UCR Policies and Procedures

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 For a hardcopy pdf of this document, contact the Office of Compliance (2-8246).
Policy Title:                   Environmental Health & Safety
Policy Number:             425-24
Responsible Officer:
Executive Director, Environmental Health & Safety
Responsible Office:
Environmental Health & Safety
Origination Date:
Date of Revision:
Date of Last Review:

I.      Policy Summary and Scope

The University of California (“University”) is committed to achieving excellence in providing a healthy and safe working environment, and to supporting environmentally sound practices in the conduct of University activities. It is University policy to comply with all applicable health, safety and environmental protection laws, regulations and requirements. 


This Policy outlines the responsibilities of campus officials designated to implement this Policy and summarizes the UC Riverside (UCR) Environmental, Health and Safety’s (EH&S) programs and their overall role and enforcement authority as it pertains to the health and safety of the UCR campus.



II.     Policy


University activities are to be conducted in a manner that promotes the protection of the environment and the UCR community, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors.


EH&S will collaborate with the UCR community to establish campus safety programs, conduct ongoing assessments, and enforce necessary sanctions to ensure programs support safe campus operations and activities. EH&S campus safety programs will establish criteria to assist departments in health and safety compliance activities, and in the absence of formal University and campus policies, appropriate statutes, and/or governmental regulations, the published standards of recognized professional health and safety organizations will serve as guidelines.


The goal of the University is to maintain the safety and well-being of the UCR community, minimize workplace injuries and illnesses, and mitigate environmental incidents and property losses/damages.  While achieving this goal is the responsibility of every member of the campus community, the following campus departments and officials have particular responsibility for implementing the principles and practices of this Policy:

A.  The Chancellor is responsible for the implementation of UCR’s Environment, Health, and Safety-related University and campus policies and procedures pursuant to state and federal mandates at all facilities and properties under campus control. The Chancellor is responsible for the allocation of appropriate resources and the implementation of the UCR’s EH&S programs at all facilities under campus authority.

B.  Vice Chancellors and Deans are responsible for implementation and enforcement of UCR’s Environmental, Health, and Safety-related University and campus policies and procedures pursuant to state and federal mandates in all facilities and operations within their respective jurisdictions by but not limited to:

·    Providing School/Department oversight;

·    Allocating appropriate resources;

·    Fostering a climate that facilitates open discussion and resolution of potential risks and safety issues;

·    Promoting required EH&S training to employees.


C.  Directors, department heads, and administrative officers are responsible for establishing and maintaining the EH&S established programs in their areas that will support a safe and healthy work and living environment.  Each campus unit will provide ongoing support for its safety program in its annual budget, providing department-wide oversight, delegate authority and accountability to one person for developing, implementing, and overseeing the department-wide Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP), foster a climate that facilitates open discussion and resolution of potential risks and safety issues, and promotes required EH&S training to employees.


D. Principal investigators and supervisors are responsible for compliance with this Policy and associated safety protocols and mandates as it relates to operations and activities under their control including: identifying a Safety Representative to handle Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) responsibilities specific to the work unit:

1.    hazard assessment and correction;

2.    training; and

3.    developing and implementing safe work practices, reporting hazards, incidents, and injuries to EH&S, and discussing and learning from accidents or "near misses" with all staff and students.


E.  All Employees and Students will learn, practice and keep up to date on UCR and departmental safety protocols by: participating in safety training appropriate to the job or position; reporting hazards, incidents, injuries and safety concerns to a supervisor or manager; implementing safe work practices; and reporting “near misses” even though accidents or injuries did not occur (email ehs@ucr.edu or go to Report an Injury, Incident or Safety Concern).

F.  UCR Environmental, Health & Safety (EH&S) is responsible for:

·    Suspending or terminating any activity that poses an imminent hazard deemed immediately dangerous to life or health, and then working with Deans, department heads, and other responsible individuals to abate the unsafe conditions and operations;

·    Defining and communicating a UCR IIPP;

·    Evaluating potential hazards and coordinating campus programs to prevent injuries and work-related illnesses;

·    Working with academic departments and administrative services to develop training, monitoring, and accident prevention programs;

·    Providing health and safety program direction to all campus entities;

·    Providing consultation and technical assistance in all areas of health, safety, and environmental protection;

·    Acting as liaison with regulatory agencies on behalf of the campus;

·    Providing emergency response assistance for hazardous materials releases;

·    Performing health, safety, and environmental protection audits as needed to determine compliance with regulations, laws, and University policy;

·    Escalating serious non-compliance issues and hazards (see Escalating Serious Non-Compliance and Hazardous Issues);

·    Seeking resolution, within the University structure, of health, safety, and environmental protection deficiencies;

·    Establishing campus environmental health and safety programs;

·    Partnering with campus/system-wide safety committees;

·    Monitoring effectiveness of and compliance with this Policy;

·    Maintaining appropriate working relationships with official regulatory agencies related to environmental health and workplace safety; and

·    Liaising between the campus and California Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) for State inspections and associated investigatory proceedings with support from campus partners and stakeholders as appropriate.


