Employee / Occupational Safety
The activities required to institute a comprehensive and University-wide health and safety program may be divided into nine categories: (1) standard setting; (2) coordination activities; (3) auditing; (4) reporting; (5) monitoring; (6) policy development; (7) expansion of existing programs; (8) development of new programs; and (9) enforcement. This delineation of activities into nine types does not suggest that each type of activity be addressed separately. Indeed, all components of a coordinated health and safety program must be addressed simultaneously.
While every person has responsibility for his or her personal well-being, the primary responsibility for providing a healthful and safe working environment rests with line management. Management’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to: ensuring that employees are trained; developing and maintaining standard operating procedures; and providing necessary safety equipment. Moreover, except for some broadly defined, University-wide services such as landscaping, heating, police, etc., the cost of maintaining a healthful and safe working environment shall fall on the department or unit under whose auspices a particular activity is being conducted.
In order to assist with the above noted 9 activities, EHS will:
- Provide guidance and technical assistance to the units;
- Develop and implement institution-wide policies regarding health and safety;
- Offer training programs to all University employees regarding safe and healthy work practices;
- Aid all units in keeping abreast of regulatory and legal requirements regarding health and safety and then act as a resource for all units of the University in developing programs to meet those regulations; and
While the University’s health and safety policies will be developed by EHS, and while that office also will audit and monitor the University’s adherence to those policies, the enforcement function (with two exceptions) will remain the responsibility of the administrators of each unit. Those exceptions are:
- The administration of the University's licenses from the Virginia Department of Health, Division of Radiological Health; and
- Extreme emergencies wherein the Director of Environmental Health & Safety (or deputy director) judges that a particular situation is causing clear and present serious danger to life and/or property.
Thus, the staff of EHS should be seen principally as a coordinating, standard setting, auditing and service organization rather than an enforcer of regulations.
Only employees who are certified to drive fork-lifts are allowed to operate University equipment.