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 healthy 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.
Health and Safety Committees
The University Health and Safety Committee is appointed by the Chancellor to serve as a forum to discuss environmental health and safety issues and to develop a 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.
Compliance Consultation and Enforcement
The Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) office provides consultative services (e.g., safety assessments, emergency preparedness, and training) and enforcement services (e.g., audits, inspections, investigations) to the campus community. These services are focused on identifying and eliminating hazards that create an unsafe work environment. All members of the campus community should communicate any unsafe acts or unsafe conditions observed on campus to their supervisor and/or EHS office. The EHS office will consult with various departments, agencies, or other personnel to evaluate and address the safety concern. EHS office will also periodically communicate regulatory compliance and injury incident prevention best practices to the campus community.
The EHS office conducts numerous buildings, equipment, materials, and department assessments to evaluate the potential environment, health, and safety regulatory compliance requirements.
Management at all levels must ensure environmental health and safety compliance requirements are prime considerations in the development, planning, and completion of all tasks to be performed by University employees. It is the responsibility of each department to implement environmental health and safety regulatory compliance requirements and notify the EHS office of any changes.
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).
All members of the campus community should be prepared and respond accordingly to emergencies. The EHS Office has developed emergency procedures, evacuation plans, and safety monitor program to assist individual campus community members and departments.
A direct relationship exists between the number of incidents, the 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 the campus community.
Investigations, Inspections, and Audits
EHS office will evaluate 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 the EHS office within a reasonable time frame 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 safety assessments to evaluate employee’s potential exposure to toxic substances or harmful physical agents. In some instances where engineering controls are not adequate to eliminate exposure medical surveillance may be required. If so, the EHS office will notify employees and follow the 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 agent's 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 1, 2020
PIM Number: 26
PIM Category: Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)