can be considered UNACCEPTABLE PERSONAL CONDUCT subjecting the employee to immediate dismissal.
Dated: December 2015
PIM Number: 26
PIM Category: Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)