This authority applies in all instances that could impact the safety and well-being of the campus, including but not limited to acts and/conditions caused by faculty, staff, students, and visitors. In certain cases, orders to cease operations may apply to conditions caused by third party contractors, pursuant to UC Terms and Conditions of Purchase Article 14, Subpart B. Environmental, Safety, Health and Fire Protection. Safety matters within closed construction sites will be managed by the Designated Campus Fire Marshal, designated construction inspectors and Capital Programs.


III.    EH&S Programs


EH&S consists of disciplines and subject-matter experts that support departments in environmental health and safety compliance activities in accordance with applicable regulations, and as appropriate has the enforcement authority to implement this Policy. 



A.  EH&S Administration

EH&S Administration is responsible for executing EH&S’s strategic goals and objectives in support of the safety and well-being of the campus community and the environment in alignment with state/federal/local mandates and University and campus policies.


EH&S Administration partners with campus officials (UCPD, Designated Campus Fire Marshal, Emergency Management, Legal Affairs, Compliance/LDO, Strategic Communications, etc.), and the UC Office of the President (UCOP)/UC Office of General Counsel (OGC) to manage significant and/or escalate environmental health and safety events warranting immediate action, and engages EH&S programs for response as appropriate. EH&S is authorized to discontinue operation of any University function or activity that poses imminent danger to life or health of members of the campus community, and/or substantial endangerment to the environment.


EH&S, as appropriate and within EH&S jurisdiction, manages investigations, supports information gathering for administrative enforcement or litigation against the Regents, and oversees contractual agreements/memorandums of understanding (MOUs), and engages input from other UC EH&S Directors as appropriate.


EH&S authors, reviews, and promulgates EH&S policies and procedures and advises on local and system-wide committees, including, but not limited to, the systemwide EH&S Leadership Council, UC workgroups and task forces. EH&S is supported by training and administrative personnel to deliver systematic and consistent messaging across the EH&S divisions specifically and to the campus more broadly.



B.  Occupational Safety Program

The Occupational Safety Program oversees occupational safety and compliance programs for campus employees, including Injury and Illness Prevention Programs (IIPP) and associated hazard-specific plans, as required by state and federal mandates. Programs will comply with the laws and regulations issued by California Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), University policies, and applicable local regulatory agencies.


EH&S Occupational Safety Program coordinates with departments on the following:

·    incident investigations;

·    workplace inspections;

·    job hazard analysis;

·    safety consultations; and

·    safety trainings/presentations for campus faculty and staff.


Hazard-specific programs include, but are not limited to:

·    shop safety

·    heat illness;

·    electrical safety;

·    working from heights;

·    performing arts safety;

·    construction and renovation operations; and

·    campus housing and facilities maintenance operations



C.  Environmental Health Program

The EH&S Environmental Health Program monitors activities related to food, recreational waters, and drinking water to ensure compliance with applicable State and county regulations, including compliance with laws and regulations promulgated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and/or associated local county agencies such as the Riverside County Department of Public Health. Environmental Health programs and inspections are executed by EH&S in accordance with California Health and Safety Code § 106615(e), which outlines the authority of a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) in this context.


The EH&S Environmental Health Program oversees activities that include, but are not limited to:

·    proper hygiene practices;

·    safe food preparation, handling and distribution at campus food facilities and associated events;

·    drinking water quality; and

·    infection and public health control protocols.


The EH&S Environmental Health Program oversight applies to activities conducted at UCR-owned and -operated facilities, buildings, swimming pools, living quarters, and food service operations, including campus-operated restaurants.



D.  Environmental Management Program

To ensure compliance with environmental regulations and protection of the environment, the EH&S Environmental Management Program develops, implements, and evaluates programs on behalf of campus operations in the following areas:

·    surface water and groundwater quality;

·    industrial wastewater;

·    storm water;

·    remediation;

·    air quality; and

·    aboveground and underground storage tanks.


Programs will ensure compliance with environmental laws, regulations and rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) and its Boards, Departments, and Offices, regulations and rules issued by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and other regulatory bodies with delegated authority.


The EH&S Environmental Management Program assists in interpreting environmental regulations, obtaining necessary permits, interfacing with government regulatory agencies, and coordinating all activities related to these matters.



E.  Industrial Hygiene Program

EH&S Industrial Hygiene (IH) is responsible for assessing and facilitating the University’s compliance with applicable state and federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration regulations designed to prevent occupational illness. The EH&S IH Program assists with the identification, monitoring, and control of potentially harmful airborne contaminants, substances, and physical agents in the campus environment. Frequently requested services involve exposure assessment for chemicals and noise, asbestos and lead oversight during renovation projects, respiratory protection fit-testing and training, hazard communication, and provision of hazard identification and control recommendations.


The scope of the IH Program includes, but may not be limited to:

·    respiratory protection and fit-testing;

·    hazard/exposure assessments; and

·    consultation on occupational exposures and illnesses.


Exposure assessments will include investigations and sampling/monitoring (when applicable) for odors, dust/particulates (including any associated airborne toxic contaminants), mold/microbials, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and/or physical hazards (e.g., noise, heat, vibration).



F.  Research Safety Division

The EH&S Research Safety Division oversees campus activities in order to identify, monitor, and control exposures to potentially harmful agents within the campus environment specific to scientific research and creative research activities. This division consists of chemical safety, controlled substances, radiation safety, biological safety and high containment.


1.  EH&S Chemical SafetyEH&S Chemical Safety will routinely inspect academic research laboratories and train campus personnel in the safe use, handling, and storage of hazardous chemical materials.


Programs will comply with the laws and regulations issued by California Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), University policies and national best practices.


2.  EH&S Controlled Substances Program. Controlled Substance (CS) use at UCR is strictly controlled in accordance with federal and state regulations, registration, and UC policies and procedures. The CS Program ensures that applicable regulations governing the use, storage, and disposal of controlled substances are observed in research and academic settings. The CS program applies to all authorized campus research and teaching activities which involve dangerous drugs, including controlled substances, listed and/or precursor chemicals and dangerous devices. The CS program does not apply to University clinical activities, which are governed by federal and state accrediting and regulatory agencies and are subject to review and audit by those agencies. Medical practitioners in University facilities are required to maintain appropriate state and federal licensure with respect to dispensing controlled substances.


3.  EH&S Radiation and Laser SafetyRadioactive material and radiation-producing machine use at UCR is strictly controlled in accordance with federal and state regulations, license conditions, radiation usage guidelines, and campus policies and procedures. EH&S Radiation Safety coordinates with the Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) to manage, oversee, and enforce the safe use of radioactive materials and radiation-producing machines in clinical, research, and academic settings at UCR in accordance with applicable regulations and appropriate standards to ensure exposures are reduced to levels that are As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) for ionizing and on-ionizing radiation. The Laser Program ensures that all lasers and laser systems are operated in a manner comparable to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z136 series of Standards for the Safe Use of Lasers. Additionally, the Laser Program is designed to ensure that adequate protection against collateral hazards is provided. These collateral hazards include the risk of electrical shock, fire hazard from a beam or from use of dyes and solvents, and chemical exposures from use of chemicals and vaporization of targets.


4.  EH&S Biological SafetyEH&S Biological Safety coordinates with the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) to ensure that applicable regulations and accepted standards governing the use, storage, and disposal of hazardous biological substances are observed in clinical, research, and academic settings.


Programs will comply with controls stipulated by National Institutes for Health (NIH), Institutional Biological Safety Committee (IBC) and Cal/OSHA. In addition, the care and use of laboratory animals will comply with applicable regulations and accepted standards for humane treatment in accordance with UCR Policy, and applicable state and federal standards.


High Containment Program. The EH&S High Containment Program provides expertise in the management of research conducted in campus high containment laboratories. The EH&S High Containment Program receives and manages the following:

·    planning and directing safe laboratory operations and practices;

·    conducting safety and security training programs; and

·    overseeing the UCR Federal Select Agent program.


The EH&S High Containment Program Director oversees the design, renovation, maintenance and validation of these facilities and serves as the Responsible Official (RO) for the UCR Federal Select Agent Program.


Programs will comply with regulations stipulated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), CDC Division of Select Agents and Toxins (DSAT), USDA Division of Agricultural Select Agents and Toxins (DASAT), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Health and Human Services (HHS), Cal OSHA, and the UCR Institutional Biological Safety Committee (IBC).



G.  Hazardous Waste Program

The Hazardous Waste Program ensures that UCR campus-generated waste that is considered “hazardous” under state or federal law (chemical, radioactive, medical, biological, mixed, exempt recyclable and universal waste) is collected, packaged, transported and disposed of in accordance with local, state and federal mandates and requirements. The EH&S Hazardous Waste Program also provides guidance and compliance assistance for the campus community regarding the proper packaging, labeling, storage and transportation of hazardous waste to authorized pickup locations throughout campus and Facilities Services and Planning, Design and Construction projects generating hazardous waste during construction, renovations, and maintenance of UCR property.



H.  Training program

Specific training requirements are mandated by State and federal regulations. EH&S helps faculty, staff and students: understand safety issues, identify training requirements, and recognize specific hazards that may be associated with their work or environment. EH&S provides a wide variety of training program formats that include regularly scheduled courses, online training, and customized training designed to meet special needs; coordinates recordkeeping requirements; and facilitates training needs assessments.


IV.     References 


A.   UC Office of the President Policies

1.  UC Policy on Management of Health, Safety and the Environment

2.  Guiding Principles to Implement the University of California Policy on Management of Health, Safety and the Environment


B.   UCR Policies/Programs

UCR EH&S Programs Library


C.   Resources

1.  U.S Occupational Safety & Health Administration

2.  UC Contract & Grant Manual, 3-200 University Policy on Environmental Health and Safety



V.      Approval and Revision History

This policy originated on January 15, 1994. This policy was revised by the Executive Director, Environmental Health and Safety and approved by the Vice Chancellor of Planning, Budget & Administration effective February 4, 2021. The revisions include general updates to format, layout, references and program highlights.